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The best laptop docking stations to upgrade your home office

The best laptop docking stations from Ugreen, Apple, Pluggable, and more can easily transform your laptop into a full workstation.
Written by Cesar Cadenas, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont

Laptop docking stations are neat little gadgets as they can help you upgrade your home laptop setup into a fully-fledged workstation. A docking station lets laptops upload their display to full-sized external displays, connect a proper keyboard and mouse, a wired Ethernet connection, as well as direct access to external devices like backup drives, scanners, and printers

Besides the instant connection to work accessories, the ultimate perk of a docking station is its compact form factor. This allows it to fit comfortably on your desk -- even if you don't have much room. The best stations feature multi-port connectivity for all other devices, powerful performance, and even video output. 

Also: The best 5 laptop cooling pads

ZDNET went hands-on to find the best, and we found it in Ugreen Docking Station Triple Display 12-in-1. We highly recommend it for its multitude of ports and support for 8K resolution. Of course, there are a ton of other options out there. So we dug deeper to find the best laptop docking stations. Here are the rest of our picks.

The best laptop docking stations of 2023

Pros & Cons
  • Allows triple monitor setups
  • Supports 8K monitors via HDMI
  • Comes with 12 ports in total
  • You need to provide your own power supply
  • Expensive
More Details

Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station specs: Ports: HDMI 8K (1), HDMI 4K (1), DP 4K (1), PD 3.0 100w (1), USB-A (3), USB-C 10Gbps (1), Gigabit Ethernet (1), SD/Micro SD card slot (1), 3.5mm AUX port (1) | Display: HDMI: 4K @ 60 Hz (1), 8K @ 30Hz (1); DisplayPort 4K @ 30Hz (1); supports up to 3 total displays 

Starting off the list is our most recommended pick, the Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station. This monolith can meet all of your productivity needs and then some thanks to its wide variety of ports. It has two HDMI ports (one for 8K output and one for 4K output), three USB ports, two for SD cards, and a pair of DisplayPort inputs just to name a few.

Ugreen's Revodok docking station is a great addition to have in any office setting. It offers consistent performance as it handles numerous connections seamlessly. What's particularly noteworthy is the fact it can send a signal from a single computer up to three different displays. Not only that, this docking station can display content in either 4K or 8K resolution via the appropriate HDMI port.

Review: Even M1 Mac owners can have three displays with this Ugreen docking station

So you can be sure the video or images you're sharing with others will maintain their high resolution. Additionally, being able to project onto multiple screens can help improve work efficiency as you won't have to switch between windows over and over. All the information you need can be right in front of you.

This triple display support is thanks to DisplayLink technology, an important add-on allowing Ugreen's docking station to work with PCs and M1 Macs. As you can imagine, the software is very helpful to Mac owners as they're no longer restricted to just one screen.

Pros & Cons
  • Can output 4K video in both HDMI and DisplayPort
  • Sturdy construction
  • Fast transfer speeds
  • Power adapter not included
  • No 8K video support
  • No audio ports
More Details

Ugreen Revodok 9-in-1 USB-C docking station: Ports: HDMI 4K (2), DP 4K (2), PD 3.0 100W (1), USB-A (2), USB-C (1), Gigabit Ethernet (1) | Display: HDMI: 4K @ 60 Hz (2), DisplayPort 4K @ 30Hz (2); supports up to 2 total displays via HDMI and DP 

If the Revodok 12-in-1 unit is too much for you, Ugreen has a great alternative in the Revodok 9-in-1 docking station. As you can obviously tell by the name, this is a smaller, more compact version of the first model we covered. It excludes a USB-A input, the SD card slot and it completely forgoes audio output. Also, it can't output 8K resolution video. Although you lose some ports, you also gain some.

In the place of these lost ports is an additional HDMI 4K port as well as an extra DisplayPort 4K slot. With these two, you can extend a signal from either your PC or Mac to dual 4K monitors at 60Hz. Owners can choose between extended or mirrored display mode and switch between the two "effortlessly." 

