The best laptop docking stations in 2024

Laptop docking stations are neat little gadgets that can help you upgrade your home laptop setup into a fully-fledged workstation. A docking station lets laptops upload their display to full-sized external displays, connect a proper keyboard and mouse and a wired Ethernet connection, as well as direct access to external devices like backup drives, scanners, and printers. 

Besides the instant connection to work accessories, the ultimate perk of a docking station is its compact form factor, which allows it to fit comfortably on your desk — even if you don’t have much room. The best laptop docking stations feature multi-port connectivity for all other devices, powerful performance, and even video output. 

Also: Best laptop cooling pads

What is the best laptop docking station right now?

We researched and went hands-on with some of the top laptop docking stations available to help you choose the right one for your setup. Our pick for the best laptop docking station overall is the Ugreen Docking Station Triple Display 12-in-1. We highly recommend it for its multitude of ports and support for 8K resolution. Of course, there are a ton of other options out there. Here are the rest of our picks.

The best laptop docking stations of 2024

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Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station

Best laptop docking station overall

Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station specs: Ports: HDMI 8K (1), HDMI 4K (1), DP 4K (1), PD 3.0 100w (1), USB-A (3), USB-C 10Gbps (1), Gigabit Ethernet (1), SD/Micro SD card slot (1), 3.5mm AUX port (1) | Display: HDMI: 4K @ 60 Hz (1), 8K @ 30Hz (1); DisplayPort 4K @ 30Hz (1); supports up to 3 total displays 

Our pick for the best laptop docking station overall is the Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station. This monolith can meet all of your productivity needs and then some thanks to its wide variety of ports. It has two HDMI ports (one for 8K output and one for 4K output), three USB ports, two for SD cards, and a pair of DisplayPort inputs, just to name a few.

Ugreen’s Revodok docking station is a great addition to in any office setting. It offers consistent performance as it handles numerous connections seamlessly. What’s particularly noteworthy is the fact it can send a signal from a single computer up to three different displays. Not only that, this docking station can display content in either 4K or 8K resolution via the appropriate HDMI port, so you can be sure the video or images you’re sharing with others will maintain their high resolution.

Review: Even Mac owners can have three displays with this Ugreen docking station

Additionally, being able to project onto multiple screens can help improve work efficiency as you won’t have to switch between windows over and over. All the information you need can be right in front of you.

This triple display support is thanks to DisplayLink technology, an important add-on allowing Ugreen’s docking station to work with PCs and M1 Macs. As you can imagine, the software is very helpful to Mac owners as they’re no longer restricted to just one screen.

The rear of Ugreen's Thunderbolt 4 docking station

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Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station, 9-in-1 USB-C

The best value Ugreen laptop docking station

Ugreen Revodok 9-in-1 USB-C docking station: Ports: HDMI 4K (2), DP 4K (2), PD 3.0 100W (1), USB-A (2), USB-C (1), Gigabit Ethernet (1) | Display: HDMI: 4K @ 60 Hz (2), DisplayPort 4K @ 30Hz (2); supports up to 2 total displays via HDMI and DP 

If the Revodok 12-in-1 unit is too much for you, Ugreen has a great alternative in the Revodok 9-in-1 docking station. As you can obviously tell by the name, this is a smaller, more compact version of the first model we covered. It excludes a USB-A input, the SD card slot and it completely forgoes audio output. Also, it can’t output 8K resolution video. Although you lose some ports, you also gain some.

In the place of these lost ports is an additional HDMI 4K port as well as an extra DisplayPort 4K slot. With these two, you can extend a signal from either your PC or Mac to dual 4K monitors at 60Hz. Owners can choose between extended or mirrored display mode and switch between the two effortlessly.

The Power Delivery (PD) slow offers 100W Fast Charge. Ugreen claims you can fully charge a MacBook Pro 15-inch in about 1.5 hours, however, you will need a power brick to connect to in order to provide charging. It can’t do it by itself. The good news is it does work with MacBook and third-party chargers.

