Compared to desktop computers, laptops tend to lack functionality due to their limited number of conventional ports. This can be a major setback if your laptop doesn’t offer enough ports for you to connect all your essential peripherals, and that’s where docking stations come into play.
Top Rated Docking Stations
- Flexible expandability – a single usb 3.0 connection from a host pc to this dock provides dual video
- Dual hd monitors – built-in hdmi and dvi outputs each supporting 1920×1200 resolution @ 60hz refresh
- 2 year warranty – we love our plugable products, and hope you will too.
- 2 x usb 2.0 to 4 pin usb type a, 1 x headphone input and output 3.5 millimetre
- 1 x display / video: displayport output : 20 pin displayport, super speed cable
- 2 x display / video: hdmi: 19 pin hdmi type a, 1x hdmi dvi adapter included
- Triple display usb c hub: expand triple monitors with our usb c hub. 2 x 4k-hdmi ports
- 11 in 1 docking station: pd charging port, gigabit rj45 port, 2 x 4k hdmi ports, vga port, sd/tf
- Smart usb c-hub: equipped with the newest generation super smart chip, up to100w
Laptop Docking Stations – Our Reviews
Not all laptop docking stations are created equal, as some offer more features and connections than others. With that said, pinpointing the ideal laptop docks can be challenging, which is why we’ve narrowed down your options to only 8 high-quality hubs that you can pick from.
1. Plugable Docking Station UD-3900
2. Best Dell Docking Station D3100
3. Hiearcool UCN3270
5. Dell WD19
6. Hiearcool UCN3322
7. YXwin USB-C Hub
8. Kensington K33972US
Best Docking Station for Your Laptop – Buyers Guide
As you might have concluded from our product reviews, not all laptop docking stations are built the same. These peripheral devices tend to vary in terms of size, design, compatibility, number of ports, resolution, and more, which means that you need to be extra critical of your choice.
We’re pretty confident that one of the above-reviewed hubs will meet your requirements, but for you to pinpoint the right laptop docking station for your needs, you’ll have to consider a number of factors. In this section, we go over each of the factors that should influence your selection.
Laptop docking stations tend to come in two variations in terms of design: horizontal hubs and vertical hubs. Horizontal docking stations tend to take up more desk space than vertical docks. Unfortunately, the vast majority of laptop docking stations are of the horizontal variety.
Nevertheless, almost all laptops hubs are highly compact and portable whether they’re vertical or horizontal, so carrying them around in your laptop bag should never be a problem. Also, the vast majority tend to weigh under 20 ounces, so they’re not much of a burden to carry.
When in the market for a docking station for your laptop, compatibility should be the most critical factor on your list. Don’t make the mistake of blindly purchasing a laptop docking station without checking its compatibility as it might require a host port that your laptop doesn’t feature.
Check the dock’s specifications and make sure that it’s compatible with one of your laptop’s host ports. Moreover, some hubs are only compatible with laptops running Microsoft Windows, so it’s also critical to check whether or not the dock is compatible with your operating system.
The main reason why you’re investing in a laptop docking station is that you’re looking to make use of extra ports, correct? This means that you should automatically disregard any laptop hub that offers fewer ports than you need for your peripherals. Generally, the more ports the better.
If you’re not quite sure how many ports you need, just make sure you don’t purchase a hub that offers less than five USB ports. Further, if you plan on running a multi-display setup, you should make sure that the docking station is capable of supporting your required number of monitors.
If you’re involved in work that has to do with multimedia content, it’s very important that you set up a multi-monitor configuration in order to boost your workflow and make it more efficient. And since every detail matters as far as multimedia content, you should aim for high resolution.
There are a lot of laptop docking stations that are able to support 4K display resolution such as the Dell D3100 or the Hiearcool UCN3270, just to name a few. There are also higher-end units that can support 5K display resolution, but these tend to be comparatively more expensive.
Generally speaking, you should invest your money in a docking station that could support FHD resolution (1080p) as a bare minimum. Anything below FHD resolution isn’t really worth it. You should also make sure the dock is capable of supporting a triple-monitor setup if needed.
Laptop docking stations that highlight charging options are few and far between, but they’re still fairly available. If you think that constantly plugging and unplugging your charger is going to be a hassle, such hubs can be extremely useful. Just keep in mind that such units tend to be costly.
The pricing of laptop docking stations is as diverse as their designs and features. Expect to pay around $100-$150 for a quality hub with an adequate number of ports and 4K resolution. There are higher-end models that cost around the $200 mark and can support 5K resolution.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re asking yourself what is a laptop docking station, you will find all the answers below…
What Does a Docking Station Do for a Laptop?
The main purpose of a docking station is to expand a laptop’s functionality with the aid of extra ports that you can use to connect external peripherals and monitors. So rather than having just 2-3 onboard ports, a docking station will grant you 4-6 additional USB ports that you can use.
Can I Close My Laptop and Still Use an External Monitor?
Yes, you can. All you need to do is head to the Control Panel and run the Power Options applet. Thereafter, go to the properties sheet and select the Advanced tab. Click the “When I close the lid of my portable computer” and select the “Do nothing” option.
Do I Need a Docking Station for Dual Monitors?
For most laptops, yes, considering that the vast majority of laptops feature only one VGA/HDMI port. This makes it imperative for you to have a dock if you plan on having a multi-monitor setup.
Do Docking Stations Work with All Laptops?
Compatibility is a huge concern when it comes to docking stations. Most laptop hubs are based on USB 3.0 technology, meaning that your laptop needs to feature a USB 3.0 host port. Another thing that you should be mindful of when selecting a dock is operating system compatibility.
What Is The Best USB C Docking Station?
The best USB C docking station might be one of the most important office supplies that you will purchase; for us it is the Hiearcool UCN3270. You’re going to need it for your new laptop, and many people don’t realize that their laptop doesn’t come with a port to connect external devices like monitors. So if you want to get work done at home or in an office, then this is something that you are going to have to buy.
There you have it, the best laptop docking stations available today. Any of the above-reviewed units will do just fine, you just need to figure out what your requirements are with the aid of our buyer’s guide in order to ensure the best bang for your buck.
If you’re looking to make a safe selection, we suggest opting for the Plugable UD-3900, as it’s a very well-rounded dock in terms of design and functionality. If build quality is what you champion the most, then the Dell D3100 and WD19 should be at the top of your list.
Restricted by a tight budget? Both the Hiearcool UCN3270 and YXwin USB-C Hub offer a ton of value at highly affordable prices. They might not feature Dell’s excellent build quality, but they’re definitely very capable. Let us know which of the above-mentioned units you think is the best.