A docking station is the ideal solution for anybody building out their home workstation. It effectively turns your laptop into a desktop by adding extra ports, hardwire connections to the internet, passthrough-power (to charge your other gadgets) and support for one or more external displays.
There are a lot of different docking stations out, ranging from affordable to really expensive, but the most important thing is that you buy one that fits your needs. (Not every docking station supports 4K external monitors or has an SD card reader, for example.)
If you're in the market for a docking station to pair with your MacBook Pro or USB-C laptop, we've rounded up the best options available in 2021 (so far).
Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Display Docking Station
This is a powerhouse docking station for the modern workspace. It's ideal for people who use multiple external displays; it can connect to up to three HD displays or two 4K displays (at up to 60Hz). Additionally, it powers your laptop at 60-watt (via USB-C PD) or disperse up to 100-watts of its various other ports. The only real downside is that it lacks an SD card reader, so it might not be the best option for photographers or creatives. It's compatible with both Mac and PC.
Ports: USB 3.0 (4x), USB-C (2x), DisplayPort (2x), HDMI, Ethernet, headphone jack, microphone jack
Plugable USB-C Dock
This is an excellent docking station for anybody with a USB-C laptop and an external monitor (it supports up to 4K at 30Hz), who just wants to add a bunch of ports. It supports 60-watts of passthrough charging and adds three USB-A (3.0) ports, two USB-A (2.0) ports, an HDMI port and an Ethernet port. Additionally, it adds headphone and microphone jacks.
Ports: USB 3.0 (3x), USB 2.0 (2x), HDMI, Ethernet, headphone jack, microphone jack
The Linedock is a 3-in-1 gadget that works as a docking station, a portable power bank and an external hard drive. It’s designed to look like and fit directly under your 13-inch or 16-inch MacBook (it comes in different sizes so that it fits symmetrically under the laptop). As a docking station, the Linedock adds nine ports to your MacBook: three USB-C, three USB 3.0, an SD card reader, HDMI and MiniDisplay ports. It can also connect your laptop to a 4K monitor. As a portable battery, it has a capacity of 20,000mAh, which is enough to charge your laptop about once over or a variety of other gadgets. charge other gadgets. Finally, depending on how much you want to spend, you can purchase the Linedock with 0GB, 256GB or 1TB of external storage.
Ports: USB-C (3x), USB 3.0 (3x), SD card reader, HDMI, MiniDisplay with 4K output.
Dell D6000 Universal Dock
Dell’s Universal Dock is a beast. It’s designed for somebody working out of a home office and wants to connect to a lot. It can connect your laptop to up to three 4K monitors or one 5K monitor. It supports up to 65-watts of passthrough charging, so it’ll charge your laptop faster than pretty much any other USB-C dock out there. It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows laptops.
Ports: USB-A (4x), USB-C, HDMI, DisplayPort (2x), Ethernet, headphone jack
OWC 10-Port USB-C Dock
The OWC USB-C dock is a great option for anybody who has a workstation centered around a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. The dock's slim design and space gray design will match it perfectly. Additionally, it adds a number of vital ports, including an extra USB-C port and an SD card reader. It can connect to one 4K external display with the included Mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter.
Ports: USB-A (4x), USB-C (2x), DisplayPort, SD Card Slot, Ethernet, headphone jack, microphone jack