The best docking stations for laptops and MacBooks

If the laptop has too few ports, a docking station can help. atechbook presents models that convince both in use and design.

There is nothing more practical than a laptop. It accompanies you everywhere, is small and handy and always ready for use. But sometimes you just don’t have the right connections, the necessary memory or the right screen size. That’s when they make their grand entrance: docking stations. They make it child’s play to connect external devices such as monitors, mice, USB sticks & Co. to the laptop – or to expand the storage space. atechbook has tracked them down: the best docking stations for Windows laptops and MacBooks.

Overview

What do I need a docking station for?

If you are the proud owner of a notebook, you usually appreciate one feature in particular: flexibility. However, a laptop or MacBook is usually not quite as flexible as it seems at first glance. At the latest when sitting at the desk in the office, it becomes apparent that the laptop often doesn’t have the right or enough ports to connect an external monitor, mouse, keyboard and other devices. Docking stations were developed for just such cases. Once set up, you can simply plug your notebook or MacBook into the docking station when you get to the office in the morning – and instantly the device is connected to all the important hardware components. And work? Can begin immediately.

Did you already know? The term “docking station” comes from English. “To dock” translates to “to dock” or “to couple.”

What hardware can I connect?

It all depends on the docking station, since every model and manufacturer has different ports integrated. Basically, all peripherals that can usually be used with desktop PCs can be connected to the laptop: Monitors, mice, keyboards, printers, beamers, smartphones, LAN ports, digital cameras, external hard drives and much more.

Therefore, for those who are still looking for the right match, atechbook presents the perfect docks for every use, every demand and every user.

Für Designverliebte: HP USB-C Docking Station G5

Vielseitig, elegant und platzsparend: Die formschöne und kompakte HP USB-C Docking Station G5 ist ein echter Allrounder. Sie begeistert nicht nur mit einer Vielzahl an Anschlüssen, sondern ist auch maximal flexibel, was ihre Kompatibilität angeht. Denn sie funktioniert mit allen USB-C- und Thunderbolt-fähigen Laptops. Eine weitere Besonderheit: Mit der praktischen Dockingstation lassen sich sogar zwei externe Monitore gleichzeitig anschließen.

Features of the HP USB-C Docking Station G5

HP USB-C Docking Station G5
Product type USB docking station
External interfaces RJ45, USB 3.0, USB-C, audio port
Video output DisplayPort, HDMI
Number of USB 3.0 ports 4
Number of USB 3.1 ports 1
Compatible with USB-C and Thunderbolt-enabled laptops, Windows 7, Windows 10, macOS, Chrome OS.

Vorteile und Nachteile der HP USB-C Docking Station G5

Pro

  • + Space-saving and handy
  • + Many ports
  • + 1 year manufacturer warranty
  • + Stylish design and high quality

Contra

  • – Relatively high price

For gamers: Western Digital Game Dock D50

This model turns every laptop and MacBook into an integrated gaming station. The Western Digital Game Dock D50 not only immediately catches the eye with its LED light, but also impresses with its inner values. Thus, it helps to avoid cable clutter on the desk with a multitude of ports. In addition, the docking station ensures that the laptop never runs out of storage space: The integrated 1 TB SSD hard drive allows you to store up to 25 games or numerous photos and videos directly on the dock.

Features of the Western Digital Game Dock D50 / 1 TB

Western Digital Game Docks D50 / 1 TB
Product type Thunderbolt docking station
External interfaces LAN (RJ-45), Audio-in, Audio-out, USB 3.0, USB 3.1
Video output Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort
Number of USB 3.0 ports 3
Number of USB 3.1 ports 2
Compatible with Thunderbolt™ 3 enabled computers, Windows 10 (64 bit), macOS 10.13+.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Western Digital Game Dock D50

Rating at idealo: Score 1.8 | 4 of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Many ports
  • + 5 years manufacturer warranty
  • + With integrated 1 TB SSD storage.
  • + With 13 LED pattern effects

Contra

  • – Relatively high price

For the versatile: Verbatim USB-C multiport hub

The Verbatim USB-C multiport hub is a real all-rounder. That makes it ideal for those who need a lot of accessories: With three USB 3.0 ports, you’ll find plenty of room to plug in a mouse, USB stick, hard drive, or external DVD drive with this compact docking station. There is even a convenient USB-C fast charging port. The HDMI port promises a razor-sharp picture, which can be used to transfer the screen content to a TV or monitor – even in resolutions up to Ultra HD 4K. Last but not least, the hub also comes with convenient card slots for SD and microSD memory cards, making it ideal for (hobby) photographers.

