Docking stations are one of the best solutions to expand your laptop’s screen and functionality without investing in a full-fledged desktop. These small devices let you easily connect your laptop to multiple monitors and other peripherals to conserve space on your desk. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of the best docking stations for multiple monitors.
These multi-monitor docking stations add extra screen space that makes you more productive. And at the same time, the extra ports add a range of functions, be it an SD card reader or a high-speed flash drive. Besides, docking stations for laptops reduce the chaos in your desk by eliminating wires and adapters. You need to connect your laptop to the dock, and that’s about it.
So if you are looking for the best docking station for dual monitors, here are our top recommendations. But first,
- Bought the new MacBook Air? Check out these docking stations for Apple MacBook Air M2
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- Looking for the ultimate USB-C Docking Station with power delivery?
1. Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station
- Ports: 1 x HDMI, 1x DVI-I, 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, 1x 3.5mm audio, 1x Gigabit Ethernet
Plugable’s USB 3.0 docking station is one of the least expensive docks out there. Don’t let the low price tag fool you because this dock can do so much. For one, it can support dual monitors at 1920×1200 pixel resolution at 60Hz. So even if you plan to keep your expenses down, you can invest in a couple of budget monitors for your desktop setup.
You can easily drive a single display up to 2560x1440p @ 50Hz using an HDMI port. There are quite a few ports to connect your keyboard or mouse. The AUX connection lets you rope in a few speakers with AUX inputs. Plus, the USB 2.0 USB ports ensure you can connect everything—from your printer to a wired scanner. Cool, we’d say.
For the price, the Plugable’s USB 3.0 docking station does a pretty good job. So far, it has amassed a handsome number of positive reviews. A few of the users have state that they could connect dual displays to their MacBook with an M1 chip. That’s great since the M1 chip can only support one external display if you connect it directly to a MacBook.
That said, it has some limitations. The USB ports lack Power Delivery, which means you’ll have to charge your laptop separately. It is a limitation but, the low price tag makes up for it.
2. Dell USB 3.0 4K Triple Display Docking Station
- Ports: 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x HDMI, 2 x USB 2.0, 3 x Superspeed USB 3.0 , 3.5 Audio, Ethernet port
The Dell docking station is one of the few docks that can connect your laptop to three monitors. The best part is that this dock is compact and doesn’t occupy much space. Like its counterpart above, it lets you connect your laptop to several peripherals.
It’s a simple plug-and-play device and doesn’t need any extra drivers to work. But the feature that has won the hearts of many users is the space between the various ports. So even if you have a rugged or braided HDMI cable, this dock can accommodate them easily.
Even if it’s a compact device, the number of ports is sufficient. Dell has thrown in a bunch of USB 3.0 USB-A ports as well. It also ships with an HDMI to DVI adapter if you have an older monitor.
There’s a slight catch. If you have 4K monitors, only one can stream in 4K, and the other two will stream at Full HD.
But at the end of the day, this Dell dock is compatible with a few selected models from Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and HP. Do make sure to check the compatibility before you hit the Buy button.
3. Tobenone Store USB Type-C Docking Station
- Ports: 2 x HDMI, 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB C PD 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x 3.5mm Audio, 1 x SD card reader and 1 x Gigabit Ethernet port
Another docking station for two monitors is the one from Tobenone. It brings more than a dozen ports to the table, and unlike the ones above, it bundles dual HDMI ports. And there’s an SD card reader as well. More importantly, the USB Type-C port supports Power Delivery to deliver up to 87W of power to connected laptops.
The Tobenone Store’s docking station can drive two 4K monitors @ 60Hz. If you recollect, this was a major limitation with the Dell dock. Even though it supports Apple Mac laptops, it can’t drive dual-displays on MacBook running the M1 chip. N ew users have had no issues with their MacBooks running M2 chips.
Other than that, it works as expected. It’s a plug-and-play device and doesn’t need any additional drivers. At the same time, the instruction manual is clear and easy to understand. It has over 1,000 user ratings on Amazon and most of which are positive.
The form factor is a little different from the ones above. It has a vertical form factor, but the good news is that the device is small and compact and doesn’t occupy much space. If you want to avoid spending big bucks and want a functional laptop dock, then the Tobenone Store docking station is one of the best docking stations for multiple monitors.
