Lenovo announced the availability of the OneLink docking solution on CES 2013 along with the new ThinkPad Edge E531, which is something different to the previous generations of dock that Lenovo have released to the consumer. The OneLink Dock takes the shape of a ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock, but offers the performance of the dedicated docking solution by connecting directly to the laptop’s PCIe circuitry (still need to be confirmed).
The ThinkPad OneLink Dock looks pretty much the same as the ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock that i have at home (at least from the front and top), as such it is very compact and takes up very little of the desk space. While, the exterior design of the OneLink Dock and the ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock is very similar, there are some crucial differences out in the functionality and ports. On the ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock, there are two DVI ports, three USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet Port, DC power supply port and a USB 3.0 B connector that connects to the laptop. While on the back of the OneLink Dock, there are only two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, one HDMI and ThinkPad X1 Carbon type rectangular power jack.
The cable that connects the ThinkPad OneLink to the laptop is non-removable and is also very thick, which means it won’t easily frail overtime. The beauty of this OneLink dock is that it uses one single cable that connects the dock to the laptop, which supplies both the power and the data stream. The connector that connects the OneLink Dock to the ThinkPad Edge laptop has two separate connections, one for the power (new rectangular X1C connector) and another for the data.
Personally, i think the ThinkPad OneLink Dock solution is a right step forward for Lenovo, however i think it would be even better if Lenovo would use Thunderbolt type docking connector for the future OneLink Dock devices.
Once again i would like to thank Andreas Agotthelf for providing me with these close up pictures of the Lenovo OneLink Dock.