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Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station review

Published Feb 19th, 2023 5:01PM EST
Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station Vertical
Christian de Looper for BGR

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Thunderbolt 4 is well and truly here, delivering faster speeds, more versatility, and more. But Thunderbolt 3 docks are still more common than those that support Thunderbolt 4, and the Thunderbolt 4 docks that are out there are relatively pricey, while not necessarily offering all that many ports.

The Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station bucks that trend a little. Sure, it’s still expensive — but it also expands your computer with a ton of extra ports.

Does that make it the best docking station out there? I’ve reviewed a number of Thunderbolt 4 docking stations over the pas few years or so — and the Plugable option is a serious contender. Here’s what makes it so great.

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station review

Rating: 3.5 Stars
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Pros

  • Well-built
  • Tons of ports
  • Quad display support
  • 2.5Gb Ethernet

Cons

  • No Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Expensive

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station design

The first thing you’ll notice about the Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station is its design, and while it’s a good-looking product, it doesn’t necessarily look all that different from other Thunderbolt 4 docks. It is a little different though — with its rounded side that gives a slightly more approachable look.

The dock still has a black and silver color-scheme, and a more utilitarian look than the more design-centric Thunderbolt docks from companies like Satechi. That said, the Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station still looks good. It is a little larger than some of the other options, but it’ll still fit on most desks or tables without any issues.

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station DesignImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The dock can be placed horizontally or vertically, which is nice, too. It should look right at home on any desk or in any office setting.

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station ports

Of course, the best thing about this dock has little to do with its design — and a lot to do with the huge number of ports it has.

First, the ports on the front. You’ll get an SD card slot, a microSD card slot, and one USB 3.1 port. There’s also a USB 2.0 port, an audio jack, and a USB-C port for connecting a laptop. This last port can deliver up to 98W of power, which is quite good — though not as high as some other Thunderbolt 4 docks. You’ll also get a power button.

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station BackImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

On the back, Plugable has included two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 port, a USB-C 3.1 port with 7.5W power delivery, a 2.5Gb Ethernet port, two DisplayPort 1.2 ports, and two HDMI 2.0 ports.

It’s an excellent port selection overall, but Thunderbolt 4 ports and more USB-C ports would have been nice. This dock is meant to expand on the ports you get on your laptop, and it’s likely your laptop offers more USB-C ports than this.

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station features and support

The Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station supports both Windows and macOS, though you’ll get the best experience on Windows. With Windows, you’ll be able to get quad display support, while macOS users will be limited to two displays.

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station FrontImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The dock supports 4K displays — but only at 60Hz. You won’t be able to get higher resolution or higher refresh rate support here, unfortunately. That said, it should still be enough for most people.

On Windows, you’ll need to have Windows 10 or later. On MacOS, you’ll need MacOS 11 or later.

Conclusions

The Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station is a great option for anyone who needs to expand the number of ports on their laptop. It offers up a great selection of ports with both USB and video outputs, and not only does it look great, it’s also quite versatile.

It’s not perfect. The Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Quad Display Docking Station is relatively expensive, and it doesn’t support displays of a higher resolutions or refresh rates.

The competition

There are plenty of alternative options. For example, there’s the CalDigit TS4, which offers multiple Thunderbolt 4 ports — unlike this dock. There’s also the Kensington SD5700T, which also has multiple Thunderbolt 4 docks. But neither of those offer quite as many ports as this one.

Should I buy the Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station?

Yes. If you want a dock with a ton of extra ports and don’t need Thunderbolt 4 docks, this is a great option.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper is based in sunny Santa Cruz, California. He has been expertly reviewing tech products for more than 8 years, and brings experience in deep technical analysis of consumer electronics devices to BGR's reviews channel.

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