The tendency of portable computer manufacturers, in recent years, to create solutions that can allow mobile PC users to be able to transport these products easily and in the least amount of space. This trend has led to the creation of ultrabooks, of which the MacBook Air was the precursor, ultra-thin laptops that have their strength in portability. To achieve this goal, it was necessary to sacrifice some ports present in desktop computers, such as video outputs and Ethernet inputs.
I have been using a 13-inch MacBook Air for a long time both at home and in the university, and I have often felt the lack of a video output to connect the Mac to the TV and an Ethernet input to transfer data faster. Several adapters could be used to use in case of need to have the doors I need available, but buying them individually implies a costly outlay of money. For this reason I opted for an all-in-one solution offered by the iClever company. If you are also in this situation, a recommendation that I can give you is to carefully evaluate the IClever USB 3.0 Dock which I am about to present and which I had the chance to try for a long time before writing this review.
IClever USB 3.0 dock superfast station
The IClever USB 3.0 Dock a product that can be useful to those who own an ultrabook but not only, as it offers the possibility of being able to expand, with a single connection cable, the number of ports of our computer, be it a Windows PC (from Windows XP onwards ) or a Mac. The device made of sturdy plastic material size 34.6 × 15.4 × 6.4cm. At the base of the dock, adhesive material was applied which allows the device to be placed rigidly on the desk and to prevent it from moving during use. However, it is possible to remove this surface and rely on the 4 rubber tips on the corners.
On one of the short sides there are two 3.5mm jack ports, one of which can be used as a headphone output while the other as a microphone input. Finally, all the connectors made available by are positioned at the rear IClever USB 3.0 Dock: in addition to the power input and to the 3.0 port to connect the dock with the computer, there are well 6 USB ports, of which 4 are of type 2.0 and the remaining of type 3.0, aHDMI output, aDVi output and one Ethernet port. The package also included an adapter from DVI to VGA, so as to also guarantee the connection with a PC monitor without an HDMI port. The HDMI and DVI ports are able to support a maximum resolution of 2048 × 1152 pixels, with the HDMI interface that also guarantees compatibility with 5.1 channels with regards to audio output.
Using the iClever USB 3.0 Dock
Before using for the first time IClever USB 3.0 Dock need to install the drivers on the PC. For this purpose a CD was included with everything needed for both Windows and Mac, but if your computer does not have a CD player, you can download these drivers directly on the product's official website. After carrying out this preliminary step, to make the product work, simply connect it to a power outlet and let the USB 3.0 iClever communicate with the PC using the USB cable supplied.
The minimum requirements to guarantee a correct functioning of the product are a PC with a Core2Duo 2.0GHz processor and 1GB RAM, even if a Core i5 / i7 processor of at least 2GHz and 4GB of RAM is recommended. To avoid a reduction in the available bandwidth, I recommend connecting the USB 3.0 Universal Dock to a 3.0 type USB port, even if this requirement is not fundamental, considering that I was able to use the device without problems even on a MacBook Air without USB 3.0 .
My basic use of theIClever USB 3.0 Dock that of connecting the Mac to an external monitor via an HDMI port and using the Ethernet to connect directly to the router and be able to transfer documents and videos faster on a shared hard disk on the network. Although I was initially skeptical about the image update rate using the HDMI port of theIClever USB 3.0 Dock, during a test carried out with SkyGo I was able to watch a TV broadcast without any kind of problem and without noticing real differences with the HDMI adapter connected to the DisplayPort of the Mac. Furthermore, even using multiple ports like HDMI, Ethernet and some USB inputs, I didn't notice any slowdown or bandwidth reduction during my work session.
The USB ports can also be used for charging devices such as smartphones, tablets or external batteries. Moreover, with PC off and HUB paused, the first USB 3.0 port can be used in fast charging mode, thanks to a maximum current of 1.5A.
If you need to use an ultrabook but don't want to give up the convenience of having all the connections provided by the dock available when using the computer on your desk, then you might consider the possibility of buying theIClever USB 3.0 Dock. The cost of this product is 99.99 and can be purchased directly on Amazon with free shipping.
As a first impression, the price of theIClever USB 3.0 Dockmay seem a little high, but considering the cost of each individual adapter to have all these ports available, the figure is not much higher. In my specific case, if I had to buy an HDMI adapter, an ethernet adapter and a USB HUB, I would spend well over 99.99, the price at which the iClever USB 3.0 Universal Dock is sold.