Best Laptop Docking Stations To Enhance Your Digital World in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 18, 2017
Laptop docking stations find more appreciation every day. They are able to turn your laptop or tablet into a full-capacity computer and expand the possibilities by connecting to many more devices, including several monitors at a time. We want to help you select the best laptop docking station. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Video Ports
USB Ports
Options
Scope of Supply
Supported OS
Other Ports
Warranty
 
PROS
Easy to install, use and connect, Plugable laptop docking station can save you plenty of usable space on a table owing to its upright design.
CONS
Some wireless devices might not work when plugged in USB 3.0 ports.
OUR VERDICT
A universal notebook docking station for all users who prefer using Windows-based devices.
detailed parameters
Video Ports
1x HDMI 1x DVI
USB Ports
4x USB 2.0 2x USB 3.0 (1x for charging devices)
Options
Displays image to several screens via HDMI port (2560x1140) or COMBO DVI+HDMI (1920x1200)
Scope of Supply
USB 3.0 Cable, DVI to VGA Adapter
Supported OS
Windows
Other Ports
1x Speakers Port 1x Microphone Port 1x Ethernet
Warranty
1 year
PROS
Kensington SD3600 universal docking station can be mounted on the rear of an external monitor with a special VESA mounting plate.
CONS
External devices cannot be charged via USB ports.
OUR VERDICT
This well-designed docking station doesn't take up much space on a desktop. Connecting your laptop to dual HD monitors allows you to watch high-quality videos at 1080p.
detailed parameters
Video Ports
1x HDMI 1x DVI
USB Ports
2x USB 3.0 4x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0 Type B (for connecting to the USB port of a laptop)
Options
Displays image to dual monitors (1080)
Scope of Supply
USB 3.0 cable, DVI-I to HDMI adapter, DVI-I to VGA adapter, Power adapter, Instruction Guide
Supported OS
Windows, Mac Os
Other Ports
1 x Speaker port 1 x Microphone port 1 x Ethernet
Warranty
2 years
PROS
The wedge-shaped design of the docking station allows tucking it under your laptop for extra desk space.
CONS
The laptop can slide off when the dock is used as a stand.
OUR VERDICT
A budget-friendy yet functional docking station with a cooling option that prevents your laptop from overheating too.
detailed parameters
Video Ports
1x HDMI 1x DVI
USB Ports
2x USB 3.0 (2x for charging devices) 4x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0 Type B (for connecting to the USB port of a laptop)
Options
Displays image to dual screens (2048x1152)
Scope of Supply
Docking station only
Supported OS
Windows, Mac OSX, Android
Other Ports
1x Speaker port 1x Microphone port 1x Ethernet
Warranty
3 years
PROS
Since Anker Dual laptop docking station supports both HDMI and DVI, it can be connected to three monitors simultaneously.
CONS
To use it with Mac OS, you'd need to install additional drivers.
OUR VERDICT
This is an extremely elegant-looking docking station for all laptops. Automatic bandwidth prioritization of the connected devices provides for smooth, stable work, even if each port is used.
detailed parameters
Video Ports
1x HDMI 1x DVI
USB Ports
4x USB 2.0 2x USB 3.0 (1x for charging)
Options
1x Speaker Port 1x Ethernet
Scope of Supply
Detachable base stand, 19V 2A AC power adapter, USB 3.0 cable, Driver CD, User manual
Supported OS
Windows, Mac OS
Other Ports
1x Speaker port 1x Ethernet
Warranty
18 months
PROS
A stylish universal design allows placing this station in any position for your comfortable use. Supports high-definition videos and great Ethernet speed.
CONS
VESA mounting plate is not included.
OUR VERDICT
Wavlink Universal Dual Display docking station is fully fit for its purpose. This space-saving dock is suitable for home and office environment.
detailed parameters
Video Ports
1 x HDMI 1 x DVI
USB Ports
2x USB 3.0 (1 for charging devices) 4x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0
Options
Displays image to several screens via DVI+HDMI (2048x1152)
Scope of Supply
12V/2A power adapter, USB 3.0 cable, DVI to VGA adapter, CD Driver, Instruction Manual
Supported OS
Windows, Mac OS, Linux
Other Ports
1 x Speaker port 1 x Microphone port 1 x Ethernet
Warranty
Amazon's 30-day return policy

What is a Laptop Docking Station?

More and more people nowadays switch from desktop computer to laptops. A laptop is much more mobile and easier to carry from place to place. The smaller your laptop is the easier it is for you to bring it around. At the same time, using a laptop may pose some challenges if it's rather small in size. To solve a problem of small keyboards and displays a lot of users today connect external devices to their laptops, but if there are very few ports in your laptop, you need to look for a different way out. If you don't plan to upgrade your laptop for now, you can get away with a laptop docking station, a small but useful device that can extend laptop's performance capabilities by times.

