Alternative headline: StarTech’s New Adapter Weds MacBook Pro and eSATA Storage

StarTech has expanded its lineup of Thunderbolt 3 adapters with a rather extravagant solution that features an eSATA port and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 connector. The dongle allows attaching previous-gen DASes to modern laptops, extending their life, and protecting their owner’s investments.

As the name suggests, Startech’s Thunderbolt 3 to eSATA and USB 3.1 Adapter (TB3ESATU31) has an eSATA port and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A connector. The eSATA header supports up to four eSATA drives through a port multiplier, allowing to use various external storage devices with new PCs. The dongle requires a standard TB3 port, meaning one that can supply up to 15 W of power and features bandwidth of at least 20 Gbps.

The Thunderbolt 3 to eSATA and USB 3.1 adapter is based on the Intel Alpine Ridge TB3 controller as well as the ASMedia ASM1061 PCIe-to-eSATA bridge. Judging by dimensions of the unit, its internal architecture is hardly very complex. The addition of the USB 3.1 port makes a lot of sense as it makes life easier for owners of products like the LaCie Rugged eSATA that use power from a nearby USB port. Meanwhile, owners of advanced eSATA DAS devices, such as storage arrays with multiple HDDs inside, will keep using their regular power bricks.’s Thunderbolt 3 to eSATA and USB 3.1 dongle is available for $98.99 from Amazon and for $134.99 from, a price of an external hard drive (keep in mind that some of them are SMR-based and their performance is unpredictable at times). The MSRP may not be exactly a disadvantage of the product. The eSATA standard has never gained much traction outside of the market of professional-grade storage devices. Therefore, most of the eSATA storage that people would like to keep are likely professional-grade storage arrays. If someone is satisfied with performance of such an array and want to keep using it with their shiny new laptop (perhaps, not even for everyday work, but for archival purposes), they are unlikely to be concerned about the price of the Thunderbolt 3 to eSATA dongle.

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Source: StarTech

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  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    Ouch, that price is sort of high, but if you need to plug eSATA storage devices into a modern system that lacks a port, you might not have any alternatives.
  • crimsonson - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    Is eSATA still that prevalent to make this viable?
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    It's old an niche. If it was part of a larger TB3 docking setup I wouldn't think much of it since a lot of them have more ports than anyone would use. But when a USBA-eSATA dongle can be had for $10 I don't see this being viable vs plugging a $10 dongle into an A port already present on the laptop, on an existing hub/dock, or via an even cheaper A to C adapter into the laptop itself.
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    Why would you want eSATA on a "modern" system?

    You cannot boot to Windows XP on a "modern" system, and Spyware Platform 10 boots fine from USB, unless it's the Spring Creators Bastardization Edition for Psychos because that one Bluescreens on any port (hence the delay)
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    You're trying too hard with this latest trolling attempt. Ah, the things I could teach you if I felt like you had the capacity to comprehend, but anyway start with realizing that you need to be more subtle.
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    It is not trolling and you cannot teach me anything about eSATA that I don't already know

    I already have the following SATA and eSATA cables to use any eSATA drive externally >

    eSATA to SATA cable

    SATA + Power cable

    eSATA + Power adapter

    I also have portable 2.5" drive cases that will boot to either eSATA or USB

    I can use ANY 5 Volt - 2.5" or 12 Volt-3.5" eSATA drive externally on any of my computers

    and now, so can YOU!

    Learning is Fundamental
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    If you are having problems using your eSATA drive, simply remove it from its drive case and use the SATA port
  • misel228 - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    There are USB3 to eSATA adapters for way less than that. I wonder what advantages a thunderbolt brings.
  • HStewart - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    Only speed - but probably will only see it significantly with USB-C Gen 2 - I believe eSATA is 6GB and Gen 2 is 10G. But TB3 is up to 40GB

    I would think the best way is with enclosure for m2 SSD. I have a USB-C Gen2 version. But once it cheap for TB3 would be even better - especially if allows TB3 pass thru.
  • Flunk - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - link

    Isn't Sata 3 6Gbps? and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (god I have typing that, just call it USB 3.5 or USB 4) is 10Gbps. So unless you're planning to use the aforementioned port adapter, this doesn't make much sense.

    So yeah, expensive, niche, if you need this you already know.

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