Docking stations are super handy for having at home or at the office if your primary computer is a laptop or ultrabook. They allow you to save yourself the hassle of plugging in and then unplugging multiple devices from your laptop, and actually allow you to use more simultaneously via the extra USB ports.
With a docking station, you can plug in and use more than one monitor with your laptop, while also having things like an external hard drive, external keyboard, and optical mouse all plugged in. Some models support 4K output and don’t reduce or interfere with the quality of the display being transmitted from the laptop, through the dock, and into the monitors. But for gamers, make sure to check on the refresh rate that your docking station is capable of.
Brand Specific vs Universal Docking Stations
Many docking devices are brand specific, so be sure that your notebook is compatible with the one you’ve picked out before buying it. There are plenty of universal options, so when in doubt, stick with one of those. As long as their specs match, their functionality should be the same.
Docking stations usually include a software disc, but don’t worry if your laptop doesn’t have a disc drive. You should be able to download the necessary software from the manufacturer’s website for free by inputting the model number on the bottom of your dock or on the packaging.
The following are the top 5 docking stations for laptops and ultrabooks based on features offered and value for the money. Pick up one of these and you’ll be able to transform your notebook computer into a fully functioning desktop replacement.
Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station for Windows
StarTech.com KVM Docking Station for Two Laptops
Sabrent USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Stand
Unitek USB 3.0 Multi-in 1 Dual Display Universal Docking Station
TRENDnet USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs for Windows 10, 8.1, 7, & XP