The Power Delivery (PD) slow offers 100W Fast Charge. Ugreen claims you can fully charge a MacBook Pro 15-inch in about 1.5 hours, however, you will need a power brick to connect to in order to provide charging. It can't do it by itself. The good news is it does work with MacBook and third-party chargers.

If you ever need to send files from one laptop to another, Ugreen's Revodok 9-in-1 can help you out since it offers data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps for lightning-fast delivery.

Pros & Cons
  • Cheap
  • Guaranteed Mac compatibility
  • Supports 4K at 60Hz
  • Few ports
  • 4K resolution at 60Hz support is limited
More Details

Apple USB-C Digital AV multiport adapter specs: Ports: USB Type-C (1); USB Type-A (1). HDMI (1) | Display: HDMI (1), 3840 x 2160

Most third-party manufacturers don't really create dedicated Apple docking stations for Macs or MacBooks. A majority of the time, support for macOS tends to be a secondary addition to an already feature-packed device. Fortunately, Apple itself does have its own first-party docking station in the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.

It's important to point out that it pales in comparison to the options offered by the top models above and several below. The Multiport Adapter only has three inputs (one USB-C, one USB-C, and a single HDMI) and one USB-C cable sticking out. At the very least, it covers your basic needs despite its limitations. This little gadget can be a lifesaver for people juggling between different devices. You can connect your MacBook, iPad, or iPhone to a HDMI-enabled TV.

Apple's Multiport Adapter has the capability to output an Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2,160 pixels) at 60Hz although you will need the correct device such as an iPhone 15 or MacBook Air. It can also send a 1080p video at 60Hz or an Ultra HD video at 30Hz from a 4th generation iPad Air. The full list of supporting hardware can be found on Apple's website.

Pros & Cons
  • Compact
  • Enables a dual-monitor setup
  • Useful selection of ports
  • Can be easily tossed around due to lightweight design
  • USB-C cable might be too short for some
  • No dedicated audio ports
More Details

Accell Mobile Multiport Adapter specs: Ports: USB Gen 2 Type-C (1); USB Gen 2 Type-A (1), HDMI (1), DisplayPort 1.4 (1) | Display: 8K resolution at 30Hz, 4K resolution at 120Hz, dual 4K resolution at 60Hz,

Accell's Mobile Multiport Adapter is similar to Apple's in that it's an ultraportable dock. The unit has only a few ports but they're the only ones you'll ever need to set up an entire workstation while still fitting in your pocket or your luggage.

As the old saying goes, big things come in small packages as Acell's docking station can support one 8K display at 30Hz or two 4K displays at 60Hz. If you don't have a monitor that can support 8K, this device offers the option to output 4K resolution video at 120Hz.

Also: This pocket-sized dock transforms your laptop into an entire workstation

The biggest strength of the Accell Mobile Multiport Adapter is its versatility. It's compatible with both Windows 10 and 11, MacBooks, iPads, ChromeOS, plus Android devices through its USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode. It works with laptops, tablets, computer accessories — you name it, this adapter can handle it. This little gadget can turn your MacBook into "an entire workstation" by itself.

And as the cherry on top, it can provide up to "90W of fast charging when plugged into a 100W power source." It would've been nice if it had some sort of audio port like a headphone jack. But still, this comes highly recommended.

Pros & Cons
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Great for older devices you plan to upgrade
  • Compatible with many operating systems
  • Can't output 4K resolution
  • Doesn't provide power to laptop
More Details

Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station specs: Ports: USB 3.0 Type-A (2); USB 2.0 Type-A (4); HDMI (1); DVI (1); Gigabit Ethernet (1); 3.5mm audio jack (1); microphone jack (1) | Display: 1920x1200 at 60Hz (2); 2,560x1440 at 50Hz via HDMI (1)

For those who own older laptops, we recommend the Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station. This device has 11 ports in total with two of them being a pair of USB 3.0 inputs on the front for older machines to connect to. Because it supports an older protocol, the docking station does suffer from limited performance. It can't do 8K or even 4K resolution video.

