Best laptop docking stations of 2022

Best laptop docking stations
(Image credit: Future)

The best laptop docking stations will turn your laptop into a portable powerhouse — whether you're constantly on the move or always leave it at home, you'll want to make the most of your laptop when it's sitting on your desk, especially if you don't have enough ports. With a laptop docking station, you can attach your system to multiple monitors and a wide variety of peripherals with extra USB ports. 

Depending on your needs, you can find cheap laptop docking stations that will output to dual HD monitors over a standard USB, or more expensive docking stations that support USB Type-C and 4K monitors that will work not only with your current laptop but also with your next one.

Not quite sure if you need a docking station? You can take a look at our USB-C hub vs. docking station and Thunderbolt 4 explainer to learn about all of the ports out there and which ones you'll want. For ports you know you need, check out our best USB Type-C hubs and best USB Type-C accessories and cables. Even better, adding these docking stations found below will make some of the best laptops under $500 even more worth it.

The best laptop docking stations you can buy today

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Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Display Docking Station (Image credit: Future)
The best overall docking station you can buy

Specifications

Ports : 4 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (with 20W PW), 1 x USB-C (host port), 3 x HDMI 2.0 port, 3 x DisplayPort++ 1.2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x SD Card Reader 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x 3.5mm microphone jack
Support : Windows 10 or later, macOS 11 or later
No. of ports: 13

Reasons to buy

+
4K Output
+
Supports three monitors
+
Charges USB Type-C laptops

Reasons to avoid

-
Vertical-only design
-
Fewer ports than competitors

Plugable’s last USB-C Triple 4K Docking Station was a hit, so much so that stock has completely run out. With its latest UD-ULTC4K docking station, I can imagine it being a hot commodity thanks to its fair price and nifty upgrades.  

Now with a host of upgrades to turn any USB-C supported laptop into a powerhouse, the new Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Docking Station is better than ever before with extra HDMI and DisplayPort inputs, a 100W Power Delivery (PD) boost, an essential SD Card Reader, and an extra USB-C port with 20W PD and up to 10Gbps transfer rates. Oh, and four USB-A 3.0 ports for good measure.

Plugable listened to customer demands and greatly expanded the capabilities of its most popular docking station, and the result is the most well-rounded docking station I’ve reviewed.

See our full Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Display Docking Station review

Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station (Image credit: Future)
The best docking station with versatile connectivity

Specifications

Ports : 2 x Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen2, 2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen2, 2 x USB-A 2.0 Gen1, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x UHS II SD 4.0 Card Reader, 3.5mm audio jack, Gigabit Ethernet Port
Supports : Windows 10 laptops with Thunderbolt 4 ports and non-M1 MacBook models running macOS Big Sur 11 (or later).
No. of ports: 12

Reasons to buy

+
12-in-1 hub
+
Thunderbolt 4 ports
+
Single 8K 30Hz and dual 4K 60Hz
+
90W power delivery
+
Distinct design

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited compatibility

Is the Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station too ahead of the curve? Yes, but it’s also a versatile hub that can improve your current work setup while helping you prepare for the next generation of laptops set to become the norm. Its Thunderbolt 4 ports are convenient and speedy, while the 12-in-1 hub’s other ports allow you to charge and connect plenty of PC accessories and monitors.

Anker’s dock is let down by an expensive $300 price point for a device that can’t be fully utilized without a Thunderbolt 4-supported laptop. However, give this suitcase imposter some time and it’s sure to shine. For those looking for a Thunderbolt 4 docking station at a more affordable price while sacrificing extra ports, check out our review of the Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock.

See our full Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station review

(Image credit: Future)
The best docking station for speedy Thunderbolt 4 connections

Specifications

Ports: 3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x USB-A 2.0 (BC 1.2) 3 x Thunderbolt 4 (with 20W PW), 1 x USB-C (host port with 96W PW), 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x UHS-II SD Card Reader, 1 x 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo
Support: Windows and macOS, Thunderbolt 4 laptops
No. of ports: 11

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple connection points
+
Sleek, concealed design
+
96W Power Delivery
+
Variety of Thunderbolt4/USB-A Ports
+
Dual 4K at 60Hz

Reasons to avoid

-
No HDMI/DisplayPort
-
Pricey at $299

If you’re after a versatile dock with a focus on Thunderbolt 4 connections, then the Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock won’t disappoint. Its unassuming design easily blends into any work or personal setup, and its port placement allows for a relatively clean, wire-tidy desk.

