The best docking stations for MacBook Pro 2021

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MacBook Pro docking station
iMore
2021

A MacBook Pro docking station is like a power strip for your laptop. They have various ports and unlike the best USB-C hubs, they usually have their own power source so they can handle high-speed data transfer and multiple display connections. The lack of multiple ports on the entire MacBook range can be slightly annoying, especially if you’re trying to connect multiple displays. If you connect many of devices and peripherals and need high speed data transfer, these are the best MacBook Pro docking stations.



Extremely powerful:
CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock – Space Gray

Personal choice

Not only does this tiny box power up to 85 watts of charge, it also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports with 40 Gbps of data transfer. You also get DisplayPort support, USB-C, digital optical audio, three USB-A ports (one of which supports 15 watts of device charging), a separate headphone and microphone jack, and an SD card reader. It is the workhorse of multiport docking stations.



Vertical expandability:
Attachable Thunderbolt 3 dock compatible with MacBook

Plugable’s reliable docking station provides 60 watts of charging with five USB-A ports, one of which supports device charging. It also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports for fast data transfer and 4K display support. You can even daisy-chain up to five Thunderbolt 3 devices to a single supported port. With the included base adapter, you can set this dock in a vertical or horizontal position for maximum desktop customization.

$ 229 on Amazon


Henge Docks Vertical Dock

Space saving:
Henge Docks Dock Vertical (Space Gray)

While this isn’t a docking station (it doesn’t have any additional ports or its own power source), it’s a small accessory that might be perfect for your desktop. You slide your MacBook Pro into the dock and your two USB-C ports are redirected to two ports on the side of the dock. This helps organize the use of the USB-C ports, but you can still keep your laptop away. It’s a great way to work in clamshell mode with an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

$ 130 to Bridge


StarTech Docking Station

5K support:
StarTech.com Thunderbolt 3 Dock – 4K 60Hz dual monitor laptop docking station

StarTech’s docking station has eight different ports, including Ethernet, USB-A 2.0, microphone, headphone, Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, USB-A 3.0 for fast charging, and HDMI. It is expressly designed to allow you to connect one 5K display using the Thunderbolt 3 port or two Ultra HD 4K monitors using the Thunderbolt 3 port and the DisplayPort port.

$ 303 on Amazon


Belkin Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Compact for small spaces:
Belkin Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock

If you don’t have a lot of desk space but still want something to give your MacBook Pro more options, Belkin’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini is an excellent choice. It may not have all the ports, some bigger docks yes, but it has the essentials. With two HDMI ports capable of supporting 4K monitors running at 60Hz, a USB 3.0 Type A port, a USB 2.0 port and a Gigabit Ethernet jack, you’ll be able to use one of your MacBook Pro USB-C ports much more. .

$ 140 at Best Buy

Docking station, hub or adapter – which one is right for you?

MacBook Pro docking stations are designed for multi-display use with charging stand, which is why they are typically used Thunderbolt 3 instead of just USB-C. They usually have their own power supply and can charge your laptop and mobile devices, while also providing fast data transfer and support for 4K or 5K displays. For the most part, they’re meant to be stationary to give your desktop workflow more versatility and convenience. When it comes to MacBook Pro docking stations, I personally use Elgato’s Thunderbolt 3 docking station for its 85-watt charging stand and its dual 4K display option.

Hubs are very similar to docking stations. They always have many ports but they don’t always have their own power source. They also tend to be more portable because they’re lighter and smaller (and don’t need their own wall outlet). If the docking stations listed here seem too much for you, you may need them a hub instead.

Adapters are the simplest peripherals due to the versatility of the ports. They are almost always a single-port switch, such as USB-C-to-USB-A or USB-to-Lightning, although they may sometimes have one or two additional ports, such as HDMI. They are the least expensive but also the least versatile. You may not need 4K or 5K display support, high-speed data transfer, or 12 different things connected to your MacBook Pro at the same time. simple single port adapter it might be a better solution.

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