Nowadays, Apple is manufacturing Mac with the latest ports that every gadget is using right now, such as Type-C. However, it lacks some of the essential ports such as HDMI or USB 3.0. If you don’t use these ports anymore then it’s fine for you. Meanwhile, if you use them quite rarely then an adapter might help a lot. Moreover, if you use Macbook for office work then it could be frustrating for you. For instance, printing pages is a day-to-day task every office does, normally. But what if your Mac doesn’t support a port to connect your printer with it. That would be seriously frustrating. In this case, purchasing Docking stations for Macbook can save you from hours of frustration.
But what is a Docking Station and how we can use them to solve our port problem? (Pun intended)
Let’s find it out.
- What are the Docking Stations for MacBook?
- 10 Best Docking Stations for MacBook Pro in 2021
- 1. Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Core
- 2. Twelve South StayGo
- 3. Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 Dock
- 4. Kensington SD4100v USB 3.0 Dual 4K Docking Station
- 5. Henge Docks Stone
- 6. Elgato Thunderbolt 3
- 7. LandingZone USB-C Dock
- 8. HyperDrive Pro 8-in-2
- 9. Kensington USB 3.0 Dual 4K Display Docking Station for MacBook
- 10. G-Technology 8TB G-RAID Docking Station for Macbook and PC
What are the Docking Stations for MacBook?
One of my friends has recently purchased a 13-inch Macbook. After checking and appreciating, I told him to put my phone on charging using his new Macbook. That’s the time when I saw a down point in Macbook. Moreover, we searched on the internet to find an ideal solution to this problem. Yes, there were many kinds of convertors available in the market. For example, to convert USB-C into USB 3.0, etc. But there are 5-10 different kinds of ports available in the market. And, buying a convertor for every port didn’t sound a genuine solution to me. Finally, after searching for hours we found a gadget called a docking station. And, that gadget is a genuine and reasonable solution to this problem.
In simple words, a docking station is a box that supports various ports to transfer data at a high speed. Even, you can use this docking station to display multiple connections. You can also be called the docking station a powerhouse of multiple USB connectors. Yes, Macbooks are amazing and well-optimized but they lack many essential ports. So you can use a docking station to turn one USB-C port into as many ports as you want. After that, you will never worry about connecting a display, sending data through a USB cable, or attaching a printer with your Macbook.
But what kind of Docking station you should purchase?
Let’s find out now.
10 Best Docking Stations for MacBook Pro in 2021
Moreover, you’ll find various kinds of dock stations for Macbook on the internet. You’ll find them with 10 various ports or with 3 USB-C ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports, or a dock station with only 5 USB-C ports. You need to clarify for yourself what kind of dock station or the port you need the most. Later, you can filter out other dock stations to find a perfect one. To lessen your burden we created a list of 10 Best Docking Stations for MacBook that you can find on the internet. You just have to follow the list alongside their feature and benefits. After that, you just have to choose the docking station that feels right for you.
So let’s get started with the list.
This Belkin’s docking station comes with 7 different ports as below:
- Tethered 6.8-inch Thunderbolt 3 Cable
- USB-C to deliver the Power
- USB A 2.0
- HDMI 2.0
- USB A 3.2 with Generation 2
- DisplayPort 1.4
- 3.5mm audio in/out
- Gigabit Ethernet
Twelve South StayGo is owned by a family named Twelve South in Charleston, South Carolina. It is another portable docking station (4.94 x 2.44 x 0.53 HWD) inches that you can use with your Mac. Yes, this dock has different size dimensions than the previous dock station but it’s a portable one.
Like the previous dock, it is for laptop or Macbook with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 devices. It comes with a 1-meter cable and a 4.75″ detachable travel cable that you can store in the dock. Moreover, it has a matte black aluminum shell that works well to maintain the temperature at an ideal level. This docking station features ports connection as below:
- 4K HDMI
- USB A 3.0 (2)
- Dual functionality USB A
- Gigabit Ethernet
- SD/Micro SD
- USB C 3.1
You can use this dock to charge your devices with a USB A port that has w/ BC 1.2 for up to 7.5 Watts for faster charging. Also, it has a USB-C 3.1 port that has a power delivery of 85W. You don’t need to install any driver or software before connecting hardware with this dock. Just Plug-in and Play. Twelve South provides you with a 1-year warranty and lifetime customer support. Also, Amazon gave this product the tag of “Amazon Choice” with an amazing star rating of 4.5 out of 5 from 405 users.
