The Best Docking Stations for Windows Laptops in 2022

As we transition from the days of sheltering in place, computing on a laptop is taking on new norms and forms. Many professionals have moved from office desks to home offices and back again. Sometimes, work can get done on a coffee or kitchen table, but at other times, you need a proper desktop-style setup with multiple monitors, more USB ports, and maybe even a Gigabit Ethernet jack for a more stable internet connection.

If you don't want to manage a pack of dongles and adapters for everything from external displays to USB hubs, a docking station is your best solution short of buying a whole separate desktop PC. Some laptop makers, such as Dell and Lenovo, offer up “official” branded docks for their fleets of computers. But you can also find a whole world of third-party docks with extra features, unique designs, and (sometimes) lower prices.

We'll be concentrating on those here. (If you have a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, see our rundown of best MacBook docking stations.) Check out our full list of the top Windows docking platforms to find the accessory that's right for you. (For a higher-level overview of docking-station options, check out our guide to how to pick a laptop docking station.)

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How do you double your money? Fold it once and put it in your pocket. How do you quintuple a USB-C port? Connect the $159.99 Accell Air Docking Station, which gives you five USB 3.1 Type-A ports—two Gen 1 and three Gen 2—plus two HDMI 2.0 ports.

The latter support dual 4K monitors at 60Hz with a DSC 1.2-compatible Nvidia “Turing” RTX 20 or 30 series or AMD Radeon RX 5000 or 6000 series GPU. Without DSC 1.2, dual monitors are limited to one 1080p at 60Hz and one 4K at 30Hz. The 1.3-by-4.3-by-3.5-inch dock comes with a 3.3-foot USB Type-C cable and weighs half a pound. Accell backs it with a one-year warranty.

Belkin's Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini HD ($139.99) is a compact (0.8 by 5.1 by 3.1 inches) docking station with 6.8-inch cable that provides a USB 3.0 Type-A port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and two HDMI ports supporting 4K resolution at 60Hz. You also get a legacy USB 2.0 port for an external keyboard, mouse, or printer.

Protected by a sturdy aluminum enclosure, the dock carries a two-year warranty. At just 6.3 ounces, it won't weigh down your day bag any more than your mouse will.

The Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock ($259.99) turns a Thunderbolt 3 port into nine ports: two data-only USB-C ports, two data-only USB-A ports, two DisplayPorts supporting 4K at 60Hz, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a headset audio jack, and an SD card reader. You also get a Kensington-style security-cable lockdown notch to keep your docking station tethered to your desk.

The dock stands 0.9 inch tall and has an 8.9-by-3.3-inch footprint. It includes a 100-watt-capable power supply for keeping power-hungry laptops and peripherals charged.

Combining a slew of ports with up to 85 watts of Power Delivery 3.0 pass-through, the IOGear Dock Pro 100 USB-C 4K Ultra-Slim Station ($139.95) offers three USB 3.0 Type-A ports and three video outputs—DisplayPort and HDMI (both limited to 30Hz for 4K) plus 1080p VGA. You also get a Gigabit Ethernet port, SD and microSD memory card slots, and a USB-C pass-through.

The Dock Pro 100's name comes from its 100 watts of power pass-through, but the dock itself draws 15 watts, leaving 85 for your laptop. The docking station measures 0.5 by 11 by 2.9 inches and weighs 0.65 pound.

If you're looking for a docking station that won't take much desk space (0.6 by 5.1 by 2.1 inches) or much out of your wallet ($99.99), J5Create's model JCD381 USB-C Dual HDMI Mini Dock might be right up your alley. Clad in champagne metallic aluminum, the Mini Dock has two HDMI ports for adding one 4K or two 2K (2,048 by 1,152) external monitors. The ports permit one 4K and one 2K output when both are in use.

There are also two 5Gbps USB 3.0 Type-A ports, as well as a Gigabit Ethernet port if you're working in an office that prefers wired to Wi-Fi connectivity. USB-C power pass-through charges your laptop while connected. The dock comes with a 7.8-inch USB-C cable and weighs just 4 ounces.

Its 10Gbps USB-C interface isn't as fast as a laptop's internal PCI Express connection, but J5Create's model JCD552 M.2 NVMe USB-C Gen 2 Docking Station ($149.99) is a unique way to expand your notebook's storage: The 1-by-12.5-by-3.1-inch gray and black aluminum dock has a compartment for an NVMe or SATA M.2 solid-state drive (up to size 2280; not included). It connects to your laptop using two USB-C cables and offers 100 watts of Power Delivery pass-through.

The docking station has 4K DisplayPort and HDMI video outputs, a Gigabit Ethernet port, SD and microSD card slots, and three USB Type-A ports (one 5Gbps and two 10Gbps) in addition to the M.2 SSD slot. A security cable lock slot keeps it from walking away from your desk.

Kensington has stepped into the modern age with a compact Thunderbolt 3 dock in the form of the SD2500T Thunderbolt 3 Dual 4K Hybrid Nano Dock ($199.99).

This dock supports MacBooks and Windows laptops and provides you with one USB-C port, two DisplayPorts, three USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a 3.5mm audio jack, an SD card reader, and even a microSD card reader. The included power adapter supports 60-watt power delivery.

The Kensington family of docking stations has a long history of wide compatibility, and the Kensington SD5300T ($209.99) is no exception. This dock supports dual 4K displays at 4,096 by 2,160 pixels with 30-bit color at 60Hz, or a single external monitor at 5K resolution.

One Thunderbolt 3 port connects to your laptop, and the SD5300T provides five USB 3.1 Type-A ports, one SD card reader, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, and a headset audio jack, as well as another Thunderbolt 3 port and one HDMI port, both of which support external monitors. Of course, as a Kensington product, the SD5300T comes with Kensington Standard and Nano security-cable lockdown slots to keep your docking station secure.

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock is a portable docking station that turns a single Thunderbolt 3 port into a desktop-worthy array of one USB 3.1 Type-A port, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, two HDMI ports (both supporting 4K displays), and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

The compact (0.7 by 4.9 by 2.6 inches, HWD) aluminum dock also includes OWC's Dock Ejector software, which safely disconnects external drives connected to the dock and ensures all data is written before disconnection.

Plugable's TBT3-UDV Thunderbolt 3 Dock ($249) is a single-display docking station—it has a 4K (4,096 by 2,160 pixels at 60Hz) DisplayPort, though you can use an HDMI monitor instead since the dock comes with an active DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. Other ports on the device's rear include four 5Gbps USB 3.0 Type-A, one Gigabit Ethernet, and two Thunderbolt 3 (one for downstream Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C devices, and one that provides up to 60 watts of power to your laptop).

Up front are a headset audio jack and a fifth USB-A port with battery charging. The dock comes with a vertical stand, a power supply, and a 1.6-foot Thunderbolt 3 cable.

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