Ausstattung des Verbatim USB-C Multiport Hub

Verbatim USB-C Multiport Hub
Product type USB docking station
External interfaces LAN (RJ-45), card reader, USB 3.0, USB-C
Video output HDMI
Number of USB 3.0 ports 2
Number of USB 3.1 ports 1
Compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems

Advantages and disadvantages of the Verbatim USB-C multiport hub

idealo rating: score 1.7 | 4.5 out of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Provides data and power
  • + Robust case
  • + Many ports

Contra

  • – No LED or switches
  • – Relatively short cable

For the tasteful: Dell Mobile Adapter DA300

Comprehensive, compact and stylish, Dell’s handy 6-in-1 USB-C adapter offers the widest variety of connectivity options – including HDMI, DP, VGA, Ethernet, USB-C and USB-A. The mobile multi-talent does not compromise and delivers, for example, a clear 4K resolution at 60 hertz as well as the fast data transfer rate SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbit/s. Despite maximum possibilities, the round adapter is at the same time maximally handy and also fits in every pocket. Particularly advantageous is the hidden cable, which can be pulled out and in by twisting.

Features of the Dell Mobile Adapter DA300

Dell Mobile Adapters DA300
Product type Laptop docking station
External interfaces Ethernet, USB-C and USB-A
Video output HDMI, VGA, DisplayPort
Number of USB 3.0 ports 1
Number of USB 3.1 ports 1
Compatible with Microsoft Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10, Apple macOS

Advantages and disadvantages of the Dell Mobile Adapter DA300

Rating at idealo: 5 of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Compact design
  • + Easy plug & play
  • + Very high quality
  • + Hidden cable

Contra

  • – Supports only one monitor output at a time

For Apple fans: Minix Neo Storage

Exclusively for Apple MacBook, Apple MacBook Air and Apple MacBook Pro: The Minix Neo Storage is a mixture of external hard drive and docking station. Not only does it score with its elegant design, but its connectivity is also impressive. Besides an integrated SSD storage of 120 GB, the lightweight aluminum hub also offers a 4K-capable HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports for accessories, and a USB-C port for power supply. For those who need even more storage, the adapter is available with larger SSD storage.

Features of the Minix Neo Storage

Minix Neo Storage
Product type USB docking station
External interfaces USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB-C PD
Video output HDMI
Number of USB 3.0 ports 2
Number of USB 3.1 ports 1
Compatible with Apple MacBook, Apple MacBook Air, Apple MacBook Pro.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Minix Neo Storage

Rating at idealo: Note 2,1 | 4 of 5 stars

Pro

  • + With integrated 120 GB SSD storage
  • + All important ports available
  • + Handy

Contra

  • – Only compatible with Apple devices

For practical people: Raidsonic Icy Box USB 3.0 docking station

Diese Dockingstation Raidsonic Icy Box USB 3.0 bringt Vielfalt ins Büro: Sie bietet 11 Anschlüsse in einem Hub. So kann man sich über USB-2.0- und -3.0-Anschlüsse en masse freuen. Zudem sind ein DVI- und HDMI-Anschluss integriert sowie je eine Mikrofon- und Kopfhörerbuchse. Natürlich darf auch ein Gigabit-Ethernet-Port nicht fehlen. Die Raidsonic Icy Box USB 3.0 docking station ein echtes Multitaskingtalent. Denn neben einer Vielzahl an Zubehör können auch zwei Monitore parallel angeschlossen werden.

Features of the Raidsonic Icy Box USB 3.0 Docking Station

Raidsonic Icy Box USB 3.0 docking station
Product type USB docking station
External interfaces LAN (RJ-45), USB 2.0, audio-out, audio-in, USB 3.0.
Video output HDMI, DVI
Number of USB 3.0 ports 4
Number of USB 3.1 ports 2
Compatible with Universal

Advantages and disadvantages of the Raidsonic Icy Box USB 3.0 docking station

idealo rating: 1.2 | 5 out of 5 stars

Pro

  • + Huge variety of ports for maximum flexibility
  • + Stability due to high-quality metal stand

Contra

  • – Relatively large

For essentialists: Goobay USB-C multiport adapter 62105

Ideal for the small budget: the Goobay USB-C Multiport Adapter 62105 may not be the prettiest or the most flexible among the docking stations. But it offers the most important ports that you could wish for in a mini adapter: For example, the USB docking station has an HDMI port with a resolution of up to 4K as well as an Ethernet port for a super-fast network connection. Furthermore, there is a USB-C and a USB 3.0 port for accessories. You do not have the right ports? No problem: The inexpensive companion is available in seven other variants with different ports.

Ausstattung des Goobay USB-C multiport adapter 62105

Goobay USB-C multiport adapter 62105
Product type USB docking station
External interfaces USB 3.0, LAN (RJ-45)
Video output HDMI
Number of USB 3.0 ports 1
Number of USB 3.1 ports 1
Compatible with Universal

Vorteile und Nachteile des Goobay USB-C multiport adapter 62105

Pro

  • + Reasonable price
  • + Good workmanship

Contra

  • – No high-quality appearance

Conclusion

Docks are a dime a dozen. Which docking station is the right one depends on individual requirements. Should it be a variant for the small purse? Should it be small and handy or have as many ports as possible? Is the design decisive? Which connections is the existing monitor compatible with? Once these questions are answered, you are guaranteed to find the right docking station to make working in different places even more flexible and convenient.

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All those who are not only looking for the right dock, but are also thinking about buying a new laptop or monitor, will find exciting articles, tips and buying guides worth knowing at atechbook. These will help you find the right device for you and avoid bad purchases.