5. Henge Docks Stone
Henge Docks Stone is a kind of brave decision made by Henge Docks. It is the docking station without having an HDMI port. So if you’re into HDMI port, skip this one. Then what is the reason for choosing this docking station? Let’s see.
If you’re looking for a docking station with a simple one-sided design then this is the one. Also, if you use an external keyboard, mouse, and device like a monitor, then you can choose this dock too. Also, the brand told you you can find a cheap adapter easily to turn HDMI from USB-C and other port. So not having an HDMI won’t be a big issue here. This dock comes in a gunmetal finish and black color with size dimensions of 6.7 x 3.2 x 1 inch. Therefore, you get satisfaction from this elegant and sleek design. Moreover, here are the ports this dock comes with:
- 3x USB A 3.1 Ports
- 2x USB-C Ports
- Mini DisplayPort
- Audio/Mic Jack
- SD card Reader
- Dock Power
Furthermore, you can charge your Macbook at 87W using a USB-C port. Also, its additional power is enough to charge your other 4 connected USB devices. Plus you can attach one external display for editing work or watch a movie on a bigger screen. Although, Thunderbolt displays won’t support you if you connect them through Mini DisplayPort and USB-C port. To do this you’ve to connect the screen directly to your Macbook. This dock station is compatible with all Macbooks such as 12-inch, 13, and 15-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the 2018 13-inch MacBook Air. Moreover, it is one of the best Dock stations for Macbook if the style is your first preference.
Thunderbolt 3 Dock is one of the sleekest docking stations for Macbook available in the market. However, it doesn’t rank into the cheapest docking station’s category but it gives you what you pay for.
First of all, it comes with the dimensions of 3.2 x 7.9 x 1.1 inches which makes it one of the smallest dock of the market. Moreover, the sturdy body of this dock gives it a nice elegant look. It comes with 10 different ports as listed below:
- 2x Thunderbolt Ports
- 1x Display Port
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet
- 3x USB 3.0
- 1x 3.5 Headphone Output
- 1x 3.5 Microphone Output
- One Power Input
The seller mentioned that three USB 3.0 ports support Qualcomm Quick Charge. Also, you can attach an external display that supports 5K resolution and 4k resolution at 60hz. Furthermore, you can install two 4k displays using USB-C. Meanwhile, you can charge your Macbook Pro with a power delivery of 85W. Alongside the Macbook with macOS Sierra 10.12 or later, you can also use this dock with a laptop having Windows 10 or later. Although, you need to use the dock with this laptop using only Thunderbolt 3 ports. For data safety, the brand installed an Easy ejection software button in it. One of the standout features of this dock is it comes with a two-year warranty which is double that of other listed docks.
This docking machine is a little different from other docking stations on the list. This dock station is only for Macbook and it doesn’t work with Windows laptops. LandingZone USB-C dock doesn’t support thunderbolt. Therefore, you need a USB-C passthrough and it only works at a speed of 15MBPs.
At very first glance, the shape of this dock station will seem a little weird to you. It is made like this because of your convenience. This dock station is for Macbook 15″ Pro. After placing your Macbook on this dock station you can use it like before. Moreover, it comes with a size dimensions of 12.6×3.5×3.7inches(LxWxH) and a weight of 650gms. It is extremely portable but due to its plastic build, it seems cheap in perspective of build quality. Let’s see the list of all the ports that come with this dock station:
- 2x HDMI/mini-display Port
- 1x SD Card Slot
- 1x Micro SD Card Slot
- 3x USB-C 3.1 Ports
- 1x Headphone Jack
- 3x USB-A 3.1 Ports
- 1x USB-C Ports
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet Port
Moreover, you can connect dual display connections using this dock. Alongside, you can also add a third display connection using the right-sided port. Sometimes it will give you a cheap feel yet it designed well to dock and undock your Macbook easily. this dock station’s ports don’t stay active always. Therefore, you need to check the cable fitting properly to work them at their finest. Well, this seems a little problematic but you’ll get used to it as time passes. Also, you can’t consider it as an option if you use Thunderbolt 3 most of the time because it doesn’t have any Thunderbolt 3 support. Otherwise, it’s one of the Best Docking Stations for Macbook 15″ Pro.