If you ever need to send files from one laptop to another, Ugreen’s Revodok 9-in-1 can help you out since it offers data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps for lightning-fast delivery.

Ugreen 9-in-1 USB-C docking station

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CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock

Best laptop docking station for MacBooks

CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock specs: Ports: Thunderbolt 3 (2), USB-A 3.0 (5), USB-C (2), UHS-II SD card reader (1), DisplayPort (1), 3.5mm Mic line in and Audio out (1), Gigabit Ethernet port (1)  | Display: 4K @60Hz display (2), 5K @60Hz (1); supports up to 2 total displays

Apple makes its own docking stations for MacBooks, but the main problem with first-party devices is that they’re very limited in what they can do. The Digital AV Multiport Adapter, for example, only comes with three inputs and a USB-C cable at the end. To make up for this, Apple sells multiple third-party in its online store, and among the selection, the best is the TS3 Plus Dock from CalDigit.

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It’s similar to other entries on the list as it sports 15 individual ports. Just to name a few, you have a pair of Thunderbolt 3 inputs, five USB-A ports, and an SD card reader on the front. As you probably guessed from that brief array, this docking station can output video. In fact, it can output up to two displays at once in 4K resolution at 60Hz. Or if you have a single screen, you can instead send a 5K video with a refresh rate of 60Hz.

The TS3 Plus Dock works with PCs as well as Mac computers, however. it caters more to Apple hardware. CalDigit’s device is capable of charging MacBooks up to 87 watts allowing you to power up your computer while transmitting files or working. The TS3 Plus Dock is even backward compatible as it works with old Apple laptops equipped with Intel processors. 

If you want a version with more ports, Apple also sells its big brother, the CalDigit TS4, on its digital storefront as well.

caldigit-ts3-plus-dock

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Monoprice 6-in-1 USB-C Multiport Adapter

Best portable docking station

Monoprice 6-in-1 USB-C Multiport 4k Adapter specs: Ports: USB-C (1), USB-A (2), SD card reader (1), microSD card reader (1), HDMI (1)  | Display: 4K@60Hz with DPT1.4 Alt Mode, 4K@30Hz with DPI1.2 Alt Mode

Docking stations can get big. After all, many of the high-end models can have as many as 15 ports on them; sometimes more. We recommend the Monoprice 6-in-1 USB-C Multiport 4K Adapter for people who want something more portable. It’s pretty small with the main body measuring a little over four-and-a-half inches long. At the far end is a two-inch cable ending in a USB-C plug. So you can fold the cable and put it in your pocket when you’re on the go. It’s perfectly compact.

On the body, you have a decent array of ports such as a USB-C input and two differently-sized SD card readers. It’s capable of outputting 4K video running at a refresh rate of up to 60Hz. Monoprice’s 6-in-1 adapter even has a power delivery passthrough of up to 100W. This means electricity coming from a wall outlet will pass through the adapter and into your laptop so it can charge. And the best part of this device is it’s dirt cheap for a docking station.

There are a few issues with this model. Due to its small size, it can’t hold many ports plus it lacks any audio inputs. And that USB-C cable at the far end can be too short for some people. You can’t be far from the adapter.

monoprice-6-in-1

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Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station

Best USB 3.0 docking station

Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station specs: Ports: USB 3.0 Type-A (2); USB 2.0 Type-A (4); HDMI (1); DVI (1); Gigabit Ethernet (1); 3.5mm audio jack (1); microphone jack (1) | Display: 1920×1200 at 60Hz (2); 2,560×1440 at 50Hz via HDMI (1)

For those who own older laptops, we recommend the Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station. This device has 11 ports in total with two of them being a pair of USB 3.0 inputs on the front for older machines to connect to. Because it supports an older protocol, the docking station does suffer from limited performance. It can’t do 8K or even 4K resolution video.