If all you need to do is to expand USB connectivity options, you may be interested in our review on USB hubs, as well as USB wireless adapters for connecting to the web.

What Features to Compare

When you select a laptop notebook docking station, the first thing to think about is what devices you are going to connect to your laptop. Then, depending on your needs, look through available Ports on the laptop docking station. And we mean both the number of ports and their intended use. The ports may differ. There are ports for external storage devices, like USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, and ports for external data displaying devices (monitors and TV-sets): HDMI, VGA, DVI, Display Ports. Also, almost all modern notebook docking stations feature Ethernet ports to connect to the high-speed cable Internet. The laptop docking station may additionally feature an output for a microphone and speakers.

The second step you should take is to understand how you will connect the notebook docking station to your laptop. So, pay attention to the device's Connectivity. Some laptop docking stations can be connected via a USB port, and some require a special port. The laptop docking stations with a USB connectivity interface are suited for all users, no matter what kind of laptops they use — the docking station will connect just fine. And docking stations with a special port will work only with a few models produced by specific manufacturers. One more feature that might affect the connection between the notebook docking station and a laptop is the supported operating system. Note that not every docking station will work with a Linux OS or Windows RT.

At the end, we would like to recommend you to assess the Additional Features of your docking station for a laptop. Additionally to the main functionality (which is to widen the connectivity options), the docking station for laptops may have other features. For example, it may be the option of charging your laptop. Or an embedded card reader. USB ports can have the charging option even when the docking station is turned off. The list may go on.

...Read more ...Read less

Plugable Technologies UD-3900

Ports

The possibilities of image transfer this universal laptop docking station is able to provide include two digital ports, the HDMI port, and the DVI port. There are also six USB ports: 2x USB 3.0, and 4x USB 2.0 ports. If you want to connect your headphones and/or a headset, you will find two standard jack 3.5 ports here. And a high-speed Internet connection cord can be plugged into an Ethernet port.

Review of Plugable Technologies UD-3900 Universal Dock Station

Connectivity

This Plugable Technologies UD-3900 laptop docking station with USB works perfectly well with all latest Windows editions, with the only exception for Windows RT. Among the devices compatible with this notebook docking station you will find laptops, Ultrabooks, and tablets based on the Intel processors and Windows operating system. This docking station for laptops is connected via the USB cable that comes with the purchase.

Plugable Technologies UD-3900 Universal Dock Station in the use

Additional Features

If you plan to connect only one monitor (with HDMI port) to this laptop docking station for dual monitors, then the device will be able to display image in an HD resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. However, for the dual-monitor system (DVI + HDMI) it will be 1920x1080 pixels each (which is still an HD and a pretty good resolution). Also, at the front part of this notebook docking station from Plugable Technologies, you can find a special port for fast charging of your mobile devices.

VIDEO
Plugable UD-3900 Dual Monitor Docking Station Review
Plugable Technologies UD-3900
Plugable Technologies UD-3900
 

Kensington SD3600

Maximum Desktop Space

Looking at the Kensington laptop docking station the first thing you will like about it is its compact size and multiple connectivity options. However, when you look at it a bit closer, you'll see one more feature that distinguishes it from many other models - an option to mount it on the rear of a monitor with a special VESA mounting plate. So if you'd like to save some usable space on your desktop, make sure to purchase it separately since it's not included in the base package. The arrangement of USB ports is also rather convenient; all video ports are located on the rear while audio ports are on the front. This provides users with open access to most frequently used ports in a much more convenient way. What else about the Kensington laptop docking station that shouldn't go amiss is a high-powered USB port for ultra-fast data transfer to external sources.

Review of Kensington SD3600 Laptop Docking Station

Convenient Work With Video Files

The docking station features two ports for connecting dual HD monitors and expanding your laptop display capabilities. The HDMI cable supports most standard PC monitor formats. The DVI adapter, in its turn, can be used for connecting to the docking station. Also, you can use one of the adapters (DVI-I to HDMI and DVI-I to VGA) for extending functionality of peripheral devices. Besides, you can use a multi-monitor setup, changing from extended mode to mirror mode. The extended mode allows displaying the apps that you drag from your main monitor, while the mirror mode displays a duplicate image on two monitors simultaneously.

Kensington SD3600 Laptop Docking Station in the use

More Products to Consider

Consider buying a monitor mount to fix your PC monitor or docking station in a convenient position.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Kensington SD3600 Universal USB 3.0 Docking Station Unboxing Review
Kensington SD3600
Kensington SD3600
 

Targus ACP70EU Super Speed

Convenient Location Under Laptop

Owing to the wedge-shaped design and rear location of all main ports, it is easy to use the Targus Super Speed docking station as a laptop stand too. Said design is also great for maintaining optimal ventilation, preventing your laptop from overheating during long-hours use. The Targus Super Speed docking station features two high-powered USB 3.0 ports that provide a rapid data transfer from external devices as well as can charge digital gadgets. Moreover, the dock includes a Gigabit Ethernet port that allows for fast connection to wired networks and data exchange between users. The DisplayLink technology support and two video outputs for connecting 2 external monitors are some other useful features worth mentioning too. What is more, the maximum resolution this laptop docking station can support reaches 2048x1152p, which is quite a lot.