Also: Charge your devices for less with the best cheap USB hubs

Still, it does a pretty good job at what it can do. For instance, it can send video signals out to a pair of HDMI displays at a resolution of up to 1,920 x 1,200 pixels at a refresh rate of 60Hz. For a single screen, that quality gets bumped up to Quad HD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) at a refresh rate of 50Hz. 

True to its name, Plugable's docking station has support for a wide array of operating systems from Windows 11, macOS, and ChromeOS. It's even capable of supporting laptops running Windows 7. 

Even if you decide to finally let go of your beloved Windows 7 laptop, you can still keep this docking station and continue to use it when you upgrade since it comes with more modern USB-C inputs. What's particularly interesting about this model is it comes with a microphone port — the only entry on this list to have one. Having this port available can be handy on older machines that may have malfunctioning parts or it's already being taken up by another device. Plugable's docking station essentially can add this functionality back to those models.

Pros & Cons
  • Can output video up to three 4K monitors at 60Hz
  • 13 ports in total
  • 100W power deliver
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Chrome OS, and macOS
  • 13 ports in total
  • Expensive
More Details

Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Display Docking Station specs: Ports: USB-C (1), SD card reader (1), 3.5  microphone jack (1), 3.5 headphone jack, HDMI/DisplayPort - DisplayLink (2), HDMI/DisplayPort - Alt Mode (2), USB-A 3.0 (4), Gigabit Ethernet (1), USB-C with 100W Power Delivery (1) | Display: up to three simultaneous 4K resolution @ 60Hz displays

The Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Display Docking Station has a lot of similarities to UGREEN's Revodok 12-in-1. It supports a triple 4K monitor setup through its three DisplayPort outputs or three HDMI ports — your choice. Additionally, it can power your laptop up to 100W thanks to its DisplayLink connection. 

Of course, we can't ignore the 13 ports present on the front and back of the docking station. It has four USB-A 3.0 ports much like the previous entry. Although, you could argue there are actually 16 ports if you count the headphone jack and the microphone input on the front as well as the rear power delivery output on the back.

Also: Best HDMI cables for 2023

What makes Plugable's docking station stand above UGREEN's model is its versatility. Not only can this device connect to macOS and Windows 11, but it also works with ChromeOS plus older versions of Windows like Windows 7. I tried it out myself very recently and was pleased to see that I was able to switch between the two systems with ease. If I ever decide to commit to one system (say, ChromeOS), I won't have to purchase another station. I keep this one and still enjoy the same performance.

Now there are caveats, like the fact it doesn't support 8K resolution and it is pretty pricey. In fact, it's the second most expensive entry on this list. Although I would argue it's worth the price tag considering what you're getting for a very reliable computer accessory.

Pros & Cons
  • 10 ports
  • Supports up to two 4K displays or one 8k monitor
  • Thin design doesn't take up much room
  • Doesn't support dual monitor setup for M1 MacBooks
More Details

Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station specs: Ports: USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support (2); Display 1.4 (1) USB-A 3.1 (3); USB-A 2.0 (1); Gigabit Ethernet; 3.5mm audio combo jack; SD card reader | Display: Supports one 8K @30Hz display or dual 4K @60Hz displays.

It's not uncommon for professionals to find themselves with a cramped desk. You have folders, laptops, monitors, and bottles of water taking up space with no room for a docking station. For those situations, we recommend getting the Accell Thunderbolt 4.

Its low-profile, shallow design hosts a surprising amount of connections — 10 in total, to be exact. They cover a variety of protocols, both old and new. You have a pair of Thunderbolt 4 inputs, several USB-A ports with one supporting the old USB 2.0 standard, and an SD card reader, just to name a few.

Review: Is this the ultimate Windows docking station? Meet the Accell Thunderbolt 4

There aren't any HDMI ports, but it can still output an 8K resolution video at 30 Hz to a single display or Ultra HD 4K resolution at 60 Hz to a dual monitor setup via the Thunderbolt 4 connections. The audio jack pulls double duty as it serves as an input for headphones as well as a microphone.

