Plugging all of your devices into a power strip or an outlet means that you have a lot of cords all around your desk. Rather than possibly tripping over cords or being worried about surges, there has to be an easier way, especially if you want to use more than one monitor with your desktop computer. A docking station is here for all of your devices, allowing you to utilize many at once in order to get the most out of them.
If you need to transfer files from one device to the other, having a docking station is vital. You’ll be getting super-fast speeds for video transfers and displays and you can connect anything that has a USB connection. Docking stations will make your life easier and keep your devices all in one area. If you’re interested in using them all at once, you should definitely consider getting a docking station. Luckily for you, especially if you aren’t sure which one would be best for you, we’ve got you covered. Here are our picks for the best docking stations for your at-home office.
Best docking stations for PCs: Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station
Pros: Supports two displays, compatible with Windows
Cons: Not compatible with macOS or Surface
With so many different ports, the Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station provides you with a ton of versatility. There are two different USB 3.0 ports and four different USB 2.0 ports that can be used with the SuperSpeed link from PC to dual video connections. It also has an Ethernet port, DVI/VGA port, HDMI port, power input, connect to host port, plus audio in and audio out jacks. The HDMI port supports resolutions up to 2560 x 1440 with a single display and 1080P if two displays are attached. 2560 x 1440 mode will operate at a 50Hz refresh rate.
The Ethernet port supports 10 / 100 / 1000Mbps speeds and the DVI/VGA port supports up to 2048 x 1152 / 1920 x 1200. This docking station is the best for PCs because it is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and legacy XP systems. Surface RT, MacOS X, and Linux/Unix are not compatible. This is not recommended for gaming, however. This won’t charge your laptop while it is plugged in either. Also, the driver is available for download, giving you access rather than from a CD, which is good because who has a CD drive anymore?
Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station Dual Monitor for Windows and Mac, USB 3.0 or… List Price:$159.99 Price:$129.00 You Save:$30.99 (19%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Best for Microsoft Users: Microsoft Surface Dock 2
Pros: 80cm Surface Connect cable, four USB 3.0 ports
Cons: Needs other adapters if you need to plug in different cables
For those who are a big fan of their two-in-one Microsoft device, laptop, or have a Microsoft tablet, they should consider the Microsoft Surface Dock 2. This is awesome for Microsoft users because it’s compatible with the Surface Laptop 4 13.5″ and 15″, Surface Laptop 3 13.5″ and 15″, Surface Book 3 13.5″ and 15″, Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X, Surface Go 2. There are four USB 3.0 ports, two of them front-facing and two of them rear-facing. It also includes 3.5mm audio in/out ports. The Gigabit Ethernet port gives you speedy connections.
It comes with a magnetic Surface connect cable that allows you to transform your Surface into a desktop PC. You are plugging it into your dock with the Surface Connect cable. It allows you to get right to work and charges your devices while you’re able to plug in a mouse, keyboard, or external monitor, making it a great docking station for your at-home office. This has a minimalist design that won’t take up much room on your desk and you’ll get high-speed data transfers when you plug in your devices. But, it is also rather pricey.
Microsoft Surface Dock 2 - for Notebook/Desktop PC/Smartphone/Monitor/Keyboard/Mouse - 199 W -… List Price:$259.99 Price:$219.80 You Save:$40.19 (15%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Most versatile docking stations: Kensington USB 3.0 Dual 4K Display Docking Station
Pros: Six ports, great for the newest MacBooks
Cons: No USB-C ports, no way of mounting it
No matter what kind of laptop, computer, or device you have, the Kensington USB 3.0 Dual 4K Display Docking Station should be compatible with it. This station provides you with six different USB ports: two USB-A ports on the front and four USB-A ports on the back. It will help you consolidate your devices and connect to all of your peripheries via a single USB-A cable. This works with Surface Pros, Surface Books, MacBooks, and more. But you can also extend the display of your computer, thanks to the dual 4K display @ 60Hz versatility of the two display port outputs.
You’ll enjoy a clearer picture and speedy data transfers. It also supports lower resolutions like 3440×1440, 2560×1440, or 1920×1080. This can do so much, as there’s a ton of monitor compatibility. This even works for the new MacBooks or M1 MacBooks. The USB-A cable that is included is three meters in length, offering you more flexibility. You won’t be able to mount it and there are no USB-C ports, which may become issues for you.
Most portable: Hiearcool 9 in 2 Laptop Docking Station
Pros: Able to be plugged in and played, nine uses
Cons: Incompatible with MacBook M1 series
Whether you want to use it at home or at the office, the Hiearcool 9 in 2 Laptop Docking Station can come with you. This is a 9-in-2, triple display setup that’s compatible with many versions of the MacBook. This has 4K@60 resolution technology and triple extend that, which is something most docking stations cannot do. It can present HD video in 1HDMI for 4K 3840*2160@60Hz and 2HDMI for 4K 3840*2160@30Hz.
It is portable and lightweight, allowing you to keep all of your excess cords and dongles at home. It’s great that there are no drives needed, so you can plug it in and it starts to play. You’ll love the 1GB Ethernet port as well as the other options for data transfers. It also features an aluminum outer shell and long cord isolation. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use this with a new MacBook M1. It is very affordable though.
MacBook Pro Docking Station, 4K Triple Display Hiearcool 9 in 2 Laptop Docking Station Compatib… List Price:$85.99 Price:$56.09 You Save:$29.90 (35%) Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
Best for Dell users: Dell 452-BCYT D6000 Universal Dock
Pros: Shows in Ultra HD 5K on one screen or three 4K displays, four USB 3.0 ports
Cons: Needs a primary graphics card driver that is WDDM-compatible
The Dell 452-BCYT D6000 Universal Dock is a terrific option for Dell users. This will show Ultra HD 5K on one screen or three displays of 4K. There are four USB 3.0 ports and one USB-C port. It needs Display Link Driver installation. This includes a 130-Watt power adapter and needs a power deliver profile of up to 65W. The OS required is Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 32/64 bit or later.
This works with a wide variety of PC brands and operating systems. Supported by DisplayLink technology, it can easily connect to a mouse, displays, a keyboard, and audio devices. Also, it takes just plugging in the devices to play them. Make sure you have a primary graphics card driver that is WDDM-compatible.
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