Sure, it’s a bit late to the game, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful. Connecting to two 4K displays while having your laptop charge with 96W Power Delivery, having multiple PC peripherals ready to use without taking up laptop ports, and recharging your smartphone or tablet on the fly makes for a versatile setup, and this Thunderbolt 4 Dock gives you access to that.

See our full Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock review

Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 docking station (Image credit: Future)
The best docking station for Thunderbolt 4 connectivity and beyond

Specifications

Ports: 4 x Thunderbolt 4, 3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen2, 1 x USB-A 2.0 Gen1, 1 x UHS II SD 4.0 Card Reader, 3.5mm mic/audio jack, Gigabit Ethernet Port
Supports: Windows 10 laptops with Thunderbolt 4 ports and MacBook models running macOS Big Sur 11 with Thunderbolt 3 ports
No. of ports: 11

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple Thunderbolt 4 ports
+
Single 8K 30Hz or Dual 4K 60Hz
+
90W power delivery
+
Slick design

Reasons to avoid

-
No other video input ports

The Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Dock is made for ultrabooks like the Dell XPS 13 9310. Not only does it vastly expand the number of ports and slots on one of the best laptops on the market, but it gives it the 90W power and additional perks the notebook requires.

While there are still those who may not have monitors or peripherals with Thunderbolt 4, 3, or USB-C connectivity, many devices will soon make having a Thunderbolt 4 port the standard. Thunderbolt 4 connectivity is here to stay, and the SD5700T makes for a fantastic portable companion that will future-proof your setup for years to come. 

See our full Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 docking station review

(Image credit: Future)
The best docking station for dual 4K monitors

Specifications

Ports: 5 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-C 3.2 (host port), 2 x HDMI 1.4, 2 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, SD card reader, microSD card reader, 3.5mm microphone jack, 3.5mm audio jack
Supports: Windows 10 or later, macOS 11 or later, ChromeOS 100 or later
No. of ports: 13 (excluding additional HDMI, DisplayPort)

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek, lightweight design
+
Variety of ports 
+
Vertical/horizontal stand options 
+
100W Power Delivery

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB-C/Thunderbolt 4

The Plugable Dual 4K Display Docking Station is a fantastic docking station for its (discounted) price, especially for those who have a plethora of USB-A accessories and want to use them all at once on their laptops. Its dual monitor connectivity options are welcome, the two types of SD card readers won’t go unnoticed by content creators, and its 100W PD charging can speedily top up your laptop.

This sleek, unassuming docking station was built to suit the needs of many laptop users looking to expand their desk setup. There are more USB-A ports than one could ask for, constant 100W charging via the USB-C host port, and two HDMI and two DisplayPort outputs with 4K at 60Hz support. It even throws in an SD card reader and a microSD card reader, along with a Gigabit Ethernet port for good measure.

The highlight of it all is its competitive price, although it's clear this has affected the type of ports it boasts. There are no Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, nor USB-A 3.2 ports, but for your run-of-the-mill connectivity needs and dual 4K display support, Plugable shows its docking station mastery once again

See our full Plugable Dual 4K Display Docking Station review

Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station (TBT3-UDV) 

6. Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station

The best Thunderbolt 3 docking station

Specifications

Ports: 1 x Thunderbolt 3 host port, 5 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x MicroSD, 1 x SD Card reader, 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Supports: Intel CPU Thunderbolt 3 Macs, Windows systems with Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C
No. of ports: 16

Reasons to buy

+
Solid price
+
Horizontal design with option for stand
+
Powers up to two 4K monitors while also charging

Reasons to avoid

-
No forward-facing USB-C port

Considering Plugable's other offerings, we weren't surprised that its Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station is excellent. It's the best we've tested so far, with a reasonable price, the ability to be used both vertically and horizontally and a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter in the box. It charges a laptop while powering up to two 4K displays or a single 5K monitor and has a few extra USB 3.0 ports for legacy peripherals.