Also: Charge your devices for less with the best cheap USB hubs

Still, it does a pretty good job at what it can do. For instance, it can send video signals out to a pair of HDMI displays at a resolution of up to 1,920 x 1,200 pixels at a refresh rate of 60Hz. For a single screen, that quality gets bumped up to Quad HD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) at a refresh rate of 50Hz. 

True to its name, Plugable’s docking station has support for a wide array of operating systems from Windows 11, macOS, and ChromeOS. It’s even capable of supporting laptops running Windows 7. 

Even if you decide to finally let go of your beloved Windows 7 laptop, you can still keep this docking station and continue to use it when you upgrade since it comes with more modern USB-C inputs. What’s particularly interesting about this model is it comes with a microphone port — the only entry on this list to have one. Having this port available can be handy on older machines that may have malfunctioning parts or it’s already being taken up by another device. Plugable’s docking station essentially can add this functionality back to those models.

Plugable USB 3.0 universal laptop docking station

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Plugable 4K USB-C Docking Station Triple Monitor

Best laptop docking station for ChromeOS

Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Display Docking Station specs: Ports: USB-C (1), SD card reader (1), 3.5  microphone jack (1), 3.5 headphone jack, HDMI/DisplayPort – DisplayLink (2), HDMI/DisplayPort – Alt Mode (2), USB-A 3.0 (4), Gigabit Ethernet (1), USB-C with 100W Power Delivery (1) | Display: up to three simultaneous 4K resolution @ 60Hz displays

The Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Display Docking Station has a lot of similarities to Ugreen’s Revodok 12-in-1. It supports a triple 4K monitor setup through its three DisplayPort outputs or three HDMI ports — your choice. Additionally, it can power your laptop up to 100W thanks to its DisplayLink connection. 

Of course, we can’t ignore the 13 ports present on the front and back of the docking station. It has four USB-A 3.0 ports much like the previous entry. Although, you could argue there are actually 16 ports if you count the headphone jack and the microphone input on the front as well as the rear power delivery output on the back.

Also: Best HDMI cables

What makes Plugable’s docking station stand above UGREEN’s model is its versatility. Not only can this device connect to macOS and Windows 11, but it also works with ChromeOS plus older versions of Windows like Windows 7. I tried it out myself very recently and was pleased to see that I was able to switch between the two systems with ease. If I ever decide to commit to one system (say, ChromeOS), I won’t have to purchase another station. I keep this one and still enjoy the same performance.

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Now there are caveats, like the fact it doesn’t support 8K resolution and it is pretty pricey. In fact, it’s the second most expensive entry on this list. Although I would argue it’s worth the price tag considering what you’re getting for a very reliable computer accessory.

pluggable-usbc-triple-station-1

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Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station

Best compact laptop docking station

Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station specs: Ports: USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support (2); Display 1.4 (1) USB-A 3.1 (3); USB-A 2.0 (1); Gigabit Ethernet; 3.5mm audio combo jack; SD card reader | Display: Supports one 8K @30Hz display or dual 4K @60Hz displays.

It’s not uncommon for professionals to find themselves with a cramped desk. You have folders, laptops, monitors, and bottles of water taking up space with no room for a docking station. For those situations, we recommend getting the Accell Thunderbolt 4.

Its low-profile, shallow design hosts a surprising amount of connections — 10 in total. They cover a variety of protocols, both old and new. You have a pair of Thunderbolt 4 inputs, several USB-A ports with one supporting the old USB 2.0 standard, and an SD card reader, just to name a few.

Review: Is this the ultimate Windows docking station? Meet the Accell Thunderbolt 4

There aren’t any HDMI ports, but it can still output an 8K resolution video at 30 Hz to a single display or Ultra HD 4K resolution at 60 Hz to a dual monitor setup via the Thunderbolt 4 connections. The audio jack pulls double duty as it serves as an input for headphones as well as a microphone.

Accell’s docking station works on PC laptops and M1 MacBooks alike, although the latter sees limited support. M1 MacBooks connected to this device will only be able to output to one external monitor due to the limitations of the chipset. 