HyperDrive Pro comes with a couple of different models of docking stations for Macbook. However, we chose what seems best and works great for you too. HyperDrive Pro 8 in 2 is a great pick as a docking station that comes in a compact and gorgeous slim design. The brand mentioned it is compatible with all the Macbook Pro models from 2016 as well as for 2018 and 2019 Macbook Air. Therefore, forget about the compatibility frustration.
It is one of the cheapest docking stations for Macbook you’ll find in the market. It cost $119. So if you don’t want to invest in an expensive docking station, here is your deal. Meanwhile, have a look at the ports you’ll see in HyperDrive Pro 8-in-2:
- 2x USB-C Ports
- 1x MicroSD Card Slot
- 1x SD Memory Card Slot
- 2x USB-A 3.0 Ports
- 1x 4k HDMI
- 1x 4K Mini DisplayPort
- One Thunderbolt 3 Port
- One Ethernet Port
If we talk about the build quality, it has a slimmer design with an aluminum closure. Also, as color options, you will get Space Gray and Silver colors to choose from. Apple also launches Macbook in these colors are, mostly. Moreover, the USB-C of this dock is specifically designed for Macbook Pro with USB-C. It is one of the compact docking stations which are fast and provides a speed of around 50Gb/s. Furthermore, it is an ideal choice for Macbook 13″ as well as Macbook 15″ and comes with USB-C Power Delivery. With features like Dual 4K VideoTurns 2x, only 45gms weight, multiple ports, and a price of $119 it is an amazing deal.
This docking station is one of the products that every geek recommends to others. Kensington USB 3.0 dual 4K display dock comes with 12 ports. And, all the ports are the major ones and will help you at some point.
Apart from Macbook, this docking station will be handy for Laptops with USB-A ports too. Moreover, you’ll find a good number of USB-A ports in it. Here is the list of all 12 ports that you will see in this docking station:
- 2x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 up to 5V/2.4A
- 4x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 up to 5V/0.9A
- 1x Headphone Jack
- 1x Microphone Jack
- 2x Dual 4k Video Output (DP++)
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet
- 1x USB-B
Furthermore, this docking station has an ultra-slim vertical-only design. Also, it comes with size dimensions of 9.8 x 6.2x 3.6inches and a weight of 1.16Kgms. And, if you use your Macbook on the work desk you can easily be placed it on it without losing much table space. However, some of the users might complain about this dock’s stand but to place it on a desk, works fine. Moreover, you’ll get a dual 4K support with a frequency of 60Hz and a data transfer rate of 5Gbps/s through USB ports. Also, the included long 3m USB-B to USB-A host allows you to put it in a distanced place.
It has only 22 user ratings but these users gave this product 4.4 out of 5 stars. And, the company also provide a limited warranty of 3 years. Yes, it seems a little pricey but due to its better performance, lots of users are happily paying for it.
This product is more than the other docking stations for Macbook you saw in this list. If you want more storage or storage is your first priority, you can choose this docking station. G-RAID is western digital technology.
Moreover, it is a dual-drive RAID enclosure with major ports such as Thunderbolt 3. Also, you will get 8TB of storage memory at the price of $599. Here is the list of all the ports this docking station comes with:
- 2x Thunderbolt 3
- 1x USB-C 3.1
- 1x HDMI
Well, that’s it. Yes, it has only three ports that help you in day-to-day usages, such as data transfer. The stand-out feature of this device is its storage memory. The brand has launched device in 6 different memory storage capacities- 8,12,16,20,24,28,36 in a price of $599-$1600. They add these storage capacities in this docking station by using removable hard drives. These are enterprise-class drives with a speed of 7200rpm. Moreover, you can choose the memory according to your needs and your budget.
