Over the last few years, ultrabooks, laptops, and tablets have slimmed down quite a bit in size, but have done so by sacrificing many of the important ports that allow us to connect and attach peripherals and accessories. If you’re lucky, you probably have two USB ports and possibly a video output, but not much more than that. If you’re one who wants to increase the number of ports your device has, hook it up to single, dual monitors, or connect a slew of wired accessories, an investment in a high quality Universal Docking Station may be key. However, you’ll need to make sure the one you choose utilizes the latest USB 3.0 connectivity if you want the best possible experience. There are several great options available, but we’re showcasing the best of the best that are worth the money in 2017-2018.
Sabrent USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Stand
- The Sabrent USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station is a popular choice, giving you the ability to route all of your peripherals through a single device with insanely fast speeds.
- Supports both Mac and Windows Operating Systems to give you a dual HDMI and DVI connection for the addition of two desktop monitors.
- With the latest X2 USB 3.0 technology, you can achieve a 5 Gbps rate of transfer that’s perfect for high demand tasks such as gaming, photo/video editing, or other resource intensive tasks with no lag or latency issues.
- Gives you the following ports: two USB 2.0 out, two 2.4A fast USB charging ports, audio in, audio out, gigabit LAN, USB 3.0 in, two USB 3.0 out, and dual video connectors for HDMI and DVI (2048 x 1153 maximum resolution).
- Small and portable design takes up little desk space. It’s nice to see all of the connections in the back of the device, keeping a cleaner and clutter-free look.
- Backed by an impressive 12 month (1 year) warranty period that covers any malfunctions.
- The “Stand Design” is the perfect choice for tablets or laptops or those who crave portability. It’s also fully Microsoft Surface compatible.
StarTech.com Triple-Video Docking Station
- Built to support the latest ultra high definition in 4k, the StarTech.com Triple-Video Docking Station uses USB 3.0 to provide you with the ability to attach up to three external monitors.
- Supports both Windows and Mac operating systems and even the latest retina displays. StarTech has integrated two video chipsets into the design so you can support one HDMI and two DisplayPort monitors, giving you a total of 4 screens if you include your laptop/tablet. However, only one can support 4k, not all three. But the good thing is, 1080p is supported on all monitors, simultaneously.
- Gain access to a wide selection of ports including five USB 3.0 ports, a headset jack, 3.5mm audio/mic jacks, and a RJ45 Ethernet port as well.
- Supports USB battery charging and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0.
- Automatic plug and play installation for most modern operating systems. Most users don’t need to go through a driver installation process, just plug in your peripherals and you should be good to go.
- Slim and sleek design looks great on the desktop without taking up too much space.
Anker Dual Display Universal Docking Station
- The Anker Dual Display Universal Docking Station is built for simplicity and ease of use in mind while giving you the ability to connect all of your peripherals with a single USB 3.0 cable.
- Provides a dual connection through HDMI and DVI to support dual monitor displays, giving you a total of 3 monitors to work from.
- Since it’s compatible with both Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, and even Mac, Android, and Ubuntu, it’s one of the most popular, most reliable universal docking stations currently on the market. Make sure you have the correct software if you’re a Mac or Linux user.
- Built-in feature known as “Automatic Bandwidth Prioritization” will constantly work to keep everything running smooth and lag-free for hours on end.
- With two USB 3.0 ports, you can connect two high speed devices and achieve transfer speeds up to 5 Gbps. These are located on the front panel. On the back panel there are four addition USB ports, however these four are USB 2.0.
- One of the USB 3.0 ports has the ability to charge, many docking stations can’t offer a charging feature.
- Built with an attractive, sleek black design with a detachable standing base included. Also, in the box you’ll find a driver CD, instruction manual, power adapter, and a USB 3.0 cable.
Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station
- The Plugable UD-3900 Universal Docking Station gives you a quick and easy USB 3.0 connection from your PC to either dual or one extra display. With speeds achieving 5 Gbps, it utilizes the latest VIA VL811+ chipset in order to give you access to a wide range of available ports.
- Offers fantastic resolutions up to 2560×1440 with HDMI, and 1920×1200 through DVI or VGA. They’ve even thrown in a free DVI to VGA adapter. Dual displays can be achieved, but the resolution will be limited to 1920 x 1200.
- Compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 7 and even XP. However, Mac OSX and Linux are not supported. Installation doesn’t require any fancy setup or advanced knowledge. It’s plug and play ready with the latest Windows Update. If you don’t want to install the drivers through Windows Updates, you can download the installation through Plugable’s website or simply use the included CD.
- Built with quality craftsmanship in mind. Stands upright without tipping over, even when the station is full of connected cables.
- Recommended for web surfing and productivity, but not necessarily all that great for gaming or video editing.
- Backwards compatible with USB 2.0.
SIIG JU-DK0311-S1 USB 3.0 Dual Video Docking Station
- If you’re looking for one of the smallest, most portable docking station that’s built for dual video and performs with the latest USB 3.0 technology, it may be worth looking into the SIIG JU-DK0311-S1 USB 3.0 Dual Video Docking Station.
- Built specifically to expand the ports on your laptop, ultrabook, or tablet with a single USB 3.0 connection, it gives you the ability to connect two displays using HDMI and VGA. With support for up to 2048 x 1152 resolution, it’s an appropriate choice for both widescreen and standard monitors.
- Gives you an HDMI or VGA (or DVI for an added cost), two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, audio out, and mic in. However, do keep in mind that the dual displays need to be mirrored in order to function.
- The best portable, lightweight, on the go option.
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X with full backwards compatibility with USB 2.0.
Meet Derek, “TechGuru,” a 34-year-old technology enthusiast with a deep passion for tech innovations. With extensive experience, he specializes in gaming hardware and software, and has expertise in gadgets, custom PCs, and audio.
Besides writing about tech and reviewing new products, Derek enjoys traveling, hiking, and photography. Committed to keeping up with the latest industry trends, he aims to guide readers in making informed tech decisions.