• The best laptop docking stations and hubs for 2021

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    PUBLIC DEFENDER By Brian Livingston More and more of us have been spending part of our time working in a business office and part of our time in a hom
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    • #2355277

      Brian writes:  An Ethernet port is optional in a dock. If your laptop has a functioning Ethernet port — and it successfully connects to your wired network — you don’t need to pay extra for a dock that also offers an Ethernet port.

      No!  One of, if not THE main point of a dock, is that it saves you from having to unplug a slew of connectors when you move your laptop.  If you have access to a wired network, or might at some other time, you absolutely need an Ethernet port on any dock you buy. If you do not, that’s one more cable to unplug every time you disconnect.


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    • #2355380

      I was hoping to see a discussion of a “dual USB C” configuration such as my Lenovo Carbon X1 has. I have the idea somehow that it is a configuration that appeared first in the Apple world.
      Is there some advantage to having a dock with this type of connection? Seems (possibly) that one USB C connection could theoretically be overwhelmed (albeit not by anything I do).
      I see a few such docking devices for sale – any advantage to the extra cost? I could imagien that the connector is more stable….

      • #2355600

        My Chromebook has just two USB-C ports, and very little else, on the device. To get any assortment of peripherals connected I need a portable mini-dock and for the heavy lifting, a full sized dock which usually stays at home.  One USB port on the Chromebook is supposed to always remain available for charging, even with a dock or a hub or a peripheral attached to the other USB-C port. Many laptops are made that way now.

        BTW, I was led to believe that a hub could be multiple ports of any kind — HDMI, USB, VGA, Ethernet, etc. with the ability to have more than one peripheral attached to the hub at one time. As long as it’s all one type of port and it’s making many from one, it’s a hub. If there are different types of ports and just one connection to the laptop, it’s a dock or mini-dock.

        -- rc primak

        • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by rc primak.
    • #2355604

      One port that I have not seen in modern docking stations is a 24-pin printer port, as I use for my HP1100 laser printer.  I’m stuck with a “slab-sized platform” – thanks Brian!

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

    • #2355834

      Docking stations are very useful tools! For certain models with no ethernet RJ45 port, they are just must-have (unless you want to use reduction USB-C – RJ45). They offer standard USBs, Display port, VGA and lot more.
      The only downside I can see is, that most (if not all) docking stations come up with their own MAC-address. So if you connect into network, that reserves your IP via MAC, then you can get two different IPs – when connecting via docking station or connecting directly.

      Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

      HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      PRUSA i3 MK3S+

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