Plugable's latest Thunderbolt 4 docking station does it all at CES 2024

Plugable TBT4-UD5 Thunderbolt 4 docking station
(Image credit: Plugable)

Plugable, one of the most dependable computing accessory companies you'll find today, is continuing a healthy stream of docking station releases with an all-new dock that hyper-extends the limits of Thunderbolt technology, the TBT-UD5: a Thunderbolt 4 & USB4 Dual HDMI Display Docking Station.

When it comes to those prolific in their craft, painting has Picasso, acting has Eric Roberts, writing has Stephen King, and the docking station has Plugable. The brand's quest to perfect the humble dock has led to a number of new devices over the last 12 months that excel at catering to various disciplines.

However, the TBT-UD5 is a dock designed for everyone, a true do-it-all device, cleverly crafted to increase potential, ports, power and performance to any setup it graces. Let's take a closer look at this latest offering at CES 2024 to see what all the fuss is about.

We're on the scene in Las Vegas to check out the latest tech at this year's CES 2024 showcase. Be sure to tag along on our CES 2024 journey by following Laptop Mag on TikTok, Twitter/X, Instagram, Flipboard, and Facebook for the most up to date hands-on impressions and news coming from the convention floor.

Plugable TBT4-UD5: A dual monitor Thunderbolt dock that leads the charge

Plugable is back in black with its latest low-profile docking station offering that caters to almost every computing need. The all-new TBT4-UD5 is a premium Thunderbolt 4 dock with an affordable price tag.

With a focus on wider compatibility, the TBT4-UD5 plays host to any Thunderbolt 4 or USB-C touting laptop or desktop computer, and offers HDMI 2.0 support for two external displays at 4K resolutions with 60Hz refresh rates; up to 100W of Power Delivery for the host computer; transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps; and a downstream Thunderbolt 4 port that allows 15W of charge, super-fast transfer speeds, and support for a single external display at 8K resolution with a 30Hz refresh rate.

The TBT4-UD5 is a versatile dock with powerful specs that can maximize the potential of your laptop or desktop machine with its new sleek and slim form augmenting your setup with external displays, speedy ports for additional storage or data transfer, and a host of high-spec legacy USB ports for peripherals.

(Image credit: Plugable)
  • (Host) Thunderbolt 4 port (40Gbps with up to 100W Power Delivery)
  • (Power) DC-in (20V, 6.75A)
  • 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports (up to 4K @ 60Hz)
  • 1 x Thunderbolt 4 port (40Gbps, 15W Power Delivery, up to 8K @ 30Hz)
  • 1 x USB Type-C (10Gbps)
  • 2 x USB Type-A (10Gbps)
  • 2 x USB Type-A (5Gbps)
  • 1 x Micro SD/SD Card reader
  • 1 x 3,5mm audio combo jack
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)

(Also includes a 1 meter 240W, 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4 host cable in the box.)

Outlook and availability

Just how many times can one brand innovate on the back of Thunderbolt 4 tech? That remains to be seen, though you can imagine that the designers and engineers at Plugable HQ are frothing and foaming at the mouth over the idea of sinking their teeth into a Thunderbolt 5 device in the near future.

It's not new ground for the brand, which have an extensive catalog of Thunderbolt 4 devices already, but Plugable continue to impress as they deliver hit after hit on the docking station front. Is the TBT4-UD5 another certified desktop essential? We won't know for certain until we get out hands on one, but with its powerful specs, solid port selection, impressive Power Delivery, and downstream Thunderbolt 4 potential, we wouldn't bet against it.

The Plugable TBT4-UD5 is available now for $199 at Amazon with a $20 off launch coupon.

Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.