Accell's Thunderbolt 4 dock

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Microsoft Surface Dock 2

Best laptop docking station for Surface Pros and Surface Laptops

Microsoft Surface Dock 2 specs: Ports: USB 3.2 Type-A (2); USB Type-C (4); 3.5 in/out audio jack; Gigabit Ethernet (1) | Display: Supports up to two 4K displays at 60Hz

Rounding out the list is the Surface Dock 2 from Microsoft. This docking station is meant solely for Surface Pro devices and Surface Laptops. It’s been specially optimized for the Surface Laptop Go 2 and the Surface Pro 7 Plus, just to name a few notable models. It won’t work with third-party hardware. If you have something like a ThinkPad, you’re better off selecting one of the earlier entries.

Also: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 review: Stylish and lightweight, but battery life could be better

However, if you do own a compatible device, the Surface Dock 2 will become your best friend. It comes equipped with a pair of USB-A inputs and four USB-C ports split between the front and back. With this, you’ll be able to use your favorite peripherals like mice or keyboards. There’s even an in/out audio jack on the rear that accepts headphones and microphones. 

Plus, it has 199W power delivery allowing users to fast charge their devices. And it supports outputting 4K resolution video at 60Hz to a pair of monitors. It’s not the most comprehensive or robust entry, but for Surface owners, it’s one of the best out there on the market today.

Microsoft Surface Dock 2

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The Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station is our pick of the best laptop docking station. It offers a dozen ports and a direct power supply. Plus, the added flexibility coming from the DisplayLink support ensures that almost any connected laptop becomes the core of a multi-monitor workstation. 

As great as the Revodok is, the others on the list are worth considering. Check out the table below to see how they compare to each other.

Best laptop docking station

Cost

Ports

Power

Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station 12-in-1

$350

12

100 watts

Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station 9-in-1

$200

9

100 watts

CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock

$69

15

87 watts

Monoprice 6-in-1 USB-C Multiport Adapter

$29

6

100 watts

Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station

$99

10

N/A

Plugable 4K USB-C Docking Station Triple Monitor

$280

13

100 watts

Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station

$200

10

96 watts

Microsoft Surface Dock 2

$260

8

199 watts

The right laptop docking station for you ultimately depends on the type of work you’re doing and what you need the device for. Below, we’ve laid out our list of recommendations to help you decide.

Choose this best laptop docking station…

If you want…

Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station, 12-in-1

The best overall option. This docking station has HDMI and DP connections, 3 USB-A ports, an SD card slot, and the ability to signal a computer signal to three individual displays.

Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station, 9-in-1

A less expensive version of our top pick. You can cut down on a few ports to save a couple of bucks while still getting two video outputs for a dual-monitor setup.

CalDigit TS3 Plus Dock

The best docking station for your MacBook. It can send video signals to two 4K displays at once, and can even charge your MacBook while it’s connected.

Monoprice 6-in-1 USB-C Multiport Adapter

A pocket-sized, inexpensive dock that works across multiple operating systems. It’s also easy to take with you on the go.

Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station

The best laptop docking station for older laptops that supports two displays at a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels (or 2560×1440 pixels via one HDMI connection). It works across Windows, ChromeOS, MacOS, and even Android-based devices.

Plugable 4K USB-C Docking Station Triple Monitor

A highly versatile docking station sporting 13 individual ports and the ability to output up to three 4K resolution signals at 60Hz.

Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station

A docking station for super compact workspaces. This best laptop docking station doesn’t require a large amount of space, but still supports up to two displays or one 8K monitor.

Microsoft Surface Dock 2

A docking station specifically for your Surface Pro or Surface Laptop. There is incredible power packed into this model.

