Otherwise called a port replicator, the docking station is a very useful device for people on-the-go — notably laptop owners.
Laptop docking stations allow a user to connect the ports of his notebook to a bunch of peripherals like the monitor, speakers, etc. Often, the connections are simple and straightforward which is often expected for a device such as this.
The result: A laptop that’s turned into an easy-to-use desktop.
In this article, we’ll list down some of the top laptop docking stations for sale today. We’ll also briefly highlight some of their best features to better guide you in your buying decisions.
Continue reading to learn more about the top-selling laptop docking station brands.
Plugable UD-3900 is a universal docking station that supports dual video outputs for several Windows platforms. It includes six USB ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, outputs for HDMI, DVI, and VGA, and a 20-watt power adapter.
It seems sturdy and very well-made. By the way it’s designed, you can efficiently organize the physical connection going to your laptop. It also stays upright and balanced, thus you’ll never see any signs that it’s going to fall over anytime.
Compared to its much more expensive OEM counterparts, Plugable UD-3900 can be used with any other computers you might have. You’re therefore not tied to a single computer system just to be able to use this very affordable laptop docking station.
For the price and convenience it offers, this cheap laptop docking station deal is highly-recommended.
Anker Dual Display is a well-constructed laptop docking station specially made for people who are always on-the-go. It comes with a couple of ports for your USB devices, Gigabit Ethernet, and audio. If you need a VGA port for your monitor, this may not be for you as it only has DVI and HDMI outputs.
In any case you would want to use this along with your Surface Pro, this docking station should work perfectly.
Without the base, the Anker Dual Display only weighs less than a pound. Make no mistake with its durability as it’s made of hard and high-quality materials. It also has rubber footings, thus you won’t be worried about tipping down your laptop.
Moreover, the drivers for the docking station are easily installed using the CD. You can therefore be up-and-running in just a few minutes time.
As the name suggests, E Series PR03X is a docking station that’s specially designed for several Dell Latitude computer systems.
Just like other docking stations, this allows you to easily connect to several expansion ports such as USB, Ethernet, phone, and more.
Its VGA and DVI outputs are also convenient for those who are planning to come up with a dual monitor workstation either in their home or office. If properly setup, you shouldn’t have any issues with the display whatsoever.
Note that this also comes with a spare power cord. You therefore can leave your main one at one place and bring the other one anywhere you might be. You also won’t have to go under your table or desk to unplug some wires just to get yourself going.
Liztek is a good option for those looking for a reliable, yet inexpensive laptop docking station. It offers a maximum of 6 USB ports, but only two of which are USB 3.0. The rest are USB 2.0 which is still enough to support most devices like digital cameras, printers, and keyboards.
Outputs for HDMI, VGA, and DVI are also available to support a maximum display resolution of 2048 x 1152. Setting up an extended or mirrored desktop mode is also very easy as you already had the ports ready.
Moreover, this Liztek laptop docking station is a very sturdy one. It’s a bit bigger than other brands, but it’s lightweight. Setting it up out-of-the-box is also straightforward, thus you can get it to work along with your devices in no time.
Note that all these basic features are offered at half the price you pay for the pricier OEMs.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that this Lenovo ThinkPad Ultra docking station only works with selected 65-watt and 90-watt Lenovo laptops. This limitation therefore makes it incompatible for laptops with 170-watt AC adapters.
In addition to the DVI, HDMI, and VGA outputs, it also provides two DisplayPorts. This gives you plenty of display options which is a plus for those who use two monitors.
It offers 6 USB ports, but only three of which are USB 3.0. If you already have a power adapter, you can keep it for future use as this comes with a 90-watt Thinkpad AC adapter.
As for the design, it’s obviously well-thought. The ports are conveniently arranged such that you can easily turn your laptop into a desktop with multiple accessories.
This definitely is recommended to everybody looking for a seamless docking experience.
A universal laptop docking station is designed to work with any type of laptop brands. All that’s required is for you to secure the necessary physical connections from the laptop to the docking station. The number of wires or cables would of course depend on the gadgets or accessories you’ll be using.
OEM laptop docking stations are specially designed for certain makes and models. This means an Acer docking station may not work with a Dell laptop. One advantage of using an OEM docking station is you would need not to deal with a lot of cables.
The docking station should provide you access to all the necessary ports you need. Most docking stations provide a couple of display options which are great if you’re planning to use multiple monitors.
The ability to easily connect accessories would also matter. Therefore, a docking station that’s designed to efficiently manage cables would be a big plus.
Moreover, docking stations that provide backward compatibility for older laptops or devices would also be nice.
Just like any other devices or appliances, your docking station should be sturdy and made of quality materials. It should be strong enough to hold the weight of your laptop and other accessories.
If possible, your new laptop docking station should also act as a laptop stand. Such design would enhance the circulation of air under the laptop and improve its overall performance.
A good laptop docking station is a cool device to have when looking for a robust and convenient workstation.
You just have to take note of a couple of things that could affect your overall performance and the computer. This includes the type of cable you use and the type of interface utilized by the docking station in transmitting data.
You don’t have to be very tech-savvy, but being so would always be an advantage.