5 Best Laptop Docking Stations of 2022

Best Laptop Docking Station - image of a a monitor setup

Are you setting up a new workstation and in the market for a laptop docking station?

Whether working in the office or working from home, a docking station is a must for anyone wanting to use their laptop the same way they would a desktop pc. However, determining the best laptop docking station for your needs can be difficult.

The best docking station for one person may not meet the needs of another. So how do you know you are getting the best docking station for the best price? Don’t worry, our devoted IT professionals have searched and put together a list of the best laptop docking stations in 2022. Our list includes something for every user, no matter their needs.

What is a Docking Station and Do I Need One?

A docking station is a device that allows you to connect your laptop to other devices, such as an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse. This can be helpful if you want a larger display or dual monitors for your setup. Docking stations can also increase the ports available on your laptop, which can be helpful if you need to connect to multiple devices.

When choosing a docking station, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the ports that are available and make sure they meet your needs. Second, think about the size of your laptop and make sure the docking station can accommodate it. Third, consider the price and choose one that fits your budget.

Things to Consider When Purchasing Laptop Docking Stations

Triple display laptop docking station with usb ports

There are many details to consider when looking for a laptop docking station. Not all docking stations are universal docking stations and a universal docking station may not fulfill your needs.

Windows VS Mac

One of the key factors to account for is if you have a Windows laptop or a MacBook. Some docking stations support Windows laptops and others support MacBooks. There are universal docking stations that can support both, but it is still important to evaluate the features of each station.

USB Ports:

The number of USB ports available on the docking station is one of the most important things to consider. Most docking stations will have at least two USB 3.0 ports, but if your laptop is older or if you plan on using multiple USB devices, you want to pay attention to the number of USB ports on the docking station. In addition, pay attention to the type of USB port that comes with the docking stations. USB 3.0 or USB c port is the newer USB port, but if your laptop is older, you may need a docking station with a USB 2.0 or a USB A port.

Audio Jack:

If you plan on using headphones or speakers with your laptop while it’s docked, then you’ll need an audio jack. Most docking stations will have an audio jack, but it’s something to keep in mind when making your decision. Of course, if you use a Bluetooth headset, an audio jack will not be necessary.

Video Outputs:

Another important thing to consider is the type and number of video outputs. A laptop screen may not be suitable for someone working on a device for long hours and sometimes one screen is not enough. You want to take into account how many monitors you would like to have and what kind of display ports are on those monitors. Forgetting this step could result in needing an additional HDMI adapter to hook your displays up to your laptop. You always want to know if you are limited to HDMI ports, DVI ports, or even older display options such as VGA connectors.

Size:

It’s also important to make sure the docking station you choose is the right size for your laptop. If you have a 13-inch laptop, for example, you’ll want to make sure the docking station can accommodate that size.

Price:

Docking stations range in price from around $60 to $200. Choose the one that fits your budget and meets your needs. It’s always a good idea to check today’s best deals but make sure you aren’t sacrificing quality for a cheaper cost.

Power Supply:

Some docking stations come with their power supply, while others rely on the power from your laptop. If you plan on using multiple devices with your docking station, make sure it comes with its power supply so you don’t have to worry about your laptop’s battery life.

5 Best Laptop Docking Stations

Dell WD19 180W Docking Station (130W Power Delivery)

The Dell WD19 docking station is one of the best options on the market. It offers a variety of ports, including HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-A, and a gigabit ethernet port. It also includes a 130W power delivery port, which can charge your laptop while it’s docked. The Dell WD19 is compatible with most Dell laptops and some non-Dell laptops. It’s also easy to set up and use. The only downside is that it’s a bit pricey, but it’s worth the investment if you need a high-quality laptop docking station.

Pros:

  • Variety of ports
  • 130W power delivery
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons:

  • It can be expensive

Dell USB 3.0 Ultra HD/4K Triple Display Docking Station (D3100)

The Dell USB 3.0 Ultra HD/4K Triple Display Docking Station is a great option if you need to connect multiple monitors to your laptop. It offers three video outputs, including HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI. This is another good option for someone who wants a dual 4k monitor setup. It also includes 2 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports, so you can connect all of your devices. The Dell USB 3.0 is compatible with most Dell laptops and some non-Dell laptops. It’s easy to set up and use, and it’s reasonably priced.