(Image credit: Future)
A brilliant docking station with a sleek, portable design

Specifications

Ports: 3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2, 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, 1 x Ethernet port, SD and microSD card readers, 3.5mm audio jack
Support: Windows, macOS
No. of Ports: 13

Reasons to buy

+
Great selection of ports
+
Sleek design
+
Very portable
+
DisplayLink Support
+
100W Power Delivery

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive at $329
-
Some compatibility issues
-
No choice between HDMI and DP

Ugreen’s 13-in-1 docking station is an impressive kit for expanding the I/O in your work-from-home setup. The chassis is refined and rocks a smaller size for better portability, and the multitude of ports on board makes it really useful.

The triple display support makes this ideal for any multitasking-intensive jobs and any creatives will warmly welcome the SD and microSD card slots. Plus, each display output delivers as advertised on a 4K 60Hz picture, which makes for the tasty premise of a true three-display setup, looking like you’re about to hack into the matrix like a productivity machine.

See our full Ugreen 13-in-1 docking station review

Kensington SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station  (Image credit: Future)
A master connector for USB Type-A ports

Specifications

Ports: 6 x USB-A 3.2 Gen1, 2 x DisplayPort ++ 1.2, 3.5mm mic/audio jack, Gigabit Ethernet Port, 1 x 3.5mm audio jack, 1 x 3.5mm mic jack, 1 x USB-B 3.1 Gen1
Supports: USB-A laptops, Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS
No. of ports: 12

Reasons to buy

+
Dual 4K support @ 60Hz
+
Long USB-A cable
+
6 USB 3.0 ports

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited variety of ports
-
Vertical-only design

Kensington’s SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station will be handy for laptops with USB-A ports — so, just about every laptop apart from modern ultra-slim systems. It has a useful number of USB-A ports that let you plug in any peripheral t, and its dual 4K monitor support works like a charm. While its non-removable stand is annoying, it sits firmly on any desk, and the long 3m USB-B to USB-A host meant I could put it out of sight.

If you simply desire plenty of USB-A ports and some extra displays to use with your laptop, the SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station does a fine job.

See our full Kensington SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station review

Kensington SD1650P USB-C 4K Portable Docking Station (Image credit: Future)
The best versatile, travel-friendly hub

Specifications

Ports : 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen1, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x VGA Full HD, 1 x RJ45 Ethernet
Supports: Devices running Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, iPadOS or Android
No. of ports: 6

Reasons to buy

+
Support for multiple devices
+
Neat portable design
+
100W pass-through power
+
4K support

Reasons to avoid

-
Additional ports needed

The Kensington SD1650P USB-C Single 4K Portable Docking Station is the “something more” owners of multiple devices should be interested in. Not only does the hybrid dock charge your Windows laptop with impressive 100W pass-through power while adding several ports, but it can also do the same for a MacBookiPad, and even an Android tablet. If it supports USB-C connectivity, Kensington’s dock will, more likely than not, work like a charm.

The SD1650P Portable Docking Station’s compatibility is hard to beat, and since it can work off a devices’ power supply without needing a power adapter (you’ll lose the 100W power pass through), the device is a fantastic choice for travelling professionals. The ability to immediately give virtually all your devices extra ports, video output options, and a power supply using one USB-C port makes this hybrid portable dock one of the best USB-C hubs on the market, especially for MacBook users.

It’s a shame the price and limited selection of ports lets the SD1650P Portable Docking Station down, especially when other hubs are significantly more affordable. For those in need of a highly versatile device, the dock is worth your hard-earned cash, especially with its 100W pass-through power, which rivals even pricier docking stations.

See our full Kensington SD1650P USB-C 4K Portable Docking Station review

Plugable Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 Hub (Image credit: Future)
Delivering Thunderbolt power in a sleek, pocketable hub

Specifications

Ports: 3 x Thunderbolt 4 ports, 1 x Thunderbolt host port w/ 60W PD, 1 x USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter

Reasons to buy

+
Three Thunderbolt 4 ports
+
60W Power Delivery
+
Includes USB-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter
+
Sharp, compact design
+
15W charging ports

Reasons to avoid

-
USB-C systems only
-
No USB-A or SD card reader

If you’re in the market for a laptop with seamless connection speeds, but want a few more ports and an easy way to charge multiple devices at the same time, the Plugable Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 Hub has your back. Not only is it a small accessory that will easily fit on anyone’s desk, but it's a pocketable powerhouse that makes the most out of anything with a USB-C port.

