Electronics accessory maker Matrox this week took the wraps off of its DS1 Thunderbolt docking station, which\u00a0is designed to bring the\u00a0benefits of desktop computing\u00a0to laptops and other mobile devices. Thanks to the Thunderbolt technology's\u00a010Gbps throughput, peripherals such a portable storage devices can be easily connected to your laptop for data transfers at blazing speeds.\n\t\n\t\n\tThe $249 Matrox DS1 expands the capabilities of Thunderbolt-equipped MacBooks\u00a0and other\u00a0laptops\u00a0by providing an additional\u00a0wired Gigabit Ethernet port,\u00a0a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a microphone input and a speaker\/headphone out port, all\u00a0in an attractive aluminum chassis.\u00a0The Matrox dock also has a\u00a0DVI port\u00a0that can be used to connect an\u00a0external display, and\u00a0a bundled DVI-to-HDMI adaptor can also be used to wire up an HDMI monitor.\n\tFrom Matrox's\u00a0Matrox DS1 press release:\n\t\n\t\t\u201cThe new Matrox DS1 docking station easily enables the creation of an ergonomic workspace and brings much-needed expandability for printers, scanners, storage, smartphones, optical drives, cameras, flash drives, and other peripherals.\u201d\n\n\tI\u2019m not aware of any\u00a0non-Mac laptops that come with Thunderbolt ports at this point in time, but\u00a0that's likely to change as more ultrabooks and laptops based on Intel\u2019s new Ivy Bridge processor are released. Matrox\u00a0says the DS1 will work on Windows and Mac OS X platforms,\u00a0but Linux is not currently supported.\n\tMatrox DS1 Doesn\u2019t Come with a Built-In Video Card\n\tI was curious about the Matrox's\u00a0DVI video port, so I reached out to Matrox.\u00a0More specifically,\u00a0I was wondering if the\u00a0Matrox DS1 utilizes DisplayLink technology, like the Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station I reviewed in March, or\u00a0if it\u00a0comes with an embedded graphics processor.\u00a0The\u00a0answer is neither.\n\tAccording to product manager Charles Amyot, the Matrox DS1 relies on the host computer\u2019s Graphics Processor Unit (GPU)\u00a0output to drive video output.\u00a0From Amyot's\u00a0email message:\n\t\n\t\t\u201cWe are essentially taking the second head of the video card, routing it through Thunderbolt to the DS1, which converts the image from the Display Port lane within the Thunderbolt signal to DVI\/HDMI.\u201d\n\n\tWhen used with a HDMI display with built-in speakers for example, Amyot told me that audio can be embedded within the HDMI stream\u00a0as long as\u00a0it is supported by the OS and the graphic card.\u00a0Apple's current generation of\u00a0MacBook Pros support\u00a0the embedding of audio in this manner,\u00a0but MacBook Airs don't.\n\tMatrox DS1 Thunderbolt Dock:\u00a0Conclusion\n\tOne glaring\u00a0omission:\u00a0the Matrox DS1 lacks a Thunderbolt port\u00a0to connect additional Thunderbolt devices. I'm also disappointed that the DS1 only\u00a0has one USB 3.0 port. I wouldn't expect multiple USB 3.0 ports to operate at the full max USB 3.0 speed of 5Gbps\u00a0while used simultaneously, but having to plug and unplug USB 3.0 peripherals into\u00a0the single\u00a0port will get old quickly.\n\tThe Matrox DS1 should be available in September, and I\u2019ll\u00a0do my best to get\u00a0a review unit so I can write up an evaluation. Until then, you can view the product datasheet here (pdf).