Pros:

  • Three video outputs
  • Six USB ports
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Not compatible with all
  • Does not charge the laptops

Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt Docking Station

The Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station is a great option for those who need a lot of ports. It offers four USB ports. There are 2 USB A ports and 2 USB C ports. This docking station also comes with a thunderbolt 3 port, two HDMI ports that support a 4k dual display, a gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. This Docking Station is compatible with Mac and PC laptops. The Corsair TBT100 is easy to set up and use, but it can be a little pricey.

Pros:

  • four USB ports
  • HDMI Compatible
  • gigabit Ethernet port
  • Headphone jack
  • Compatible with Mac and PC laptops

Cons:

  • Can be a bit pricey
  • No DVI ports

Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station

The Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Docking station is another great option for those who need a lot of display ports. It offers 1 Thunderbolt 3 port, four USB-A ports, one HDMI port, one DisplayPort, one gigabit Ethernet jack, and a headphone jack. It’s compatible with most Lenovo laptops and some non-Lenovo laptops. The Lenovo ThinkPad is easy to set up and use, and it’s reasonably priced.

Pros:

  • 1 Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • 6 USB Ports
  • 2 HDMI Ports
  • 2 Display ports
  • gigabit ethernet port
  • Headphone jack

Cons:

  • Not Compatible with all devices
  • Only has 1 USB C port

Anker PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station with 240W Charging

The Anker PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock is a great option for those who need a lot of different ports and a lot of power from their docking station. It offers a Thunderbolt 3 port, 3 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C ports, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, an Ethernet port, and a headphone jack. This dock also comes with an SD card reader as well as a micro sd card reader. It’s compatible with both Mac and PC laptops. The Anker PowerExpand Elite is easy to set up and use but it can be a bit pricey.

Pros:

  • 1 Thunderbolt 3 port
  • 3 USB ports
  • Triple video docking station
  • gigabit Ethernet jack
  • SD Card reader
  • Headphone jack
  • Compatible with Mac and PC laptops

Cons:

  • Can be a bit pricey

Recap and Further Reading

Windows laptop docking station with usb ports

We hope this list of the best laptop docking stations has helped you choose the best one for your needs. The best laptop docking station is the one that will serve the needs of the user the most. The right one can make a world of difference and improve productivity and the overall workspace of its users.

While we have provided a list of the best laptop docking stations, we understand that it can be an arduous task trying to determine which docking station is best for each computer. If you need help determining the best laptop docking station for your business, please reach out and inquire about our IT Consulting Services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are laptop docking stations worth it?

Docking stations provide laptops with the best combination. This allows for the flexibility and ease of working from a workplace desk. USB charging devices make your laptop a powerhouse, connecting to computers, cellular phones, the internet, a printer, or other devices.

Is a USB hub the same as a docking station?

Hubs extend the number of connections to a device for charging other peripheral devices. They are power strips on computers. Docks can be installed on your wall, transforming a portable device into a desktop device. Docking means using the engine to add another engine to your system.

What is the difference between USB 3.0 and USB 2.0?

USB 3.0 is the latest revision of the USB standard released in 2008. This new standard offers increased transfer rates up to 4.8Gbps, which is 10 times faster than USB 2.0. It also offers improved power management and is backward compatible with older versions of the USB standard.

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About the Author

Amber Briggs is an IT Professional at DOS. She assists users in troubleshooting hardware and software, implementing and maintaining network hardware and software, and writes process documentation for end-users and other company members. Amber has previously worked as a Junior Systems Admin for many companies, including Doctors Making Housecalls, Carillon Assisted Living, and Custom Communications Inc. She also has experience working as a Technical Support Agent at Citrix. She holds a degree in professional writing and is currently studying computer science and information studies at Houston Community College. Amber has many hobbies outside of work, including art and graphic design, surfing, gardening, gym, video games, going to the gym, and skateboarding.

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