The best Thunderbolt docking stations for laptops

3 months ago 93
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Laptops are great, but a Thunderbolt docking presumption tin marque them adjacent better. Anyone who had an older instrumentality volition miss the plethora of ports that was erstwhile available. USB-A, B, video outputs similar VGA and HDMI, and adjacent disc drives utilized to populate the sides of our mobile machines. Unfortunately, arsenic laptops got thinner and much tightly integrated and the request for definite ports vanished, the ports dilatory faded away. 

The Dell XPS 13 I’m typing connected close now, for example, has a measly 2 USB-C ports and a operation headphone/microphone jack. To usage aggregate accessories these days, you’ll request to instrumentality a look astatine immoderate Thunderbolt docking stations for your machine.

The champion Thunderbolt docks: things to know

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Thunderbolt 1 and 2 utilized a Mini DisplayPort larboard arsenic their mediums, but the modern implementations, Thunderbolt 3 and 4, usage USB-C for superior powerfulness transportation and information transportation speeds. Some laptops, specified arsenic AMD-powered machines, person USB-C ports but don’t enactment a Thunderbolt protocol, truthful beryllium definite to cheque with your circumstantial shaper for accusation astir your peculiar device.

Don’t person Thunderbolt? Check retired the champion USB hubs instead.

If your instrumentality has USB-C but doesn’t enactment Thunderbolt, you whitethorn inactive beryllium capable to usage these docking stations, albeit with restricted functionality, specified arsenic circumstantial ports not being disposable for use. This volition alteration from instrumentality to machine, so, unfortunately, we wouldn’t beryllium capable to archer you however good your instrumentality volition enactment 1 of these docking stations. 

Be definite to cheque with your laptop shaper for compatibility information.

Most mid-range and high-end Intel systems enactment either Thunderbolt 3 oregon 4 depending connected however caller the instrumentality is but cognize that the lone important quality volition beryllium information transportation speeds and perchance the fig of outer screens your instrumentality volition support. Again, cheque with the shaper of your instrumentality for accusation astir your circumstantial exemplary earlier investing successful a laptop docking station. 

Lastly, see wherever you volition beryllium utilizing your docking station. Some are made to beryllium portable, portion immoderate are tailored for desktop use.


Belkin Thunderbolt 3 docking station

belkin thunderbolt dock

This docking presumption from Belkin has 2 HDMI ports susceptible of supporting 2 4K displays if your laptop tin bash the same. It besides has a USB 3.0 larboard for accelerated information transfers from an outer hard drive. The USB 2.0 larboard connected this dock is cleanable for an outer keyboard and/or mouse.

Related: The champion machine mice

Lastly, the dock has a gigabit ethernet larboard for reliable net entree connected the go, specified arsenic successful a hotel. The tiny size and durable aluminum operation marque it cleanable for travel. 


Dell Business Dock

dell thunderbolt dock

Dell’s docking stations are best-suited for desktop situations. Keep your display(s), rodent and keyboard, ethernet, and different needed accessories plugged into the dock truthful that erstwhile you travel location with your laptop, you tin simply dock it and person a full-force desktop environment.

Further reading: The champion 27-inch monitors you tin buy

This 1 has VGA, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, Displayport, ethernet, 2 USB 2.0 and 3 USB 3.0 ports, 2x 3.5mm audio output, and a Kensington lock, if you’re into that. Conveniently, it besides has different Thunderbolt 3 larboard connected it. The enactment is massive, which is wherefore this docking presumption needs its ain AC adapter plugged into an outlet to relation properly. 


Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock

satechi thunderbolt dock

This Thunderbolt 4 dock is backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3 arsenic well. Like the Dell exemplary above, this Satechi docking presumption has truthful galore ports that it volition request other powerfulness from the partition erstwhile galore high-powered gadgets are successful use. Oddly enough, it seems to person everything but a show output, meaning you’ll request an extra dongle for immoderate HDMI, VGA, oregon DisplayPort devices you whitethorn privation to plugin. 

See also: The champion monitors you tin buy

With this dock, you’ll get 4 USB-C ports, 4 USB-A ports, gigabit ethernet, an SD paper reader, and 3.5mm audio. Any of the USB-C ports volition besides supply powerfulness passthrough for charging the laptop that it is plugged into. The plethora of USB-C ports connected this dock creates galore possibilities for those who usage galore USB-C devices daily.


Anker Docking Station

anker thunderbolt dock

You whitethorn person heard of Anker from the company’s assorted earbuds, USB-C accessories, artillery banks, etc. Anker makes large worldly for a large price. Its docking presumption is nary antithetic with its 2 HDMI ports, 3 USB-C ports, gigabit ethernet, SD paper reader, and 4 USB-A ports. 

See also: The champion 24-inch monitors

This is different fantastic desktop enactment where, similar the Dell exemplary above, you tin permission everything plugged successful and dock a laptop to it with a azygous USB-C connection. This dock supports Thunderbolt 4 arsenic good arsenic Thunderbolt 3. 


j5create Triple Display Docking Station

j5create thunderbolt dock

This docking presumption from j5create is simply a beauty. It contains astir each larboard you mightiness request successful a slim signifier factor. The wedge-like signifier allows you to acceptable a laptop connected apical of it, which volition make an ergonomic typing space portion providing you with a ample enactment of ports. 

See also: The champion show arms for your table setup

Port enactment is arsenic follows: USB-C for charging, gigabit ethernet, SD and microSD paper readers, different USB-C, 3 USB-A, 2 HDMI ports, DisplayPort, and VGA for bequest connections. All those video outs springiness this docking presumption the quality to enactment up to 3 displays astatine a time. Naturally, however, it volition besides request to beryllium plugged into the partition to unlock afloat functionality. 


Kensington Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station

kensington thunderbolt dock

This laptop dock from Kensington whitethorn beryllium 1 of the champion docking stations for originative professionals with UHS-II SD and microSD paper slots, and gigabit ethernet for accelerated connections to a NAS oregon camera cards. The DisplayPort 1.4 ports are a large summation since they volition connection the champion representation prime connected high-end contented instauration monitors. 

See also: The champion laptops for originative professionals

Other ports see an other USB-C, 3 USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack. This dock whitethorn beryllium small, but owed to its almighty specs, it volition request other powerfulness from the wall, which volition beryllium perfectly good if this dock stays connected a desk. 

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