One PC not enough? Intel’s new Thunderbolt Share lets you chain two PCs together

Intel Thunderbolt share demo
(Image credit: Intel)

In a week of huge AI announcements, some PC news slips by. Yesterday, Intel quietly unveiled a new way to share between PCs with Thunderbolt Share. 

Share is a proprietary software app that Intel will license to laptop, desktop and PC manufacturers like MSI, Acer and Belkin. For computers with Thunderbolt 4 or 5, Thunderbolt Share allows two computers to be connected directly to one another via a standard Thunderbolt cable.

Fundamentally, we have been able to share between two PCs for years via USB or Thunderbolt. However, Share acts more like trading Pokemon on a Gameboy but with faster speeds. 

That said, the process will require the Thunderbolt app which is being licensed to OEMs. And Intel has already said that this will only work on Windows devices with no apparent plans to offer it to Apple users

Intel claims that with Thunderbolt Share, users will be able to share their mice, keyboards, screens, storage and other USB peripherals. It works across monitors, desktops and laptops and is supposed to be flexible to how users want to connect devices. 

File sharing seems to be a big feature of Share. Instead of sharing individual files, folders can be synchronized across the two computers. Intel showed an example of a photographer transferring files from a laptop to a desktop quickly. It can also be used to synchronize Lightroom libraries.

Specifically, Intel called out the ability to transfer data from an older computer to a new one directly via Thunderbolt, which is a timesaver compared to transferring things to an external drive or the cloud. 

PCs can be connected via the Thunderbolt ports or, if a port is lacking, a Thunderbolt accessory like a dock or a monitor. However, you won’t be able to share an internet connection, which might affect users on multi-person projects. 

According to an Intel slideshow, users can mirror one computer’s screen to another at 1080p resolution and zero compression. For example, a gamer could have a game on the desktop and the laptop as a second screen running other programs, like a stat tracker for Valorant.

Intel claims that manufacturers are already working on accessories and Thunderbolt-enabled computers. The company did not provide exact dates on when Thunderbolt Share will be available, but it expects it to debut in the second half of 2024. 

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Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.