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The 5 Best MacBook Pro Dock Stations | Buying Guide

What are the best MacBook Pro dock stations? These kinds of laptops have been launched on the market by Apple since 2006. Since then, this type of computer has become more refined, becoming one of the most successful series by the Cupertino giant and one of the most popular laptop models in the world. .

On the market there are many different docks that are distinguished, first of all, between universal or simply compatible with Apple products. Also as regards the price, this kind of product has significant variations from model to model. To influence costs often, in addition to the quality of the materials used there are also other factors such as the number of ports and connections available.

The choice, therefore, is not as simple as it would seem at first glance. With this guide, we want to show you the 5 best MacBook Pro dock stations currently available on the market.

best dock for macbook pro

THE laptop they are becoming increasingly popular for home and business use. Only a few years ago the use of the fixed PC at home and in the office was an extremely consolidated habit. Over the past few years, a sort of turnaround has been seen.

With the increase in power and with the improvement of batteries and screens, a good portion of the business and home users passed en masse to notebooks and netbooks both Windows and Mac. The use of laptops to severely limits the possibility of using external devices, extra accessories, devices and monitors. This problem occurs due to the reduced number of USB ports and other sockets usually available on notebooks. In these cases, docking stations come into play.

Why use a docking station with Macbook Pro

One of the main problems of the latest models of Macbook Pro, which also in the version with touchbar that we have reviewed, are equipped with few connectors (sometimes only two USB type C are present). Anyone who regularly uses any type of computer knows how USB sockets are now essential for using any type of peripheral.

Thanks to a good level dock it is possible to increase the unMac ports, improve its connectivity, make recharging easier and connect it to additional monitors. Just in this regard, we recommend taking a quick look at our selection of the best 4k and 5k monitors to use with MacBook. Always thanks to the "extra" sockets, it is possible to connect external accessories such as keyboard, mouse or USB hub.

The use of a docking station allows you to make the use of a notebook even more convincing. In fact, in this way it is possible to transform a laptop, with a few simple gestures, into a real desktop device. In a few seconds it is possible to activate the external monitor, the keyboard and the mouse, as well as the speakers and any external hard disk. All without having to use questionable design dongles and the excessive price that, among other things, fill the desk that fill your desk with a lot of cables.

What you can do easily with a Mac dock

So let's summarize, in a more schematic way, how a dock station can be used in combination with a MacBook Pro (but also with any other type of laptop):

  • Connect external devices, hard drives and SD and microSD memories
  • Connect keyboard, mouse and other devices
  • Use external memories
  • Use multiple video outputs that are not available on the Macbook
  • Use multiple screens simultaneously without problems
  • Extend the number of ports available
  • Bring your hubs together in one accessory
  • Get rid of the only USB-C port
  • Use the Ethernet cable connection
  • Keep your desk tidy by reducing cables
  • You always have all your accessories and screens ready for use

For these reasons we have made the selection of the best Macbook Pro docks that help you improve the usability of your Apple notebook. If you are looking for other accessories in addition to a dock, we recommend reading the selection of the 7 best MacBook accessories.

Which dock to buy for Macbook? Here are the top 5 to use at home and at work

After dwelling on the general characteristics of this type of product, it is good to go to the point. Below is a list with what we currently consider as the best products in this specific sector.

LandingZone USB-C Dock

best macbook docks - LandingZone USB-C Dock

There LandingZone USB-C Dock for MacBook Pro with TouchBar a dock not based on connectivity via Thunderbolt but aimed at making the most of the port's connection potential USB-C on the side of the Mac. The choice of opting for USB-C allows all types of devices and accessories to work correctly, including those with a Thunderbolt port. The dock in question designed primarily for i 15-inch Macbook Pro is does not work with Windows systems.

The LandingZone USB-C Dock integrates one remarkable series of doors. On the back of the dock are positioned two HDMI ports and one mini Display Portwhich can be used simultaneously for connect a maximum of two monitors (which is impossible to do via a MacBook without a dock). In addition to the ports for connecting the monitors, there is an SD memory slot and a microSD memory slot, 3 USB-C ports for the transfer of data only (no video), 3 USB 3.1 Type A ports and one port Gigabit Ethernet.

On the base there is also an audio jack connector to be used for the transmission of audio and music. Once connected to the base, the MacBook is firmly anchored and, thanks to the locking systems. In this way, even in case of accidental touches, it will remain secured at the dock. To disconnect the two devices, it will be necessary to act manually on the release lever. There build quality of this pretty good device. The entirely plastic construction, while being solid and without particular resistance problems.