 

Review of Targus ACP70EU Super Speed Docking Station

Multimedia Support

Basically, not many docking stations are compatible with multiple operating systems. However, the same cannot be said about the Targus ACP70EU docking station. The dock supports all Windows versions (Windows 7 and higher), MAC OS (10.8, 10.9, and 10.10), and Android (5 and higher). A lot of users find the ability to connect it to Android platform very beneficial considering that Android-based tablets and smartphones become more and popular each day. With that said, we can easily recommend the Targus ACP70EU docking station to all customers who need a universal docking station that could be connected to multiple devices. On top of versatility of use, it also performs a cooling function, which is surely a great advantage.  

 

Targus ACP70EU Super Speed Docking Station in the use

More Products to Consider

If you'd like to have your laptop working properly, couple it with a cooling pad.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
Targus ACP70 Setup
Targus ACP70EU Super Speed
Targus ACP70EU Super Speed
 

Anker Dual Display Universal

Ports

With this laptop docking station, you will be able to display the image on two external monitors with HDMI and DVI ports located at its back. The front panel features two high-speed USB 3.0 ports, one of which also provides the option for charging your devices. You can use ports to connect your mobile devices or external drives. Furthermore, the Anker Dual Display also has four USB 2.0 ports, also placed at the back. Those can be used to add a mouse, a keyboard, a printer, or any other devices you wish. Make your desk the most comfortable.

Review of Anker Dual Display Universal Docking Station

Connectivity

To connect Anker Dual Display Universal Docking Station to your laptop, please use the USB 3.0 Type B port. The spatial cable comes with the purchase. This docking station for laptop easily works with laptops based on Windows OS starting from XP, which is pretty rare for docking stations now. Although you might need to download some drivers from the official site additionally. There is an option to connect this universal laptop docking station to a Mac-based laptop, but note that the DisplayLink driver does not work with this system, so the Ethernet, DVI, and HDMI ports will be of no use. But you will still have all the USB ports!

Anker Dual Display Universal Docking Station in the use

Additional Features

One of the special features of this laptop notebook docking station is its option to be set on a stand vertically. With this possibility, you will save some desk space if you wish to. The number of monitors you can connect simultaneously is two, which makes it three working monitors overall (with the one that is your laptop's). Internet surfing, working with documents, and gaming was never this simple.

VIDEO
Anker USB 3.0 Docking Station Unboxing and Impressions with MacBook Pro
Anker Dual Display Universal
Anker Dual Display Universal
 

Wavlink Universal Dual Display

Everything You Need For Comfortable Work

A distinct advantage of laptops over desktop computers is portability. Laptops can be taken away and used on the go. The only problem you can face when using a laptop is lack of additional ports. Yet, if you get the Wavlink docking station, this won't be an issue anymore. Considering the number of ports, it's possible to connect up to 6 additional devices and 2 external monitors for gaming or comfortable work. Two USB 3.0 ports have the maximum transmission speed of 5 Gbit/s that is good for transferring data from and to external storage devices. The USB indicator contributes to usability of the station telling you when it's powered on. All external connectors are located on the rear of the unit, except for the two audio outputs which are placed on the front.

Review of Wavlink Universal Dual Display Docking Station

Always Keep In Touch

The ability to charge your mobile devices is one more distinctive feature of this docking station. Those who use tablets, smartphones or other quickly discharging mobile devices for professional purposes, will definitely appreciate this docking station. A USB 3.0 port provides current supply up to 1.5A that is more than enough to fully charge your smartphone battery. No need to carry a lot of chargers and look for an outlet to charge your devices. Thus, you are always in touch with your colleagues, business partners, clients, family, and friends.

In this regard, this model offers an excellent way to expand your laptop capabilities at a low price. Indeed, this docking station fits its purpose perfectly, being suitable for personal use and professional purposes.

Wavlink Universal Dual Display Docking Station in the use

More Products to Consider

We advise picking a Wi-Fi router to arrange a wireless LAN at your workplace.

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Wavlink Universal Dual Display
Wavlink Universal Dual Display
 

Sources:

1. Lincoln Spector The easy answer to the laptop vs. desktop question: Use a docking station, PCWorld. March 12, 2015.

2. Docking Station Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

3. How to Choose the Perfect Dock for Your Device, StarTech.com. February 18, 2016.

4. Tyler Lacoma Rock out with your dock out with this guide to laptop docks, DIGITAL TRENDS. November 7, 2015.

5. How to Choose the Best USB Charging Station for All Your Gadgets, How-To Geek.

Other reviews