Saturday, March 25, 2023

Docking Stations For Laptops

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Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Pro Dock

How to share a docking station between two computers with the Plugable Sharing Switch

This Belkin model is packed with connection possibilities, including two Thunderbolt 3 ports, DisplayPort, USB-A 3.1, USB-C 3.1, four USB-Z 3.0 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. Theres also a 170W power supply unit that offers up to 85W of charging power, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio in/out port. thats enough to support dual 4K displays, offer a 40Gbps data transfer speed, and manage all your peripherals without breaking a sweat. The stylish aluminum case also helps protect the dock while looking great.

The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Pro docking station is geared toward professional use at editing or design stations, and the price reflects that, but it can also be used at home in a busy home office, gaming station, or similar spot where you have a lot of connections that need management.

Best Laptop Docking Station Of 2022

This hands-on review of today’s ten best laptop docking stations can get you hooked up in a hurry. We pored over product specs, consumer reviews, and the marketing claims made by manufacturers, eventually settling on top-tier products that work with the most common computers and peripheral hardware. We also cataloged common characteristics such as product size and orientation, port types, and location as well as the power supply and monitor resolution. This system of analysis all but ensures that one will select the best possible product for their needs and budget.

Targus Docking Stations May Include

4K VideoWhether youre a video editor, create high-end content, or you just want to stream movies in ultra-high definition, a 4K-capable docking station is for you. You’ll get four times the quality of 1080P high-definition views with 4K resolution.

Dual DisplaysIts faster and easier to switch between documents or view spreadsheets side-by-side when you have two monitors instead of one. A Targus dual display dock gives you more screen real estate to work with to help boost your productivity.

Power DeliveryKeep your adapter in the bag with a docking station that delivers power. You’ll power up your laptop and your smartphone with your dock, and there’s no need plug in to an external wall power supply every time you arrive at your desk.

Thunderbolt 3 CompatibilityIdeal for the needs of professionals like designers, engineers, and animators that demand high speeds. Plug in your peripherals and monitors to a Thunderbolt 3 compatible dock to take advantage of the protocol’s operating speeds of up to 40Gbps.

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Plugable Usb 30 Universal Laptop Docking Station Dual Monitor

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Dimensions:Laptop Connection Type:REASONS TO BUY

The Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station Dual Monitor is a Windows general use device that attempts to cover a broad range of ports, both contemporary and antiquated. The dock house no less than 13 ports, as well as three extra adaptor cables. Additionally, the Plugable supports a monitor resolution up to 2560×1440 at 50Hz and a secondary screen up to 1920×1200 resolution at 60Hz.

The Plugable USB 3.0 Universal is a competitively priced, generic unit designed to be compatible with a wide range of devices. But, in the attempt to meet a broad set of needs, it fails to do any one thing at a high level. As such, the manufacturer warns that the device can not handle high-demand tasks such as gaming. Moreover, the unit lacks pass-through charging. As it is, one must use independent power cables for the laptop and docking station. Given these limitations, we recommend looking at some of the higher-rated devices here reviewed to get a more satisfying product.

Startech Dual Monitor Docking Station

Hiearcool Laptop Docking Station

Display ports have gone through quite a few updates over the years. Most of todays docking stations dont support legacy connections, but this StarTech dock can: It includes a DVI-to-VGA adapter to make any connection work, as well as HDMI adapters and five USB-A 3.0 ports for managing your keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc. Two of the USB ports on the front are fast-charging ports designed to top off your laptops battery in short order, too.

The StarTech dock may lack options like USB-C, but if youre working with DVI, VGA, and HDMI screens then its probably the solution you need. It also includes a headset jack and a separate mic port for audio options. We also like its space-saving vertical design.

Editors’ Recommendations

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The Best Laptop Docking Stations

A docking station is designed to make life easier for more complex laptop setups. These stations allow you to route monitor connections through your laptop, charge accessories, hold extra storage, and make your laptop a bit more functional. Its an ideal solution for managing projects on multiple screens via a laptop, streaming games to an audience, important editing or design work, and more. Weve reviewed many of the best laptops and looked at a lot of various docking stations for each: Here are our top recommendations!

Note: With the latest ports and operating systems, compatibility with Windows 11 or MacOS isnt really an issue. All our docking station picks work with both.

What Is A Docking Station For Laptop

In this guide, we will answer the question, what is a docking station for a laptop? If you have ever wondered what a laptop docking station is, you will find everything you need to know. We will explain what a laptop docking station is, how it works, why you should use one, and more.

