Laptops are now more powerful than ever. They are super-compact and can perform most of the heavy-duty tasks without breaking a sweat. If the small screen size bothers you, all you need to do is team it up with an external monitor or two. But connecting your laptop to monitor is easier said than done. That's why laptop docking stations for dual monitors can be useful to manage the space on your desk.
However, adding monitors or a video connection comes with its usual pros and cons. While you get the extra features, it also means that you have to deal with a mess of wires and cables. And, the portability of the laptop is affected.
That's when laptop docking stations come into the picture. These small devices make your laptop more versatile, easy to plug them to the monitors, and also help in reducing the clutter, thereby retaining the portability of laptops. Whether you are using two monitors or hooking up your laptop to your TV along with the monitor, these docking stations can relieve you from the burden of limited ports on your laptop.
So, if you are in the market looking for the best docking stations for dual monitor setups, here are some of the best ones. Let's take a look.
If you are looking for an inexpensive and functional docking station, you can look at the Wavlink USB 3.0 Dual Display Docking Station. It has plenty of ports to serve your needs. There are a total of 6 USB ports along with HDMI, DVI, VGA, Audio, and Ethernet ports (check Ethernet Adapters for the Apple MacBook Pro).
You can hook up to two displays to this dock. While you can get a resolution of 2560x1440 on a single monitor, it reduces to 1920x1200 when connecting both the monitors.''
That is a limitation of an affordable option and you might want to consider when buying this product. If you are okay with that, then this docking station proves to be pretty useful.
Installation is as easy since it supports plug and play mechanism. All you need to do is plug it into the USB 3.0 port of your laptop and you will be good to go.
The Wavlink USB 3.0 Dual Display Docking Station has been praised by many primarily for its compatibility with most laptops. So far, it has over 69% positive reviews on Amazon, with users liking it for the helpful tech support.
More importantly, the build of the product is great for the price. Do note that it doesn't come with an integrated laptop recharging facility.
2. AmazonBasics USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station
One of the first things that will strike you about the AmazonBasics USB 3.0 Docking Station is its sleek form factor. Plus, it stands upright to save on desk space. Speaking of the functionalities, it lets you connect up to two monitors using HDMI and DVI ports, and is compatible with all the major laptops running Windows.
Like the first product on our list, the display downscales to 1920x1200 when you hook both monitors to the docking station. However, if you were to connect only one through the integrated HDMI port, you'll get the desired output of 2560x1440.
On the upside, the station carries several ports, including two handy USB 3.0 ports, and you can also hook your wired mouse and keyboards.
However, the connected laptop needs to be hooked to its power source.
3. Dell USB 3.0 Ultra HD/4K Triple Display Docking Station
If you have a Dell Inspiron series laptop, you might want to switch to a more custom docking station such as the Dell USB 3.0 Ultra HD/4K Triple Display Docking Station. Like its competitors above, it also connects via USB 3.0 ports. But unlike them, it supports up to 3 displays, with one of them being 4K.
So far, this station has earned decent reviews for its performance, and has earned a rating of 4.1-stars out of 5.
Though the company claims that this docking station can power laptops and notepads, there have been some issues regarding it. Many users complain that the device doesn't power as advertised.
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4. Targus USB 3.0 Dual Video Docking Station with Power
Another affordable docking station that lets you hook up to two displays is the one by Targus. This small station bundles plenty of ports for connection. This sleek device can charge your laptop and keeps you connected to all the peripherals such as displays and keyboards.
It bundles four USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports, and you can use one of the latter to power your laptop.
The reception of this product has been great. Many users enjoyed its screen quality, and flexibility of working out of the box with most laptops. More importantly, it can connect a variety of devices, including external speakers.
Last but not least, we have the Plugable USB 3.0 Docking Station. With over 3,000 user ratings, many praise this device for its impressive performance. It has a slim profile and stands upright on the tables, thus leaving ample space on the table for other desk accessories. Plus, it bundles several handy ports and supports two Full HD monitors, like its peers.
At the same time, the performance is great. You won't find high-res video stuttering or lagging. Neither will you find any added load on the CPU.
And well, it is priced below $90 which makes it a great deal. It's these feature which makes it so popular among so many users.
This Plugable dock has a rating of 4.35-stars out of 5. Users have spoken highly of its seamless support.
So far, most of these docking stations are compatible with only Windows devices. The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini Dock is compatible with Macs and Windows laptops that have USB-C ports. It also packs two HDMI ports, one USB 3.0 port, and one USB 2.0 port along with an Ethernet port.
And considering its performance, this is one of the best affordable docking stations for MacBook Pro. From extending displays to dual monitors to connecting speakers (see Waterproof Bluetooth Speakers), keyboards and mouse, this one can handle everything with ease, and the 64% positive reviews back up this claim.
Speaking of the monitors, this one can run both the displays at 60Hz.
Apart from that, it also boasts of high transfer speed thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.0 ports.
The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini measures just 9.8 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches and weighs around 6.4 ounces.
Unleash the Power
With the right docking station, you can unleash the full power of your laptop, and not be bogged down by the limited space or the limited number of ports. Find the right one that suits your purpose.
Speaking of monitors, take a look at some of the best 4K monitors with IPS panel in the post below.