Plugable’s TBT4-HUB3C hub delivers an additional three Thunderbolt 4 ports that can charge devices, transfer data, and link up to fancy external monitors all at the same time. You don’t necessarily need Thunderbolt 4 either, seeing as it’s backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3, along with other USB-C type connections, and connects via USB-C.

See our full Plugable Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 Hub review

Targus USB-C Universal Quad 4K Docking Station (Image credit: Future)
Best docking station for multiple displays

Specifications

Ports: 4 x DisplayPort 1.2++ (3840 x 2160), 4 x HDMI 2.0 (3840 x 2160), 4 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x 3.5mm audio/mic jack
Supports: Devices running Windows, macOS and Chrome OS
No. of ports: 16

Reasons to buy

+
Quad-screen connection
+
Strong port selection
+
100W Power Delivery
+
4K support

Reasons to avoid

-
Chunky, tank-like design
-
No SD card readers
-
No Thunderbolt 4

The Targus USB-C Universal Quad 4K Docking Station, also known as the Four Head 4K Dock, doesn’t just offer the standard two or three video inputs to transform your laptop into a multi-screen setup, but eight different ports. With four DisplayPort 1.2 on top of another four HDMI 2.0 inputs, the docking station can support a single 5K and four 4K displays — plus your laptop screen.

Targus’ screen hoarder also comes with a mix of noteworthy USB-A 3.2 and USB-C 3.2 ports to connect all the peripherals any laptop user would need and charge other devices such as a smartphone or tablet. Oh, and there’s a 3.5mm audio jack and Ethernet slot for good measure. What it doesn’t offer is the latest generation of connectivity, Thunderbolt 4, along with a worthwhile price tag. Regardless, if you’re after maximum screen real estate, Targus’s docking station delivers the plots of visual land.  

See our full Targus USB-C Universal Quad 4K Docking Station review

Plugable USB Charging Hub (Image credit: Future)
A charging station for high-speed data transfers and powerful charging

Specifications

Ports: 7 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-B, Power Input
Supports: USB-A and USB-C laptops, Windows, macOS, and Linux Kernels 3.0 and later
No. of ports: 7

Reasons to buy

+
7 ports
+
USB-A and USB-C connectivity
+
Data transfer through all ports
+
Stackable charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited to USB-A ports
-
Niche usage

Plugable’s 7-in-1 USB Charging Hub (USBC-HUB7BC) acts as a fantastic docking station to free up ports on your laptop and adds even more PC peripherals such as keyboards and mice. It also acts as a standalone charging hub to juice up devices such as your smartphone. It stands out for bringing dual functionality to each of its seven ports, an enviable feature a majority of USB-C hubs and other docking stations don’t completely provide.

For those who require a hub with more than enough USB-A ports to charge multiple accessories at once, all while transferring files between different devices, the Plugable 7-in-1 USB Charging Hub is a great choice. 

See our full Plugable 7-in-1 USB Charging Hub review

Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station (Image credit: Future)
A stellar hybrid USB-C hub in disguise

Specifications

Ports: 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 Alt Mode, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x Micro SD card reader, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
Supports: Windows 10/11 laptops with USB-C ports, macOS, Chrome OS, iPadOS, Samsung DeX, Linux
No. of ports: 8

Reasons to buy

+
Support for multiple devices
+
Travel-friendly
+
Dual 4K support at 60Hz
+
Dual SD card readers
+
100W power delivery

Reasons to avoid

-
Odd port placement
-
One USB-A for charging

It’s unfair to call Targus’ USB-C Dual 4K Docking Station an actual “docking station,” as it doesn’t have nearly enough ports to contend with those formidable accessories. But I can see why Targus has called it one. It boasts 100W Power Delivery and two HDMI 2.0 inputs with 4K capabilities at 60Hz — that’s not something many USB-C hubs can do.

MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13 owners are due an awakening for port expansion, but any laptop user will get a kick out of how simple yet handy Targus’ dock can be in most circumstances.