4. Belkin USB Type-C Dual Display Dock
- Ports: : 2 x HDMI, 2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen1, 1 x USB-A 3.1, 1 x USB-C, 1 x Gigabit Ethernet, 1 x 3.5mm Audio
The Belkin USB Type-C dock is a good pick if you want a product from a known brand. It supports a 1080p dual display on dual monitors. One feature that separates it from the rest of the docks is its compact form factor. The ports appear cleverly placed to let you go about your job with ease.
There are fewer ports than the Tobenone Store’s dock, but it gets the basic work done. But, you might lose out on USB ports that are available in other docks.
It works as advertised, and several people have backed this as part of their reviews. All you need to do is plug the dock into a power source and the laptop and then plug in the monitors, and that’s about it. It’s a well-made product and is durable. The aluminum casing ensures that it lasts a long time.
One of the flaws of this dock is its HDMI placement, which are stacked on top of one another. So, if you have braided cables with thick strain reliefs, you may have some issues plugging them.
5. Anker PowerExpand Elite 13-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock
- Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 3, 2 x USB-C, 4 x USB-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x SD/microSD card slots, 1 x 3.5 mm AUX port
The Anker PowerExpand Elite is an excellent pick for a dual-display docking station to drive a multi-monitor rig through your Thunderbolt-powered laptop. It can handle both MacBook and Windows laptops. As is the rule with M1 Mac laptops, only a single display will work by default.
That said, it brings a whooping 13 ports to the table. It packs two Thunderbolt ports and USB Type-C ports. Plus, it has quite a few power options up its sleeves. Apart from the 85W Power Delivery, it has a 15W Thunderbolt port.
All the fancy features mean that the Anker PowerElite is expensive compared to its counterpart. If only you want something premium, then this is the right buy. The Belkin dock or the one by Pluggable will better fit your requirements.
6. Plugable USB Type-C Triple 4K Docking Station
Another Plugable docking station is the company’s USB Type-C Docking Station. The USB Type-C port on this docking station can deliver up to 100W of power. You get to pick from a slew of different ports. For video, you get to choose between HDMI and DisplayPort connectors, depending on the input port of your monitor. Also, you can extend the display to up to 4 monitors.
The Plugable USB Type-C docking station supports up to three 4K monitors. You can get up to 4K @ 60Hz when you connect the right cable. As mentioned above, you get to pick DisplayPort and HDMI connectors for video and make a flexible setup.
This triple-monitor laptop dock works with MacBooks and Windows laptops. However, MacBook M1 supports only up to one external monitor. But the good news is that some users have reported their M1 MacBook working fine with more than one external monitors.
When it comes to ports, you get a good number. The USB 3.0 ports (5Gbps data transfer) give you ample flexibility to move your files around. It’s worth noting that the USB Type-C port comes with 20W Power Delivery and can handle up to 10Gbps transfer rates.
Another cool thing is that the USB Type-C docking station has a neat design. The ports are cleverly arranged in the front and back. Plus, the vertical design has a small footprint to fit anywhere on your desk.
This Pluggable USB Type-C docking station is one of the best docking stations for multiple monitors if you want to expand the capabilities of your MacBook Pro (or your Windows laptop).
7. Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock
If you are looking for a slim and sleek dual-display docking station, you can’t go wrong with the Satechi Thunderbolt docking station. As suggestive of its name, this one is apt for laptops with Thunderbolt ports (read MacBook and select HP Ultrabooks). As we mentioned above, it can power up to two monitors.
The main highlight of this docking station is its compact form factor. You can simply pack it up and get going when the need arises. Use a good number of zip-ties to tie the extra length of cables, and you will be all set. At the same time, the aluminum finish adds to the aesthetics and complements the metal finish of MacBooks.
There are quite a few connectivity options, including downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports, USB Type-A 3.2 ports, a couple of USB Type-A 2.0 ports, and three Thunderbolt 4 ports. The USB Type-A 3.2 ports aid in faster transfer of data, whereas the Thunderbolt 4 ports can deliver 15W of power. Do note that there are no HDMI ports. So if you don’t have a USB Type-C or Thunderbolt monitor, you may have to invest in a converter or adapter.
It supports up to two monitors using the Thunderbolt and USB Type-C ports. Several users have reported that it works with dual displays on MacBook Pro M1.
These were some of the best docking stations for multiple monitors. It’s true that not too long ago, a dual-monitor or a multi-monitor rig gave the impression of some heavy work in progress. Thankfully, things have changed, and multiple monitors are a common scene.
After you get the dock, do make sure to buy a quality monitor arm so that the displays do not crowd your desk.
Last updated on 05 April, 2023
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