The LandingZone USB-C Dock offers a good mix of ports and connection possibilities to device and display. The only flaw is the lack of Thunderbolt 3 ports that may not be needed in daily use of the Mac

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock

best docks for macbook pro - OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock

When it comes to the best MacBook Pro docking stations, one cannot fail to mention OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock. It derives from the good number of doors offered to the user and to the sober, elegant and minimal contemporary design.

On the front of the dock there is a SD card connector, the audio jack and a port USB 3.1 for data transfer. On the back there is another dozen doors that will allow us to connect any type of device. In detail they are present 4 USB-A 3.1 ports, a FireWire 800 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, a miniDisplay Port and a S / PDIF connector. Thanks to the miniDisplay and Thunderbolt 3 ports, it is possible to connect multiple monitors to the dock and therefore take advantage of the possibility of working professionally with multiple screens available. If you decide to connect high resolution monitors to the dock, keep in mind that you can use them a single 5K displaywhile you can connect simultaneously two 4K monitors.

There build quality excellent and the product is solid and well finished. Compatibility is also excellent, with the possibility of use for both Mac and Windows devices.

Kensington SD5200T Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station

best macbook docks - Kensington SD5200T

Kensington SD5200T Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station an excellent device e cross-platform, which allows it to be best used with both MacOS and Windows 10. Thanks to the excellent quality, it is possible to use the device to connect a single 5K monitor or two 4K monitorsat 60 Hz. Another notable plus is the predisposition for VESA attacks that allow you to connect the product to the wall, perhaps behind the screen, to have an even cleaner and tidier desk.

The Kensington dock powered by an 85W connector that supplies power to the various ports. On the front they are positioned a USB-A port and a USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 port. On the back they find a place a Gigabit Ethernet port, a USB-A 3.1, an audio in / out, a Kensington lock, a Thunderbolt 3 port, a TB3 in ed a Display Port. A reduced connectivity compared to the other models we have previously talked about but which remains fully compatible with 4K and 5K displays.

There build quality of the OWC dock very good and combines plastic and metal in order to obtain a modern and elegant design. The device can be connected to Mac and Windows using the Thunderbolt 3 port on the back, a position where the 85W connector for power supply.

The well built Kensington SD5200T dock offers a good set of ports and connections at a well balanced price

StarTech.com Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock

best docks for macbook pro - StarTech.com Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Space problems? Among the best docks for MacBook Pro also figure StarTech.com Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock which makes its most obvious advantage of the small size. Thanks to this device, usable with both Mac and Windows, it is possible to connect additional monitors to the laptop you have. The device is connected to the MacBook Pro via a simple USB-C cable in order to take full advantage of all its potential.

On the back of the dock are present two DisplayPort which then allow you to connect to your Mac two 4K monitors with frequency a 60 Hz or a single 5K monitor at 60 Hz, a USB 3.0 port it's a Gigabit Ethernet. The advantages of this dock are the high level of portability (thanks to the small size) and lenergy independence, as all power goes through the USB-C cable. The latter point can also be seen as a weakness: given the absence of an external power supply, in fact, it is not possible to connect external devices that need separate power supply to this super dongle.

There build quality in the medium and the shell made entirely of plastic. The small size makes it much more like a simple dongle than a real classic docking.

Who is looking for a MacBook Pro dock to connect multiple screens can find in StarTech.com Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock the ideal product. This accessory can offer excellent value for money.

Wavlink Thunderbolt 3 HUB

best docks for macbook pro - HUB Wavlink Thunderbolt 3

As a last accessory that is among the best MacBook dock stations, we offer a dock very similar to a simple dongle, but able to expand the connectivity of any Apple notebook. The dock Wavlink Thunderbolt 3 HUB it works exclusively with MacBook Pro with TouchBar and requires to be connected to the Mac with both USB-C / Thunderbolt ports simultaneously.

The doors available are fewer than the other models but still allow you to have them available two USB-C, two USB 3.0, an SD memory slot, a slot for microSD memories is an HDMI port. Thanks to the presence of the latter, it is possible to connect the Mac with a screen equipped with maximum resolution at 4K. The dimensions are really small and make it an easy product to transport in almost any type of context. The style follows the lines of Apple and allows you to make this small dongle easy to contextualize even from an aesthetic point of view with a Mac

Conclusions

The dock stations for MacBook Pro (and also for other types of laptops) are very interesting accessories, able to overcome some problems related to the small size of laptops. To choose a product suitable for your needs, it is good to deal with different characteristics such as number and types of doors, potential dimensions, design and compatibility.

By purchasing any of the products listed in the list, you can be sure of relying on a dock station capable of significantly expanding the