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Best Laptop Docking Stations | Windows Central


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Best laptop docking stations

What are best docking stations for my laptop?

Using a docking station with your laptop can effectively turn it into a desktop. Connect external monitors, printers, and other office devices to maximize efficiency and output. Want to know which laptop docking station is best for you? Here’s a roundup of the best docking stations you can get right now.

Elgato Thunderbolt 3 dock

Elgato Thunderbolt 3 dock

More and more laptops are being manufactured with Thunderbolt 3 ports, and docking stations are keeping up with the trend. This product from Elgato (about $300) can support dual 4K displays or a single 5K display, and also charges your device with up to 85W of power.

The Wirecutter named this its runner-up choice — The CalDigit TS3 is the top choice, but some recent quality concerns from reviewers have kept it out of our list for the time being — when it comes to Thunderbolt docks, saying:

If the TS3 is out of stock or its price increases, Elgato’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock offers the same set of ports except eSATA, and each performed just as well as the TS3’s in our tests. If you need eSATA ports, the TS3 is your only option, but most people won’t mind their absence.

In all, the dock has two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, three USB-A 3.0, one DisplayPort 1.2 (with support for HDMI 1.4), one RJ45 Ethernet, and 3.5mm jacks for headphone and microphone. If your laptop primarily uses USB-C ports to connect, this dock is a solid option.

See at Amazon

Plugable USB-C triple display docking station

Plugable USB-C triple display docking station

Your laptop connects via USB-C with power delivery to charge your laptop while you work; connect also your mouse, keyboard, headphones, microphone, and up to three external displays, and you’ll still have ports to spare. It has both USB 3.0 and USB-C ports, so you can combine products that use both ports, and you can connect a 4K monitor. Laptop Mag made this dock its top pick:

Between its support for both charging and video over USB Type-C, along with its ability to output at 4K, you won’t need to replace this peripheral for a long time.

If you’re looking for the most versatile laptop dock that will change your laptop into a desktop, you have to go with the Plugable USB-C triple display docking station — it starts at about $180. Windows, MacOS, and Linux are all supported.

See at Amazon

Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 docking station

Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 docking station

Likened to be the smaller sibling of the Plugable USB-C triple display dock, the Plugable UD-3900 still has quite a few features for a low price — about $95. If you don’t think you’ll need three displays or a 4K monitor, the Plugable UD-3900 will be a great low-cost option that currently sits at a 4.5-star rating with more than 2,250 reviews on Amazon.

It has four USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, a DVI port (60Hz), and an HDMI port (50Hz at 1440p, 60Hz at 1080p) on the back, as well as two USB 3.0 ports on the front for quick, easy access. Connect your laptop through a USB 3.0 cable, then connect up to two external displays, as well as a keyboard, mouse, and headphones. Even after all these connections, you’ll still have ports left open.

See at Amazon

Dell D3100 USB 3.0 docking station

Dell D3100 docking station

Are you looking for a dock with 4K support and a sleek profile? Dell has you covered with its D3100 dock that connects to your laptop via a USB 3.0 cable. It doesn’t support USB-C, but for the price — about $130 — it remains a contender. Laptop Mag named it an Editor’s Choice in its review, going on to say:

Users who want to connect over USB Type-C will need to buy a dongle, but otherwise, the D3100 is an inexpensive and compelling option that will work with most of today’s computers.

This thing has enough ports for all your office’s devices and supports up to three external monitors — one in 4K, the other two in 1080p. There’s also an Ethernet port and a handful of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports; low-end laptops might see minor performance issues, but otherwise the Dell D3100 will keep everything running smoothly no matter how much stuff you have plugged in. If you need a dock that can power more 4K displays at once, definitely check out the updated Dell D6000 station.

See at Amazon

Updated October 19, 2017: We’ve refreshed this list to ensure you’re still getting the absolute best docking stations for your laptop.



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