Accell's docking station works on PC laptops and M1 MacBooks alike, although the latter sees limited support. M1 MacBooks connected to this device will only be able to output to one external monitor due to the limitations of the chipset. 

Pros & Cons
  • 199W of power delivery for fast charging
  • Supports dual 4K displays
  • Offers most popular connections
  • Doesn't work with non-Surface laptop devices
More Details

Microsoft Surface Dock 2 specs: Ports: USB 3.2 Type-A (2); USB Type-C (4); 3.5 in/out audio jack; Gigabit Ethernet (1) | Display: Supports up to two 4K displays at 60Hz

Rounding out the list is the Surface Dock 2 from Microsoft.. This docking station is meant solely for Surface Pro devices and Surface Laptops. It's been specially optimized for the Surface Laptop Go 2 and the Surface Pro 7 Plus, just to name a few notable models. It won't work with third-party hardware. If you have something like a ThinkPad, you're better off selecting one of the earlier entries.

Also: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go 2 review: Stylish and lightweight, but battery life could be better

However, if you do own a compatible device, the Surface Dock 2 will become your best friend. It comes equipped with a pair of USB-A inputs and four USB-C ports split between the front and back. With this, you'll be able to use your favorite peripherals like mice or keyboards. There's even an in/out audio jack on the rear that accepts headphones and microphones. 

Plus, it has 199W power delivery allowing users to fast charge their devices. And it supports outputting 4K resolution video at 60Hz to a pair of monitors. It's not the most comprehensive or robust entry, but for Surface owners, it's one of the best out there on the market today.

What is the best laptop docking station?

The UGREEN Docking Station Triple Display, 12-in-1 is our pick of the best laptop docking station. It offers a dozen ports and a direct power supply. Plus, the added flexibility of DisplayLink ensures that almost any connected laptop becomes the core of a multi-monitor workstation. 

Best laptop docking station




Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station 12-in-1



100 watts

Ugreen Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station 9-in-1



100 watts

Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter




Accell Mobile Multiport Adapter



90 watts

Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station




Plugable 4K USB-C Docking Station Triple Monitor



100 watts

Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station



96 watts

Microsoft Surface Dock 2



199 watts

Which laptop docking station is right for you?

The right laptop docking station for you ultimately depends on what matters to you the most and what you need the device for. Below, we've laid out our list of recommendations to help you decide.

Choose this best laptop docking station...

If you want...

UGREEN Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station, 12-in-1

The best overall option. This docking station has HDMI and DP connections, 3 USB-A ports, an SD card slot, and the ability to signal a computer signal to three individual displays.

UGREEN Revodok Pro USB-C Docking Station, 9-in-1

A less expensive version of our top pick. You can cut down on a few ports to save a couple bucks while still getting two video outputs for a dual-monitor setup.

Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

A simple product to work with your Mac Mini or MacBook. This best laptop docking station is made specifically for your Apple device.

Accell Mobile Multiport Adapter

A pocket-sized dock that works across almost all operating systems. This is a laptop docking station that is easy to take with you on the go.

Plugable USB 3.0 and USB-C Universal Laptop Docking Station

The best laptop docking station for older laptops that supports two displays at a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels (or 2560x1440 pixels via one HDMI connection). It works across Windows, ChromeOS, MacOS, and even Android-based devices.

Plugable 4K USB-C Docking Station Triple Monitor

A highly versatile docking station sporting 13 individual ports and the ability to output up to three 4K resolution signals at 60Hz.

Accell Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station

A docking station for super compact workspaces. This best laptop docking station doesn't require a large footprint, but still supports up to two displays or one 8K monitor.

Microsoft Surface Dock 2

A docking station specifically for your Surface Pro or Surface Laptop. There is incredible power packed into this model.

How did we choose these laptop docking stations?

When choosing the best laptop docking station, we look at important specifications including price, connection types, power delivery, video outputs, ports, audio input/output, and more to find the best option for you. 

