How to Buy a Top Laptop Docking Station
Buying the best laptop docking station of 2018 is a difficult thing to do, as the market’s flooded with new and improved models, and most of them are actually highly acclaimed by customers. Which one’s the right one for your needs? Your preferences have to come first when purchasing a docking station, and here’s some of the things you need to consider before choosing a particular model.
Universal or custom-made
What’s the deal with the laptop docking stations manufactured by big brands? Actually, it’s pretty simple. Some laptops nowadays come with a proprietary port, which can be utilized for connecting to the docking station without buyers needing to utilize an individual USB port.
On the other hand, universal units may require a special cable in order to connect to the laptop, so they might not look the best when it comes to displaying them on a desk. Nevertheless, some of the universal models are cutting-edge, in the sense that they can even be utilized for increasing air circulation or for minimizing heat buildup in the laptop.
There is a core feature that every docking station must own, and that is connectivity. The number of USB ports as well as the one of HDMI and DVI/VGA port supports can strongly impact the way you interact with a docking station.
Some docking stations can work strictly with Windows operating systems, be they more modern or more ancient. By contrast, some others are destined for Mac OS or for Linux devices and will thus not work with a Windows PC. Pay close attention to these details and read the manufacturer’s description of the product as carefully as possible, in order to prevent getting an incompatible unit.
Price, warranty and recommendations
If you’re looking for no hassle, pick a docking station that’s covered by a warranty that lasts for at least a year. The price should be a correlation between the product you want to purchase and your personal budget. Recommendations must play a major role in your research, so read some of the best laptop docking station reviews.
Top Rated Laptop Docking Stations in 2018
For your consideration, we have selected three of the most acclaimed docking stations on the market today. All of the following have gathered the appreciation of American and worldwide customers alike, and they’re generally thought of as being capable of excellent performance. One thing’s for sure: they won’t ruin your budget.
This unit is one of the top rated laptop docking stations of 2018 and has gathered a massive amount of hype. Various customers praise its features and its price. While many online marketplaces sell it for around two hundred bucks, Amazon buyers can benefit from the frequent discounts organized by the retailer and get it for half of this price.
The model has acquired over 990 positive reviews, which leads us to believe it might be worth a look.
What’s so special about the Plugable UD-3900? This is a docking station that works with Windows personal computers and laptops, which requires a main GPU that’s either Intel, AMD or NVIDIA. Mac and Linux users are required to look for another product, as this model is not compatible with these two operating systems.
The package includes the universal docking station, a certified power adapter, a quick-install guide and a driver CD, and a USB 3.0 Type-A male to Type-B male cable, which is compatible with USB 2.0.
The manufacturers are offering a 1-year warranty on this item, both on parts and on labor. In case you’re wondering, the company is based in Seattle, so this is a 100% American product.
Unlike the unit we’ve mentioned above, the neat thing about this Anker variety is that it also works with other operating systems aside from Windows. Sure, it supports anything from Windows 10 to Windows 7 and legacy XP systems, but it is compatible with Mac, Android and Ubuntu provided that customers download the software from the DisplayLink website.
This is one of the most versatile models we’ve come across, as it is capable of supporting both HDMI and DVI displays at the same time, therefore allowing buyers to expand their desktop to 3 monitors.
This Anker docking station is slightly more affordable than the previously described one and has gathered a wide array of positive reviews. According to various customers, the company’s well-known for developing top-notch products and this dock is no different. Most buyers claim that they’ve been using the item for connecting their USB printer, their USB hard drive and their network cable, all into a single dock.
Other individuals praise the ability of the dock to work with MacBooks, even though they were required to go on the website and get the graphics driver. After having done so, the installation was a breeze. All in all, it looks like the Anker has gathered some of the best laptop docking station reviews.
We’ve saved this product for the last, because its price might be a deal-breaker for some people’s budgets. This is one of the most cutting-edge and versatile models we’ve stumbled upon, and it even looks good. It won’t make you feel weird about displaying it on your desk and it’s well-known for doing what it is supposed to do.
The model supports anything from USB, HDMI, VGA and DVI and can display resolutions up to 2048 by 1152. It features a headset and a microphone input and works with 5.1 channel systems on account of the DMI interface. Video can be used for anything between extended desktop mode, mirrored desktop mode and primary mode.
Since the number of ports make the difference between a highly usable docking station and one that fails to impress, it’s good to know that this one comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports. One of the two USB 3.0 ports can be utilized for charging mobile devices in a jiffy, but it cannot work with tablets and laptops.
The manufacturers are offering an 18-month warranty on this item and a nonstop technical support system.