One problem with using a MacBook as your main PC is its lack of ports. Here we concentrate on Thunderbolt 3 docks, but also include some cheaper USB-C docks - which Thunderbolt 3 MacBooks can use, but at the cost of reduced bandwidth; see below. You can hook up a T3 laptop to a USB-C dock but you won't access the faster speeds unless you buy a true Thunderbolt 3 dock.
In the review list below, we state at the top which type of laptop USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 each docking station is compatible with.
DOCK. LOCK. CONNECT.
Charging the docked devices : Some docks don't feature an external power source but actually use your laptop to draw power from. Add too many devices to one of these docks and you may well experience power issues, as USB-C can handle just 7. It makes it much easier to use your laptop in two locations, as it can easily be connected into and out of the dock — although you might need a dock at each end for similar setups. And you can use it as a base for hot-desking or multi-laptop home-office setups where one person can quickly attach their laptop to the mouse, keyboard, screen and printer as soon as another has detached.
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It's a convenient and affordable way to add storage to your laptop setup. That's a very cheap way of adding half a terabyte of portable storage. For more details read up on our best microSD cards. Like most of the other docks here, it's pretty dinky so won't take up too much space on your desk.
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Available in Silver and Space Gray, it matches the colours if not quite the smooth design of Apple's laptops. The Stone dock the best-looking of the docks tested here, matching Apple's aesthetic both in colour and smooth design. Crucially, because of they boast the superior Thunderbolt 3 to the identical but weaker USB-C, the two miniDocks can run 4K at 60Hz, which is preferable for watching sports and high-action movies as well as gaming.
If you require a Thunderbolt 3 docking station with fully powered supply, consider the CalDigit TS3 Plus, which can charge at 85W and boasts more ports. Read our full CalDigit Thunderbolt 3 miniDock review. It's also compatible with Windows laptops and Chromebooks.
Best of all, being built for Thunderbolt 3, it can connect two external 4K displays at 60Hz, so perfect for rich graphics and fast gaming action. One of the monitors can connect via the DisplayPort. You'll likely need an adapter to connect the second port via the spare Thunderbolt 3 port unless the display has a USB-C port too. It measures 9. These connectors provide the necessary bandwidth and speed with huge, fast hard drives, high resolution monitors, or even external graphic cards. Laptop docks enable you to plug in multiple devices into the dock. Using a cable or two, you can now connect the laptop to the dock.
Now, MacBook users can easily return home and connect these from an external monitor and speakers to external hard drives and card readers.
Mac Pro, iMac and Mac mini users are also allowed to connect devices built with connectors not provided on the machine. Most of the products were tested by the Macworld Lab with the performance or any anomalies related to it. But before purchasing, you need to consider these important factors:. Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express HD Dock provides a fast and easy transfer of files twice the speed of the former Thunderbolt.
The transmission works at 20 Gbps which allows you to interconnect up to eight devices with the use of the cable.
Dual displays allow you to connect two more monitors to your laptop as you keep your workspace organized and streamlining your setup. But take note that at least one display should have Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 technology-ready. The dock also supports 4K cinema resolution per display. If more ports are needed, you can add up to four additional Thunderbolt devices by daisy chaining them. Customize your setup to meet your needs and connect your laptop with the included cable to begin working.
This dock also allows you to daisy chain up to four more Thunderbolt devices which totals to five. Its compatibility with Mac and PC makes your work less hassle. However, you should be working on with at least a Mac OS X v A separate port is also designed for the microphone or any line-in audio source. Streamlining any workflow is more convenient and flexible as you are allowed to interconnect up to five USB 3.
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You can daisy chain up to five Thunderbolt devices and connect up to ten devices with an amazing 20 Gbps. However, the utilization of the ultimate display setup must be configured first for a better workflow. The dock includes a high-powered USB 3.
It also gives power to bus-powered hard drives, SSDs, or optical drives. When adding USB 3. Check price on Amazon or Add to Cart on Amazon.
Elgato Thunderbolt 2 Dock allows you to interconnect and daisy chain up to four more Thunderbolt devices to your MacBook or Ultrabook with its two Thunderbolt 2 ports. Using the built-in HDMI, you can connect one display with up to 4K resolution or you can just connect with your Thunderbolt connector.
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The dock is designed with three USB 3. A port for the microphone input and amplified audio output are designed separately for you to enjoy clearer conference calls. Additionally, the dock has software that accessibly ejects all of the storage devices at the same time enabling you to leave it with no hassle.
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Elgato Thunderbolt 2 dock assures you an escalated wired network performance with its built-in Gigabit Ethernet port. The connectivity and specifications were improved to meet the quality standard with a new level of connectivity and streamlining. A single Thunderbolt cable allows you to connect to the modern streamlined devices. The improvement includes an awesome functionality hosting new features which allows the creation of the ultimate Thunderbolt device. With its total compatibility to the 4K workflow, you can now work on with an amazing performance.
The Thunderbolt 2 technology is designed with three USB 3.