Docking station for laptop: 5 features You Must Not Ignore

By szlangpai01 / Nov 23, 2021

Docking station test & comparison: You can find this content here

  1. How do I recognize good Docking station for laptop?
  2. Which docking stations are the best according to the tests?
  3. Which docking station is right for me?
  4. What do docking stations cost?

docking station for laptop comparison

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How do I recognize good docking stations?

Modern notebooks are often thin and compact and therefore only have the most important interfaces. You can replace it with a Docking station for laptop and turn it into a full-fledged desktop PC. The following buying guide explains the individual variants.

It is important that the docking station is compatible with your laptop, tablet or iPhone. Some models are universal and therefore compatible with many end devices. These are further purchase criteria.

Docking station for laptop

Docking station for laptop External interface:

  • Most docking stations have all the important interfaces that you will find on modern laptops and computers. These include USB 3.0 / USB 3.1, USB 2.0, LAN, audio-out, card readers and many more
  • Video output: If you want to connect an external monitor to the docking station, you need a video output. HDMI or the digital DisplayPort are recommended for high image quality
  • Number of USB ports: the more devices you want to connect, the more USB ports you will need. Most devices have 1 to 3 USB 3.0 ports and 1 to 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • Maximum resolution: As a rule, high-quality Docking station for laptopcreate a resolution in full HD quality – that is 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

Which Docking station for laptop are the best according to the tests?

We have not yet carried out a test on docking stations. For this purpose, the experts from the gadget examined 6 USB-C docking stations from different manufacturers in 2021. The following models were particularly positive:

  • HP Thunderbolt Docking Station 120W G2
  • Lenovo ThinkPad USB-C Dock
  • Belkin USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD

Thunderbolt Docking station for laptop

Since the HP model is a Thunderbolt Docking station for laptop, it is not handy, but it offers many connections and a good price-performance ratio. It even operates 2 4K monitors without any problems. The somewhat more expensive device from Lenovo also offers numerous connections and is easy to transport.

The experts are not disappointed with any of the 6 models. Even the two price-performance winners from Raidsonic and Minix have 3 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI ports and several memory card slots. In addition, both docking stations are very compact.

Which Docking station for laptop is right for me?

Which docking station suits you depends on your device and what you want to use it for. In addition to the common models for notebooks and tablets, you will also find docking stations for smartphones and game consoles, such as the Nintendo Switch Dock. There are three popular variants:

USB docking station: Universally applicable and compact

Docking stations with particularly fast  USB-C port, USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 , also known as port replicator ,  simply connect to the USB port of your laptop. Even older notebooks immediately receive an Ethernet port, additional graphics outputs, various USB interfaces and connections for external hard drives. Most models, like the i Tec USB 3.0 Dual, are compact.

Usb Docking station for laptop


  • Often universally applicable for all notebooks
  • Many USB devices can be connected at the same time
  • USB 3.0 is backwards compatible
  • Comparatively cheap
  • Large selection on the market
  • Can be used as an external USB charger
  • Mostly handy and compact

Disadvantages of Usb Docking station for laptop

  • Higher CPU usage – laptop slows down
  • Slightly slower than Thunderbolt
  • Not always compatible with OS X or Linux
  • With cheap models, the sound quality often suffers

Docking station for laptop china

Thunderbolt docking station: Particularly powerful

Docking station for laptop with Thunderbolt interfaces are less well known. The interface is a combination of DisplayPort and a connection based on PCI Express – also known as a multifunctional interface. At 40 GBit / s, Thunderbolt 3 and 4 are around four times faster than USB 3.1.

For example, you can control 2 monitors with 4K resolution at the same time and charge your notebook at the same time. This type of docking station is particularly suitable for Apple products such as Macbook Pro and Macbook Air as well as HP Ultraslim or Lenovo.

Types of Docking station for laptop

  • Especially upgrade Apple models with many interfaces
  • Backwards compatible with older Thunderbolt versions
  • Extremely high transfer rates of up to 40 Gbit / s
  • Four times faster than the current USB 3.1 standard
  • Expands notebooks by up to 10 or more connections
  • No tangled cables – the Docking station for laptopcan even charge the notebook

Disadvantages of the Macbook Docking station for laptop

  • Only compatible with a few laptops
  • Usually significantly more expensive than USB docking stations
  • Comparatively little choice on the market


Tablet docking station: turns your tablet into a notebook

Whether for the IPad Pro or Lenovo ThinkPad – a tablet docking station is not only used for data exchange, but also charges your tablet at the same time and is also suitable as a holder. If you like to watch movies on the tablet or need it for presentations in the office, the Docking station for laptop is a great help. Some models come with an additional keyboard and thus completely transform your tablet into a notebook.

Advantages of tablet Docking station for laptop

  • At the same time electricity supplier and tablet holder
  • Tablet is always ready for use even while charging
  • Equips tablet with additional USB and HDMI connections
  • Models with an integrated loudspeaker provide better sound
  • Also available as a universal model for tablet and mobile phone

Disadvantages of tablet Docking station for laptop

  • Mostly only compatible with certain tablets
  • Brand-specific products are often expensive
  • Selection on the market leaves a lot to be desired


Docking stations for laptops are meant to bridge the gap between portability and having a stationary place to work and play. With a Docking station for laptop, you can get the best of both worlds with a system that allows your laptop to work for both purposes.

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