The USB-C Dual 4K Docking Station is a hybrid USB-C hub in disguise. It could have benefitted from an extra USB-A port, (as well as better port management), but it’s still an incredibly handy accessory any laptop and tablet user will get great use out of.
See our full Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station review

Kensington StudioDock iPad Docking Station (Image credit: Future)
The best docking station for an Apple ecosystem setup

Specifications

Ports: 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen1, 3 x USB-A 3.2 Gen1, 1 x HDMI 2.0 video, 3.5mm audio, UHS-II SD 4.0 card reader
Supports: iPad Pro 12.9-inch and iPad Pro 11-inch/iPad Air (2020)
No. of ports: 8

Reasons to buy

+
Full Apple ecosystem compatibility
+
USB Type-A and Type-C support
+
4K output
+
Qi wireless charging
+
Landscape and portrait mode

Reasons to avoid

-
No adjustable height
-
Limited ports

The StudioDock is a unique docking station. Technically, it’s an overpriced dock for those who don’t have an iPad Pro or 4th-gen iPad Air. If you do though, along with an iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch, this turns into the best docking station for an Apple ecosystem/desktop setup. It even has the Apple aesthetic for good measure.

It doesn’t have the most ports, but there are enough to create an iPad-centric workspace thanks to its Qi wireless charging stations. It could certainly be used as a replacement desktop setup thanks to Apple’s millions of apps optimized for iPadOS, keyboard and mouse support, along with the StudioDock’s USB-A/USB-C ports and SD card reader. The StudioDock is a fantastic addition to the iPad for those willing to spend a pretty penny on a hub for your Apple ecosystem. 

See our full Kensington StudioDock iPad docking station review

(Image credit: Future)
A fantastic portable hub stand for tablets

Specifications

Ports: 2 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-C with 100W Power Delivery, 1 x USB-C host port, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x Micro SD card reader
Supports: iPadOS, Android, Windows
No. of Ports: 8

Reasons to buy

+
Extends tablet capabilities
+
Variety of ports
+
HDMI port
+
100W Power Delivery
+
Sturdy design...

Reasons to avoid

-
…but flexibility is very stiff
-
No height adjustments
-
No power adapter

If you’re looking to turn your iPad or Android tablet into something more than a device for consuming content, the ESR 8-in-1 Portable Stand Hub gives your slate the ports and stand it needs to become an important part of your work setup.

It’s small enough to be placed anywhere on a desk, it has the right ports that multiple kinds of professionals will make good use out of, and it can even be used to connect to laptops while a tablet sits on top of it.

The hub’s reasonable pricing makes it more than worth it, although finding your own power supply to make use out of its 100W Power Delivery is let down. Still, its 120-degree tilt is a nice bonus and will do wonders for many work setups that utilize a tablet.

See our full ESR 8-in-1 Portable Stand Hub review

Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock (Image credit: Future)
The best premium hub to buy

Specifications

Ports: 2 x USB-C 3.2, 1 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x Thunderbolt 3, 2 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x 3.5mm audio jack, 1 x SD card reader,
No. of ports: 9

Reasons to buy

+
Premium, durable design
+
Plenty of ports
+
Supports two 4K, 60Hz displays

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Never have any of them looked as good or accommodated as many pieces of equipment as the Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock. Its premium design screams office, but it’ll look just as good manning a gaming station. Plus, it’s got a plethora of ports just waiting to connect several monitors, a couple of headsets and a laptop. 

However, at $259, the TBT100 has a steep entry price which might give many home office workers and gamers pause. But if you can look past the price, the Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock is an essential piece of tech.

See our full Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock review  

Humanscale M/Connect 2 
The best docking station for the office

Specifications

Ports: 12

Reasons to buy

+
4K and USB Type-C support
+
Great cable management
+
Handle to easily adjust your display

Reasons to avoid

-
Tough to put together
-
Has fewer data ports than prior version

The Humanscale M/Connect 2 is something you're more likely to see in your office than your home, although those two are more likely to be one in the same these days. It's a full-scale ergonomic solution with USB Type-C for charging (and a USB Type-A adapter, if you're not ready for the new standard just yet) and supports dual 4K monitors.

Its clamp design allows you to keep the majority of your cables under your desk, allowing for a neat workspace. It starts around $300, though you'll have to pay more for a monitor arm to attach to it.

See our full Humanscale M/Connect 2 review

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.