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
Docking stations can easily expand the potential of your laptop, bringing 4K support, adding more ports for extra peripherals, and even helping organize your work space. For all intents and purposes, that’s exactly what Kensington’s SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station does.
Not only can it deliver dual 4K monitor support at a 60Hz refresh rate thanks to two DisplayPort outputs, but it has six USB-A 3.0 ports to connect legacy peripherals and help with cable management.
But that’s about it. Some of the best docking stations offer a variety of ports, from USB Type-C Alt Mode ports to HDMI 2.0. This docking station? Nada. However, if you’re all for USB-A ports, then the SD4100v does a great job.
Kensington SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station price and availability
The Kensington USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station comes in at a pricey $179.99. This might have been more acceptable if Kensington brought more variety to its selection of ports, but having no SD card reader, USB Type-C port or HDMI 2.0 port makes this docking station pricier than it should be. Plugable’s USB-C docking station is similarly priced and offers one HDMI port alongside two DisplayPort outputs, plus five USB Type-a ports.
If you are a USB-A hoarder and need all the USB 3.0 ports you can get, then this docking station will be more up your alley.
Kensington SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station design
The SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station doesn’t do anything groundbreaking in terms of docking station design, but it does have an element of style. The docking station’s lean, glossy black frame looks like it packs plenty of power when all the ports are plugged up.
It cuts a stately figure when standing sturdily (thanks to a rubberised base) on your desk and doesn’t take up much space. The shiny surface is susceptible to fingerprints, but a docking station isn’t something you touch very much. It stands at 7.7 inches tall, with the dock’s base covering a measly 5 x 2.8-inches.
Unfortunately, this is a standing-only docking station, as the base can’t be removed. It would be nice to have the option to use it horizontally, as some users prefer to lay their docking stations flat to hide behind monitors or laptops.
Each side also has gill-like vents, with the left side depicting the Kensington logo and name of the docking station. It leaves the right side looking like a shiny black monolith.
Kensington SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station ports and connectivity
This docking station is all about USB-A ports, so if you’re looking for some USB-C connectivity, move along.
The SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station has two USB-A 3.1 Gen1 ports facing the front, with the bottom port supporting BC 1.2 (battery charge), which can deliver up to 5V of charge for smartphones or, as the manual specifically points out, Apple devices. You’ll also find one 3.5mm audio jack and a separate one for mics.
On the rear are an additional four USB-A 3.1 Gen1 ports and two DisplayPort v1.2++ ports that can deliver up to dual 4K monitor support at resolutions of 4096 x 2160-pixels at 60Hz. There’s also a power switch, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a USB-B 3.1 Gen1 port to connect to your laptop (via USB-B to USB-A host cable), along with the power jack.
Kensington SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station performance
The SD4100v docking station does everything it should by supporting dual monitors without any noticeable lag, and providing plenty of ports to cram in my keyboard, USB-A wireless mouse, USB adapter, and then some.
I tested the connection on dual Asus VG278 monitors using the DisplayPort, and it effectively turned my laptop into three separate screens after plugging in the extremely long 9.8-foor USB-B to USB-A host cable. This meant I could leave the dock across my room if I really wanted to. Better yet, there was absolutely zero noticeable lag, even when I booted up Prey on Xbox Game Pass on one screen and played a YouTube video on the other.
At the same time, I was charging an iPhone, which I could access via my laptop. Kensington labelled this docking station “The Task Master,” and judging by how easily everything is set up, it earns that title.
What the Task Master isn’t so much a master of is port variety. I would have tested the docking station on a 4K Samsung TV, but because it doesn’t support HDMI 2.0, I couldn’t. It’s an annoying omission, and the Kensington isn’t backed by a USB-C Alt Mode port for HDMI output, either. There’s also no SD card reader, which would be especially handy for professionals when transferring data or storing photos.
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.
The problem is that other docking stations offer up HDMI ports and USB-C connections at around the same $179.99 price. While this can be fixed with a USB Type-C hub, the SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station should already include these ports without you having to pay extra for another hub.
That said, 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.