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Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station review

Targus’ USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station is a stellar USB-C hub in disguise

Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The Targus Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station may offer the outstanding capabilities of a docking station, but it fairs better as a commendable USB-C hub hybrid worthy of any laptop user’s attention.

Pros

  • +

    Support for multiple devices

  • +

    Travel-friendly

  • +

    Dual 4K support at 60Hz

  • +

    Dual SD card readers

  • +

    100W power delivery

Cons

  • -

    Odd port placement

  • -

    One USB-A for charging

  • -

    Pricey

Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station Specs

Price: $104.99/£99.99
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
Supports: Windows 10/11 laptops with USB-C ports, macOS, Chrome OS, iPadOS, Samsung DeX, Linux 

The line between a USB-C hub and docking station is already razor thin, and Targus’ USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station is cutting that line down to a hair’s breadth. While Targus names its excellent accessory a docking station, the dock is secretly a hybrid USB-C hub ready to transform your laptop into a full-blown desktop setup on the fly.

Sorry, did I just say laptop? I also meant your MacBook, Chromebook, iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Linux device. Targus brings versatility in the form of a small, travel-friendly accessory, offering any device with a USB-C port to spare extra USB-A 3.2 ports, SD card readers, wired connectivity via Ethernet, and dual-monitor support with 4K capabilities. Need to charge your device while the dock works its magic? The 100W passthrough power delivery will juice it up in no time.

MacBook Air or Dell XPS 13 owners are due an awakening for port expansion, but any laptop user will get a kick out how simple yet handy Targus’ dock can be in most circumstances. Sure, it would be nice to see an extra USB-A port, and spending just over $100 for a few extra ports can be disheartening. However, those in need of a reliable accessory to make the most out of their device will find Targus’ USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station to be one of the best USB-C hubs (and best docking stations, only by name) to grab. For a more detailed look, read on. 

Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station price and availability  

Available for $104.99/£99.99, the Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station makes for an affordable docking station, but a pricey USB-C hub. Considering the amount of ports a docking station boasts, much like the $482.99/£429.99, 16-port Targus USB-C Universal Quad 4K Docking Station, it would be unfair to class this dock in that price range. 

(Image credit: Future)

However, when compared with its closest competitor, the $109.99 Kensington SD1650P USB-C 4K Portable Docking Station, Targus’ dock is competitively priced, if only by a small margin. The best USB-C hubs can range from as little as $27, much like Plugable’s USB-C 7-in-1 Hub, and our favourite EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub offers more than enough power and ports for $69.99.

With this in mind, you’ll find the USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station isn’t the cheapest they come, and it may be because Targus is marketing it as more of an affordable docking station alternative. Still, this doesn’t demean the hybrid USB-C hub’s capabilities, especially since it can be used in more ways than just a laptop. Overall, this is a pricey accessory, and will be more than worth it when it gets discounted. 

Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station design  

Okay, USB-C manufacturers need to start switching up their designs if they want their products to stand out. A space gray/silver design with an anodized aluminum finish and an *insert company name here* slapped across the device is rapidly becoming a jaded aesthetic. 

(Image credit: Future)

I get it; USB-C manufacturers such as EZQuest, Plugable and Targus are homing in on MacBook owners to pique their interest, and it’s hard to fault a compact design that neatly fits in with any polished work setup. The USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station sports a sleek design, and even has small symbols displaying where each port is located that makes setting up the device uncomplicated. But, if Kensington can develop a hybrid dock that is vastly different to its competition (hello, SD1650P), and do it well, then there’s room for more unique design flairs from each company. Not all of us use MacBooks, after all. 

I’m a stickler for port placement, as it makes all the difference when sorting out a mishmash of cables on your desk. This is why I’m puzzled to see two HDMI outputs and an Ethernet port placed on opposite sides of one another. Surely, you would want more permanent connections to be placed at the rear of a hub, as these cables often lead off from your desk. With Targus’ dock, I’m either seeing two HDMI cables facing me, or an Ethernet port. Ports such as USB-A or SD card readers should both be easily accessible, meaning this is a misstep from Targus. That being said, this is a lightweight dock, which can be placed whichever way is most convenient to the user.

(Image credit: Future)

With dimensions of 4.5 x 2.3 x 0.5 inches and weighing a measly 0.2 pounds, expect to throw this into a laptop backpack or bag without it taking up much space. It’s slightly bigger than the EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub (4.1 x 2 x 0.5 inches, 0.18 pounds), but is smaller than other competitors such as Plugable’s 7-in-1 USB-C Hub (9.5 x 1.9 x 0.5 inches, 0.15 pounds) and Kensington SD1650P USB-C 4K Portable Docking Station (5.0 x 2.1 x 0.6 inches, 0.17 pounds). These differences are minuscule, however, and the USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station is still one of the smallest and lightest USB-C hubs around. 

Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station ports 

With seven ports offering support for various PC accessories and peripherals, the Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station is shy of one USB-A port from true greatness, seeing as the EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub made room for three USB-A ports. Still, this dock offers a step up by offering USB-A 3.2 connectivity, and offers all the ports that cater to laptop and tablet users’ needs. 

(Image credit: Future)

On the front, the dock features two HDMI 2.0 outputs capable of 4K resolution at 60Hz, along with an SD and micro SD card reader. On the side, you'll also find a USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 Alt Mode port with passthrough power delivery capable of a 100W charge, which is an impressive feat for such a small accessory. However, this is only used for passthrough charging, making this a single-use port.

(Image credit: Future)

On the rear is two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and one Gigabyte Ethernet port. While the USB-A ports are great for slotting in a USB drive or storage devices to transfer files, along with accessories such as keyboards or a gaming mouse, it’s strange that only one boasts 1.5A charging and the other doesn’t.  

Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station performance 

Bring on the dual 4K monitors and peripherals; the Targus USB-C Dual HDMI 4K Docking Station can handle them all without skipping a beat. Well, maybe not all. If I wanted to charge my smartphone, it would leave only one peripheral that could be used. Still, the capabilities of all your connectivity needs are here.

The Targus sock is compatible with MacBooks, Chromebooks, iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tabs — the list goes on. Every device I threw at it worked like a charm.

(Image credit: Future)

When I tested it on an Asus ROG Strix Scar 17 (2021) and a Lenovo ThinkPad, the portable dock worked efficiently. I then connected my wireless Razer Naga Pro mouse and Corsair K65 RGB Mini keyboard. Although the Naga Pro was a little jittery for a few seconds when I first plugged it in, both worked seamlessly afterwards. This was all while the laptop was charging and connected to external monitors. I also transferred files from my smartphone to my laptop without any hiccups.

To test out the hub’s compatibility on tablets, I plugged in my iPad Air (2020). Much like the EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub, I could use a mouse and keyboard on the tablets thanks to the dual USB-A ports. I also connected the tablet to external monitors via HDMI 2.0, all while the device was charging.

(Image credit: Future)

Thunderbolt 4 is the next generation of connectivity, offering higher transfer rates and the ability to support up to 8K resolution at a refresh rate of 60Hz, so I wish the hub offered a step up from Thunderbolt 3. Still, transferring files at great speeds and sporting 4K resolution at 60Hz for not just one, but two external monitors is a huge win for this lightweight device. 

Bottom line 

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 outputs with 4K capabilities at 60Hz — that’s not something many USB-C hubs can do.

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. It’s one of the best USB-C hubs and best USB-C hubs for MacBooks, but is also one of the priciest.

If you’re after something more affordable, and are in need of an extra USB-A port, then look no further than the exemplary EZQuest USB-C Multimedia Hub. Plus, it sports the same design. 

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.