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Best For Surface Pros

Ports: USB 3.2 Type-A USB Type-C audio out Gigabit Ethernet | Display: USB Type-C supports up to two 4K displays at 60Hz

Microsoft’s Surface Pro line has always been distinguished by its distinctive blade-style connector, which delivers power, video, and peripheral connections through a decidedly proprietary format. You’ll also probably need adapter to connect the USB Type-C connectors on the rear to your external monitors. The latest entry in the company’s docking options requires a reasonably modern Surface Pro device . If you meet those specs, you get 199W of power, support for dual 4K displays, and a total of six USB ports. The list price for this dock is much higher, but it’s been discounted from Day 1.


  • Support for dual 4K displays


Kensington Usb 30 Docking Station

Must Have Laptop Accessories 2.0! Dream Docking Station Setup

Kensington is a well-known and respected brand which has developed a reputation for its docking stations. Its latest USB 3.0 model can be used with MacBook or Windows laptops.

This device will let you transform one USB port into six . You also get a DVI connector and adapters to use it with either HDMI or VGA leads, and theres an optional multi-display adapter for hooking up more than one monitor.

Some users have reported that Windows 10 doesn’t always automatically recognize it, so you may need to download new drivers from the Kensington support page.

It sits nicely next to your laptop, and is affordably priced it really is one of the best laptop docking stations around right now.

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Best Dell Laptop Docking Station For Older Models

Ports: USB Type-A USB Type-C speaker output combo audio Gigabit Ethernet | Display: HDMI DisplayPort up to three simultaneous 4K displays or a single 5K display

You can find a dizzying selection of docking stations at Dell’s website, with a half-dozen Dell-branded docks on the Products For Work page and a much larger selection on the Products for Home page.

We suggest the $200 D6000 Universal Dock for older PCs that aren’t equipped with USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. This dock has an impressive assortment of ports, delivers up to 65W of power, and can handle up to three displays at once. The downside is that the USB 3.0 connection uses DisplayLink technology, which can cause driver issues in some configurations.


Do Docking Stations Charge Laptops

  • Chris Dosser

If you buy something using the retail links in our articles, sometimes we earn a small affiliate commission. This does not impact the products we recommend.

You work from a laptop yet the majority of your time is spent at a desk. Sound familiar?

If so youll easily be able to associate how much of an inconvenience it can be when you have access to only a small number of ports far less than seen on a PC , yet the need to link up to multiple peripheral devices stays the same.

This is why docking stations with their wide array of ports are so popular and form an essential part of any desk setup powered by a laptop. One attractive proposition of using a docking station is that with only a single connection going from the dock to your laptop, you get video display for monitor, a hard wired ethernet connection to the network and numerous ports to accommodate all of your peripherals.If your laptop supports USB-C or Thunderbolt charging, which most new laptops do nowadays, youll also be able to take advantage of docking stations that have the ability to throughput power and charge your laptop whilst the two are connected.

Moreover, docking stations can simultaneously charge multiple devices if the unit has more than one powered port and the wattage demands of each device is met.

This means that with only a single USB-C or Thunderbolt port youll be able to receive charge without the need to be connected directly to your laptops native charger.

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Docking Station Solutions From Lenovo

Lenovo offers custom-tailored docks for your Lenovo ThinkPad, laptop as well as universal docking station models that let you seamlessly connect to all your accessories with most any brand of laptop via modern USB C docking station, Thunderbolt 3 docking station, and other plugable docking station solutions.

Whatâs more, with a charging dock station youâll be able to keep your device powered for those lengthy desktop computing sessions. Be sure to check out our docking station bundles to save on all the top accessories youâll need to make computing a breeze.

Keep Your Desk Clutter

Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Pro Dock Docking Station, Black (Refurbished ...

Using a laptop as a desktop replacement means connecting multiple devices. This, in turn, means multiple wires. Universal docking stations act as a central hub. Some, especially device or manufacturer specific models, offer dedicated physical space for speakers and monitors as well as the laptop itself. The universal laptop dock allows you to stow away wires and cables so that you can keep a tidy and clutter-free desktop.

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How Did We Choose These Laptop Docking Stations

We compared important docking station specifications, including price, connection type, power, video outputs, ports, audio input/output, and wired ethernet to find the best option for you.

In this guide, we list some popular, well-reviewed dock options. But they’re not all equal. Before you choose one for your work-from-home office, here’s what you should look for.

In making our selections, we focused on docking stations designed for use with Windows laptops or MacBooks . If you’re looking to expand your Chromebook to the desktop, we recommend checking compatibility carefully. Among third-party hardware makers, only Kensington offers a wide selection of docks with ChromeOS support.

The Best Docking Stations For Windows Laptops In 2022

Heard of the spy who came in from the cold? Here’s the laptop that came in from the road. Our guide to the top desktop docking solutions will keep you ultra-productive when you’re in the office…wherever that is nowadays.

