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Best docking stations for Dell XPS laptops

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The best docking stations are built to turn any laptop into a desktop replacement. From providing your laptop with upwards of ten extra ports to powering all kinds of different peripherals at once, a dock can unlock the true potential of your laptop (and clean up desks riddled with wires).

Some laptops need docking stations more than others, even if they are rightfully the best laptops on the market. If you happen to own a Dell XPS 13, or any other Ultrabook with a limited port variety, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. To expand that selection of ports, you’re going to want the right docking station.

For those who own a MacBook and are looking for extra ports, check out the best USB-C hubs and the best docking stations for MacBook. You’ll find that Dell’s XPS line and other recently announced laptops come with Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. And, if you're wondering what the differences are between a docking station and a USB-C hub, we've got you covered. 

The best docking stations for Dell XPS laptops

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

Specifications

Ports:
Support:
No. of ports:

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

(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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey 
-
No other video output 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 for charging and additional perks the notebook requires.

No docking station is perfect, but the SD5700T dock does a stellar job of turning a laptop into a desktop powerhouse. 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 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

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

-
Expensive
-
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.

See our full Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station review

(Image credit: Future)
The best premium docking station to buy

Specifications

Ports: 2 x USB 3.2 Type-C ports, 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A input, 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port, 1 x headset jack, 1 x SD card reader

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

The Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock can accommodate a lot of different equipment. Its premium design screams office-ready, but it’ll look just as good manning a gaming station. Plus, it’s got a plethora of ports just waiting to connect to 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 cost, the Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock is an essential piece of tech.

See our full Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock review

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

A fantastic docking station for 4K monitors

Specifications

Ports: 4x USB-A 3.0, 1x USB-C, 1 x HDMI, 2 x DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm mic/audio jack

Reasons to buy

+
Supports both USB-A 3.0 and USB Type-C
+
Powers up to three 4K monitors 

Reasons to avoid

-
Cable isn't removable
-
Adapter is clumsy 

Look no further than Dell's very own D6000 universal dock for a Dell XPS, which has a built-in adapter to easily switch between the standards, so you can connect it to just about any laptop (most importantly a Dell XPS laptop). It can go up to 5K on a single screen or handle up to three 4K screens over USB Type-C. Better yet, it has four USB-A ports that are more than enough for USB-A devices such as a mouse, keyboard, or USB stick.

See our full Dell D6000 Universal Dock review 

(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

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

(Image credit: CalDigit )

8. CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock

The best docking station for port variety

Specifications

Ports: 5 x USB-A 3.1 Gen1, 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen1, 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen2, 2 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x UHS-II SD Card Reader, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x Digital Optical, 3.5mm mic/audio jack, Gigabit Ethernet Port

Reasons to buy

+
15 ports
+
Dual 4K support 
+
87W power delivery 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Bulky design 

With a whopping 15 ports, including five USB-A 3.1, two USB-C 3.1, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and virtually every other port you’d need for your Dell XPS, the TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock is a beast. While its design is on the bulky side and there is no HDMI output, its plentiful selection of ports more than make up for that. It also delivers 87W power delivery, which will sufficiently power all devices connected to it.  

(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

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
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 outputs 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 outputs, 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

(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 output, 1 x SD card reader, 1 x Micro SD card reader, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet

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
-
Pricey

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

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.