In this guide, we list some popular, well-reviewed dock options. They're not all equal, of course. Before you choose one, here's what you should look for.

  • Connection type: This should be the most important aspect to note when shopping. Most new laptops support USB Type-C connections, which offers robust expansion options. Before you choose one of these docks, though, you'll need to know if your laptop supports Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connections. If you have a Microsoft Surface device, your choices should also include the Surface Connect plug. If you have an older PC or Mac that doesn't support one of those standards, you have the option to use USB 3.0, but that will curtail some of the more advanced resolutions and data speeds.
  • Power: For a true one-cable connection, your dock needs to supply power to the laptop. Some cheaper options skip this feature, assuming you'll connect a power supply and use the dock exclusively for connecting peripherals. Others require you to use your laptop's own charger to power them, while they, in turn, pass that power back to your laptop via a PD port.
  • Video output(s): Look closely at the specs for video connections. If you need to drive only a single full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) display using an HDMI cable, just about any dock will do. Things get complicated quickly if you need support for a 4K or 8K display (you'll need DisplayPort or a more recent version of HDMI for those resolutions). The same is true if you want to run two or more external displays simultaneously.
  • Ports: Note if the dock you're considering has enough external ports for your devices. Pay special attention to USB ports, which can be Type A or Type C, on docking stations that may or may not have the ability to power devices like a smartphone.
  • Wired Ethernet: One of the great advantages of a docking station is that you can free yourself from flaky Wi-Fi connections. You can plug into your router directly via an ethernet cable. The participants on your weekly Zoom calls will thank you.
  • Audio input/output: You probably won't think of these connections until you need them. Having dedicated external speakers and a 3.5-inch audio jack to plug in an external microphone can dramatically transform your audio quality. 

What is a laptop docking station and what does it do?

A docking station essentially allows your laptop to behave the same way as a traditional desktop tower. It allows you to connect computer accessories, external storage drivers, webcams, and multiple external monitors. This setup lets you multitask across multiple screens or more. 

It's like your laptop's own personal assistant. Docking stations serve as a central hub where you can connect all sorts of peripherals to it. Plus, some can even charge your laptop.

Are laptop docks universal?

There are universal docking stations available, and they will not only work with multiple models of Windows-based laptops, but also MacBooks, Chromebooks, and even Android-based devices. However, there are also many models out there which are made to work with specific brands or even exact models. 

Apple, Microsoft, and several other PC makers produce docking stations that will only work with their products. If you get a third-party docking station, it should work with anything you have -- but you should check the specs to be sure.

What's the difference between a USB hub and a docking station?

A USB hub is a device that adds more USB ports to give you additional ways to connect peripherals like mice and keyboards, as well as thumb drives and external hard drives. But that's all it really does. USB hubs really can't do much at all.

Also: The 5 best USB hubs 

A docking station can do that too, but they also have ports for connecting monitors via DisplayPort, HDMI, or Thunderbolt, so you can have a second (or third, or fourth) screen for easier multitasking. Some even sport wired networking to laptops that are normally compatible with Wi-Fi only. Docking stations can functionally turn your laptop into a fully loaded desktop setup.

Are there alternative laptop docking stations to consider?

The options below can be considered honorable mentions to the ones above. These docking stations perform well enough but just didn't make the cut for a variety of reasons. Still, if you need something that's easy to use, these docking stations can help you out. Plus, some are cheaper than those on the main roster.


Best low cost alternative

Monoprice 7-in-1 USB-C Multiport 4K HDMI Adapter

Sporting seven individual inputs, this is among the best low-cost docking stations.

View at Amazon
UtechSmart Triple Display Laptop Docking Station

Best value alternative

UtechSmart Triple Display Laptop Docking Station

A low-cost, reliable docking station capable of outputting to three monitors at once.

View at Amazon

Best Surface Dock 2 alternative

Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock

This docking station is specially optimized for recent Surface devices although it lacks high power passthrough.

View at Microsoft

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