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A laptop docking station can upgrade your work station. Here’s what to think about before you buy one: 

  • Connection type: This is the most important aspect to look for when shopping for a docking station. Most new laptops support USB Type-C connections so you’ll want a device that has the same type of ports. The same thing goes for older laptops. Those machines tend to support USB 3.0 meaning you will need a docking station with the same input. If you buy a station without the right support, video signal or data transferring will not work as well as it should.
  • Power: For a true one-cable connection, your dock needs to supply power to the laptop. Some cheaper options lack this, forcing people to use it solely for connecting peripherals. Others may require you to use your laptop’s own charger to power them.
  • Video output(s): Look closely at the specs for video connections. If you need to send a video signal to a single 1080p display using an HDMI cable, any old dock will work. Things get complicated if you need support for two or more 4K external displays. For that, you’ll need a docking station with a DisplayPort connection or a more recent version of HDMI.
  • Ports: Note if the dock you’re considering has enough external ports for your devices. Docking stations can have USB ports that are either Type A, Type C, or both. There are also docking stations lacking the ability to charge devices. Others have ethernet ports for internet routers, freeing you from dealing with weak Wi-Fi connections.
  • Audio input/output: Few docking stations have audio I/O ports, but they can be helpful. Having dedicated external speakers and microphones can do wonders for significantly upgrading your audio experience 

When choosing the best laptop docking station, we look at important specifications like the price point, connection types, power delivery, ports, and more. Everything in our guide consists of popular, well-reviewed options. We tested some of the options ourselves, using them in our everyday work. Others, we researched and recommended based on user reviews, brand trust, and price point.

A docking station essentially allows your laptop to behave the same way as a traditional desktop computer. They Iet you connect multiple accessories, external storage drivers, webcams, and external monitors. Most notably, it opens up the opportunity for multitasking.

Think of them as your laptop’s own personal assistant. Docking stations serve as a central hub where you can connect all sorts of peripherals. Some can even charge your laptop.

Universal docking stations certainly exist. They work well with Windows-based laptops, MacBooks, Chromebooks, and Android-based devices. However, there are also many options out there that are specifically made to work with certain brands or models. 

Apple, Microsoft, and several other PC makers produce docking stations that only work with their products. If you are planning on buying a third-party docking station, we recommend getting one that works with anything you have. But be sure it has the specifications and features you need.

A USB hub is a device that adds more USB ports to give you additional ways to connect extra peripherals like mice and thumb drives. That’s pretty much it. USB hubs don’t really do much at all.

Also: The 5 best USB hubs 

A docking station can do that, plus sending video signals to external monitors via DisplayPort, HDMI, or Thunderbolt for easier multitasking. Some can introduce wired networking to laptops that are normally compatible with Wi-Fi only. And of course, as we’ve already covered, docking stations can charge your devices too.

One of the things you may notice while going through the list is that docking stations can be rather expensive. Significantly more than a USB hub. As stated in the previous hub, docking stations are robust devices when compared to those hubs. You have all the different types of port standards, power delivery, audio I/O ports, data transmission, uploading signals to displays and the list goes on. Thunderbolt connectors, in particular, are capable of a lot more than your garden-variety USB cable. You’re paying for quality.

Not really. So long as you take proper care of your docking station, it’ll last you a long time. Problems between these devices and your laptop may be the result of compatibility issues. You may not have bought the right one for your MacBook or Windows laptop. What’s more, some require a power adapter although others can thrive off of a laptop’s battery.  It’s possible the docking station may not be receiving enough power to function. 

It’s for these reasons that we urge you to do your homework and check a docking station’s specifications. Ensure it’s compatible with your machine.

There are plenty of great laptop docking stations out there on the market.

The options below can be considered honorable mentions to the ones above. They perform well enough but didn’t make the cut for multiple reasons. Still, if you need something that’s easy to use, these docking stations can help you out. Plus, several are cheaper than those on the main roster.

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CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock

If you’re looking for a compact docking station for your MacBook, we recommend CalDigit’s Thunderbolt 3 Mini Dock. It’s smaller, but it still supports two 4K resolution displays at 60 Hz.

caldigi-thunderbolt-3-mini-dock-main

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منبع: https://www.zdnet.com/article/best-laptop-docking-station/#ftag=RSSbaffb68