Is it Worth to Buy an Universal Docking Station?

This post will analyse and help you to determine whether it is a good idea to buy an Universal Docking Station

universal-docking-station

The lack of ports on a laptop or tablet is a common problem that almost every PC user has at least once, but more likely many times while using his devices nowadays.

Depending on what kind of results you want to achieve, you might solve most of your problems with an USB hub, but if you want to connect monitors or other devices which use different ports such as HDMI or VGA, an USB hub will probably not be enough for your needs.

What Can an USB Universal Docking Station Do?

An USB universal docking station will let you connect your laptop or tablet via one USB port to the station, and from there, to a number of devices. Most good universal docking stations will allow you to connect your laptop to two monitors, and some even to three monitors. They also have a number of USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports, in which you can connect a number of devices.

Other than that, normally universal docking stations also have ethernet port connectivity, and audio output, so it can really alleviate the need for ports on your laptop or tablet, creating a more smart work environment, especially if you work with multiple monitors.

Where to Buy your USB Universal Docking Station?

Here are some models available on Amazon.com followed by some options on Amazon.co.uk:

on Amazon.com

Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs for Windows 10, 8.1, 7, & XP (HDMI and DVI / VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 6 USB Ports, 20W Power Adapter)

plugable-usb
Provides SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5Gbps) link from PC to dual video, gigabit Ethernet, audio input/output, and two USB 3.0 ports. (VIA VL811+ chipset with latest 9095 firmware. USB 2.0 backwards compatibility, plug and play, devices can be hot-swapped, supports USB over-current protection)
HDMI port supports resolutions up to 2560×1440* and DVI/VGA port supports display resolutions up to 2048×1152 / 1920×1200; wired Ethernet port supports 10/100/1000Mbps speeds
Full support for Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, & legacy XP systems. Surface RT, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix are not supported. Docking station suggested for use with web and productivity software; not recommended for gaming
*2560×1440 output only available when using a single HDMI display. If dual displays are connected, each will be limited to a maximum resolution of 1920×1200. 2560×1440 output requires a “High Speed” HDMI cable. 2560×1440 mode operates at a 50Hz refresh rate; all lower modes support 60Hz refresh. 2560×1440 output requires current DisplayLink drivers and attached monitor must natively support 2560×1440 via HDMI input
We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 1 year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support

Click here to read more or buy this docking station from Amazon.com

Anker Dual Display Universal Docking Station with DVI/HDMI (up to 2048 x 1152), Audio, Gigabit Ethernet, 6 USB ports (2 USB 3.0 + 4 USB 2.0), 38W Adapter, Supports Surface Pro / 2 / 3 and more

anker-usb-station
Supports simultaneous HDMI and DVI displays, allowing you to expand your desktop to 3 monitors.
Not only does this docking station consolidate your devices, it manages their performance, too. A smart chip prioritizes bandwidth usage, so even when running at full capacity, you get smooth, stable connections.
Automatic bandwidth prioritization of connected devices ensures smooth, stable operation, even when every port is full
Two USB 3.0 ports (one of which can charge at 5V / 1.5A) give you access to SuperSpeed data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps. Four USB 2.0 ports also available.
Package includes: Anker USB 3.0 Docking Station, detachable base stand, 19V 2A AC power adapter, USB 3.0 cable, driver CD, user manual, quick installation guide.

Click here to read more or buy this docking station from Amazon.com

HiRO H50295 USB 3.0 DVI HDMI Dual Display Universal Docking Station 2048 x 1152 Audio Gigabit Ethernet 2x Front USB 3.0 4x Back USB 2.0 19V 2A 38W Power Adapter Windows 10 8.1 8 7 32-bit 64-bit

usb-hiro-station
Dual Video Output: DVI HDMI Dual digital video outputs. Extended Desktop (Default), Mirrored Desktop, Primary Display. Supports High Resolution up to 2048 x 1152
USB Downstream Compliant to USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, 2 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports up to 5Gbps, one can charge 5V 1.5A power, 4 High-Speed USB 2.0 ports up to 480Mbps.
Gigabit Ethernet: 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, IEEE 802.3, 802.3u, and 802.3ab compatible, Supports IPv4 / IPv6.
Stereo Audio: 2 CH Stereo output & Mic-in with a combo jack. Audio Mic in / Speaker out w/ 3.5mm jack
Ergonomic design: Solid Aluminum Metal Base ensure stability, Piano finished with glossy case

Click here to read more or buy this docking station from Amazon.com

On Amazon.co.uk if you live in the UK or Ireland:

Anker® USB 3.0 Dual Display Docking Station with DVI/HDMI of up to 2048 x 1152, Audio, Gigabit Ethernet, and 6 USB ports (2 USB 3.0 + 4 USB 2.0) for Windows (19V / 2A Power Adapter included)

anker-usb-2
Consolidate devices and connect to all of your peripherals at once via a single USB 3.0 cable.
Supports simultaneous HDMI and DVI displays, allowing you to expand your desktop to three monitors.
Automatic bandwidth prioritization of connected devices ensures smooth, stable operation, even when every port is full.
Two USB 3.0 ports (one of which can charge at 5V / 1.5A) give you access to SuperSpeed data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps. Four USB 2.0 ports also available.
Package includes: Anker® USB 3.0 Docking Station, detachable base stand, 19V 2A AC power adapter, driver CD, user manual, quick installation guide.

Click here to read more or buy this docking station from Amazon.co.uk

Kensington SD3500v USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Dual Video for Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI, DVI, VGA to 2048 x 1152, GB Ethernet, 4 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0)

kensington-usb
Docking Station optimised for Ultrabooks, Laptops and MicroSoft Surface Pro Tablets
Works with Windows-based computers (updated firmware for Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista and XP) and limited support for MAC OSX from Version 10.6 (Leopard) up to Mountain Lion release (see Display Link website for more details)
Provides fast USB 3.0 (5 GBPS) for high speed data transfer
HDMI and DVI monitor ports (with DVI to VGA Adapter included) supports display resolutions up to 2048 x 1152 / 1920 x 1200
2 front USB 3.0 ports and 4 USB 2.0 ports on the back
Turns one USB port into 6 and includes quick one-touch USB connection
Fast network and Internet access with Gigabit Ethernet connection
Enhanced sound via 2.0 audio speakers

Click here to read more or buy this docking station from Amazon.co.uk

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