The security cable lock slot is available in this dock station to protect your valuable data from a stranger. Also, it comes with a cooling fan to maintain the temperature. Although, it will produce some noise that could disturb you while working at your desk. Moreover, it comes with a Solid, all-aluminum enclosure that looks solid and stylish at the same time. And, this docking station is not focused much on extra ports but on storage memory. So if you need storage memory as well as ports, then you can choose this dock station.
What should I look for when buying a docking station?
Well, there are a couple of factors you should consider before buying a docking station. Also, these factors could vary from person to person and his/her preferences. Still, here are some things you can apply or consider before buying a docking station:
- Model or OS: There are lots of different kinds of models and a few different OS available in the market. And, not every docking station will work perfectly with every laptop or Macbook in the market. Therefore, you can’t pick any random docking station for whatever laptop or Macbook model you have. So filter your laptop or Macbook model and OS first before choosing a docking station.
- Connector: Like the model and OS, every laptop comes with different sets of ports. The same thing applies to the docking station. So before buying a docking station you must consider the connector of the laptop and the dock itself. Just make sure the connector you’re going to use to connect the dock is the same as the docking station. For example, if you’re going to connect the dock station using the USB-C port of your laptop, choose the dock that comes with a USB-C connector.
- Usability: This is all about why you want to buy a docking station or in what way you will use this docking station? Do you want to add multiple monitors with your Macbook? Do you want to add a USB-C supported device with it? Or do you need extra Thunderbolt ports for your Macbook? Every docking station works on different functions and supports different ports. Therefore, make sure you’re choosing the right dock with the functions you actually need.
- Ease of Deployment: You purchased a new docking station for Macbook. But as soon you plug it in with your machine it doesn’t work as you expected. You contact the company and they said you need to install a particular software or driver first to work with it. Don’t buy these kinds of docking stations. Moreover, buy which are easily available with the drivers. Also, make sure the cables you’ll use with this dock are easily available to you. So you would get a hassle-free experience.
Does Apple have a docking station for MacBook?
Are docking stations worth it?
I know you’re stressed if you’re spending your money rightly or not but if you’re buying a docking station then you’re spending it right. Unless you haven’t enough money and you’re buying a particular dock just because you like its design. Otherwise, they’re worth your money. Especially, if you want to add extra connections or devices but your laptop doesn’t have supported ports.
Furthermore, a docking station allows you to connect flat-panel monitors, gaming, and other new devices with your Macbook or laptop. Also, a docking station can save you a lot of time by buying different docks for office and home places. So you won’t have to plug in all the devices with your Macbook. You will just visit your place and connect your Macbook with a dock that is already connected with the devices you need. Also, some docking stations allow you to add extra storage capacity to your Macbook or laptop. For instance, G-Technology 8TB G-RAID Docking Station.
Do docking stations work with all laptops?
Docking stations work wonderfully with Macbook to add some additional hardware you need. Although, they don’t work with any laptop, especially if you’re using an old laptop. To use a docking station, you need a laptop with a USB 3.0 port. Fortunately, most of the laptops are coming with USB 3.0 ports nowadays. Even some of the laptops have their own particular docking stations. For example, some users mentioned he paid extra to get a docking station related to a particular laptop model.
So that was the list of the best docking stations for Macbook. Yes, I agree, there are not just 10 docking stations which are the best but many of them. However, this list is enough to get you an idea of setting your budget and what kind of docking stations you can find at that price. Moreover, I didn’t give this list’s products a specific kind of ranking. All of them are the best and have good star ratings. It all depends on your preferences that which docking station will suit you most.
Also, these docking stations are the best of the market that I have chosen after a couple of research. So you can save your time just by reading this post. You might your perfect docking station for your Macbook. Moreover, let’s know if you find this list helpful or if a particular docking station deserves a rank in this list. Also, let’s know which docking station you like the most. And, don’t forget to share this post with your known who’s still getting frustrated by only 2 USB-C ports of Macbook.
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