Best Laptop Docking Stations

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Whether you take your laptop everywhere or always leave it in the house, you want to have the best docking station possible when your machine is 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 budget laptop docking stations that will output to dual HD monitors over standard USB, or more expensive docking stations that have support for USB Type-C and for 4K monitors that will work not only with your current laptop, but also your next one. That's important, especially because Intel is rolling out its 10th Gen Ice Lake CPUs, so you may be tempted to upgrade. We saw quite a few at IFA 2019.

If you only need a few extra ports, consider a USB Type-C hub, and take a look at our ports guide and Thunderbolt 3 explainer to learn about all of the ports out there and which ones you need. You might want to consider a Thunderbolt 3 upgrade, since Apple's October 2019 Event is right around the corner. We also have a guide to USB Type-C accessories and 4K content for those new monitors you're powering. And if you need help setting up your laptop out of the box, we have a guide for that too.

But if you already have your mind set, you might want to check out these laptop docking stations deals from Targus ($119; $40 off)Dell ($129; $71 off) and Microsoft ($138; $61 off). If you're looking for a sub-$100 docking station, go with Plugable ($89) or Kensington ($95; $15 off). For something pricier, look to MSI's new USB-C Docking Station ($249). And you might as well get a comfy office chair along with your new dock. But if you're away from your dock, you might also want a lap desk.

Here are the best laptop docking stations.

Best Cheap Dock - Plugable UD-3900 Dual Display Universal Docking Station

They say you get what you pay for, but Plugable's UD-3900 gives you a lot of performance for under $100. It supplies full-HD support to two monitors, and has all the ports that the vast majority of users need. If you don't have a 4K monitor on your desk or a USB Type-C port on your laptop, this will support everything you have today at a low price.

Rating: 4 E.C./5

Pros: Affordable; Good performance; Plenty of ports
Cons: Vertical-only design; Doesn't support 4K
Ports: 12

Credit: Plugable

Top Dock Overall - Plugable USB-C Triple Display Dock

Using the Plugable USB-C Triple Display Dock (UD-ULTCD) feels a bit like living in the future. It works with all of the newest standards, including USB Type-C for charging and external displays, along with support for a 4K monitor. It's oriented in a vertical position, so you can't keep the dock under your laptop or monitors, but its performance and support for three displays simultaneously makes the Triple Display Dock our top choice.

Rating: 4.5 E.C./5

Pros: 4K Output; Supports three monitors; Charges USB Type-C laptops
Cons: Vertical-only design; Fewer ports than competitors
Ports: 12

Credit: Plugable

Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station (TBT3-UDV)

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.

Rating: 4.5 E.C./5

Pros: Solid price; Horizontal design with option for stand; Powers up to two 4K monitors while also charging
Cons: No forward-facing USB Type-C port
Ports: 10

Credit: Plugable

Humanscale M/Connect 2

The Humanscale M/Connect 2 is something you're more likely to see in your office than your home. 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. It's 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.

Rating: 4/5

Pros: 4K and USB Type-C support; Great cable management; Handle to easily adjust your display
Cons: Tough to put together; Has fewer data ports than prior version
Ports: 12

Credit: Laptop Mag

Targus Universal DV1K-4K Docking Station

The one downside to a dock is that it takes up space on your desk, but Targus' DV1K-4K docking station is easy to tuck away. The small, well-built dock is designed to fit under your laptop, sporting a nonslip surface to keep your system from sliding down. The dock is also small enough to fit under your monitors, if you prefer. The DV1K-4K supports one 4K monitor and has a ton of USB 3.0 ports, making it a strong choice for power users.

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Compact, subtle design; 4K output; Six USB 3.0 ports; Smooth performance
Cons: Pricey; 4K support limited to one display
Ports: 11

Credit: Targus

 Dell D6000 Universal Dock

Most businesses have USB 3.0 laptops now, but will want something with USB Type-C for the future. Look no further than Dell's new D6000 universal dock, which has a built-in adapter to easily switch between the standards, so you can connect it to just about any laptop. It can go up to 5K on a single screen or handle up to three 4K screens over USB Type-C.

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Supports both USB 3.0 and USB Type-C; Powers up to three 4K monitors
Cons: Cable isn't removable; Adapter is clumsy
Ports: 11

Credit: Dell

HP Thunderbolt Dock with Audio

HP's Thunderbolt Dock with Audio is perfect for managing a ton of ports as well as having group conference calls due to its echo-canceling microphone and dedicated speakers. The ports include: one Thunderbolt 3 port, three USB 3.0 ports, a male power jack and USB Type-C leading out of the bottom, a headphone jack, a security lock slot, one USB-C DisplayPort (data and power out) port, two DisplayPort ports, one VGA port, two USB 3.0 ports, an RJ45 port and a power jack. Due to its Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) male output, it's compatible with more than just HP devices.

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Audio sounds great; Powers up to two 4K monitors; Conference call capabilities
Cons: Cable isn't removable; Adapter is clumsy
Ports: 12

Credit: Laptop Mag

Kensington SD2000P Task Master USB-C Dock Station

The Kensington SD2000P is a solid overall docking station if you need something portable and small, but being small comes at a price, as the dock is only able to power up to one 4K monitor at a time at 30-Hz. Despite that, it has a decent number of ports and it can charge a laptop while also powering a 4K monitor. There’s two USB Type-C ports, two USB 3.1 ports, an RJ-45 Ethernet port, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort++ and a Kensington lock slot. The underside also allows the mounting of any 75mm or 100mm VESA compatible external display.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pros: Sleek design; Features USB 3.1 and USB Type-C; Can be mounted
Cons: Powers only one 4K monitor at a time
Ports: 8

Credit: Laptop Mag

Linedock Docking Station

The Linedock Docking Station is specifically designed for the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, and while it's still compatible with other laptops (even those with different sizes), you won't get that perfect fit. It comes with three USB 3.1 ports, three USB Type-C ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort and an SD Card Slot. It also offers a 20,000mAh battery pack inside of it that you can use to charge a variety of devices including your laptop. On top of all that, you can configure the Linedock with an SSD (256GB or 1TB) that you can use an external drive.

Rating: 3/5

Pros: SSD storage; Features a battery pack;
Cons: Serves only one form factor; Unfriendly to Windows
Ports: 12

Credit: Laptop Mag

Kensington SD4700P Universal USB-C and USB 3.0 Docking Station

Unlike its little brother, it doesn’t feel like the Kensington SD4700P really has a place in the world, especially due to its limitations. The Kensington SD4700P can only power one 4K monitor at a time or two 2K monitors at a time, which is where it stumbles against its competitors. To top it all off, it’s relatively expensive. The Kensington SD4700P features five USB 3.0 ports, two USB Type-C ports, an HDMI Port, a DisplayPort++, an RJ45 Ethernet port, a Kensington lock slot and a headphone jack. During testing, I found the Type-C port to be quite flimsy, as it would dislodge on its own frequently.

Rating: 2.5/5

Pros: Horizontal design; Features USB 3.1 and USB Type-C; Can be mounted
Cons: Pricey; Powers only one 4K monitor at a time; Flimsy Type-C port
Ports: 12

Credit: Laptop Mag

Author Bio
Rami Tabari
Rami Tabari,
As soon as Rami Tabari sprung out of the College of Staten Island, he hit the ground running as a Staff Writer for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline in Tom’s Guide, taking on the latest Souls-like challenge.
Rami Tabari, on