I was picked to write the “20 Most Influential PCs” feature for PCMag’s 40th Anniversary coverage because I remember them allI started on a TRS-80 magazine in 1982 and served as editor of Computer Shopper when it was a 700-page monthly. I was later the editor in chief of Home Office Computing, a magazine that promoted using tech to work from home two decades before a pandemic made it standard practice. Even in semiretirement in Bradenton, Florida, I can’t stop playing with toys and telling people what gear to buy.

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Why Kensington For Laptop & Desktop Docking Stations Simple

With over 35 years of experience, and as a global leader in desktop productivity solutions since 2006, Kensington is the Professionals’ Choice for universal laptop & desktop docking stations. From professional-grade industry design, to the user interface, every docking station is quality tested above industry standards and backed with superior warranties, along with unmatched sales support both before and after you purchase your docking stations. And with an experienced supply chain, we are experts in large or small-scale deployments.

Startechcom Triple Monitor Usb 30 Docking Station

Tech Tips Remote: How to use a docking station.
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Dimensions:Laptop Connection Type:REASONS TO BUY

The Triple Monitor USB 3.0 Docking Station connects seamlessly to both Windows and macOS machines via a USB-B to USB-A adapter cable . This slim unit houses 5 USB 3.0 ports , 2 Display Ports, and 1 HDMI. The StarTech also has Ethernet, microphone, and headset ports to round out the dock’s peripheral device accommodations. Finally, the unit can manage up to 3 displays simultaneously pretty impressive, in our minds.

While there is much to like about the StarTech dock, it is not without its shortcomings. Our main criticism is that the device will not charge the laptop when connected though this may appeal to the consummate traveler as it eliminates an additional power adapter for the dock. As it is, the user must charge their laptop with a separate cord. Also, the max resolution of the display connected drops with each additional monitor added. For example, if running three monitors, the first will be 3840 x 2160p, while the other two will be just 2048 x 1152p. Regardless of these limitations , this unit will be a go-to for jet-setters as the power cord comes standard with common international power plug adaptors.

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Docks For A Specific Pc Brand

If you bought a name-brand PC, there’s a good chance that the maker of that device has at least one and probably several dock options for you to choose from. The biggest advantage, of course, is that you can expect the two devices to work together properly and if they don’t, you don’t have to put up with the finger-pointing that can occur when you encounter a conflict between a PC and a third-party peripheral.

This section includes information about docks designed for use with Windows PCs from Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft. As for Apple, well, let’s get that out of the way first.

What’s The Difference Between A Usb Hub And A Docking Station

A USB hub is a device that used when your laptop or desktop has limited integrated ports, and gives you more ways to connect peripherals like mice and keyboards as well as thumb drives and external hard drives. A docking station can do that as well, but they also have ports for connecting monitors via DisplayPort or HDMI cables so you can have a second screen for easier multitasking when you need to work on your laptop.

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Best For With Or Without Thunderbolt 3 Support

Ports: USB 3 Type-A USB Type-C Gigabit Ethernet combo audio | Display: DisplayPort supports two 4K displays at 60Hz with Thunderbolt 3 with USB-C Alt Mode, supports one 4K display or two 1080p monitors at 30Hz

Kensington’s site is packed with useful technical information. If you’re stumped about what the various connector specifications mean, visit its main page for some useful tech help. The SD5500T dock works with just about any modern Windows PC or Mac, with or without Thunderbolt 3 support. And while it packs many useful features it does not have a microSD card slot.


  • Works with or without Thunderbolt 3 support
  • Helpful website with technical information


Analysis And Test Results

The Best Laptop Docking Stations for Every Laptop â Review Geek

The laptop docking market is saturated and as a result, picking the right device to meet your needs can be challenging. That’s where we can lend a helping hand. This review of docking stations is an in-depth analysis of the leading devices on the market. We researched, bought, and tested each unit. Our evaluation included the range of functionality including port types, charging method as well as dock size and orientation. Additionally, we evaluated the number of displays supported and the corresponding resolution and refresh rate. Read on for the details of our analysis, including which models performed the best and why.

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Best Basic Docking Station

Ports: USB 3.0 Type-A USB Type-C Gigabit Ethernet combo audio | Display: DisplayPort supports one 5K display or up to two 4K displays with Thunderbolt 3 in USB-C Alt Mode, supports one 4K display or two 1080p displays at 30Hz

This hybrid dock is ideal if you have multiple laptops that have a mix of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connections. USB-C PD delivers up to 60W, which is enough for most midsize laptops. Windows PCs might need Thunderbolt 3 updates and custom network drivers to work properly. Note that the manufacturer specifically advises that Chromebooks are not compatible with this dock.


A basic docking station

Workstation Productivity And Laptop Portability

Our laptop docking stations enable the productivity of a full-scale workstation, with the portability of a laptop. Work with multiple monitors, Gigabit Ethernet, and access all your peripherals and devices while at your desk. Easily disconnect your laptop to go to your meeting then, reconnect just as effortlessly.

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