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Universal Docking Stations for Laptops

Let’s look at the different kinds of docks available today, and criteria for selecting the perfect dock to fit your organization’s needs.

Why Kensington for Laptop & Desktop Docking Stations? Simple.

With over 35 years of experience, and as a global leader in desktop productivity solutions since 2006, Kensington is the Professionals' Choice for universal laptop & desktop docking stations. From professional-grade industry design, to the user interface, every docking station is quality tested above industry standards and backed with superior warranties, along with unmatched sales support both before and after you purchase your docking stations. And with an experienced supply chain, we are experts in large or small-scale deployments. 

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The Evolution of the Workplace

Gone are the days when every desk had a phone and a typewriter as their essential tools. With "hot desking" and "hoteling" rising in popularity, some people don't have permanent desks at all. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. How do you accommodate for these diverse and changing needs? Kensington.  

Evolution of the Workplace

Change in Devices

Ten years ago, priorities for notebooks were radically different.

MacBook 2007

MacBook 2007

• Replace my desktop • Performance over mobility • Battery life sacrifices are acceptable • OEM docking connector needed
MacBook 2017

MacBook 2017

• Be more like my tablet/phone • Mobility over ports • Battery life optimized • Universal connectors

Evolving Hardware Standards

 

USB timeline

Emerging Technologies

USB-C Gen1 Connector

USB 3.2 Gen1 (USB-A/USB-C)
5 Gbps bandwidth

  • Good for single 4K 60Hz, or dual 2K 60Hz
  • Supports multiple USB accessories 
  • Data/Video/Audio/Power
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Can be used with a USB-A adapter
  • Windows/macOS/Chrome support
  • Available on Intel and AMD systems (2017+)

USB-C Gen2 Connector

USB 3.2 Gen2 (USB-C)
10 Gbps bandwidth

  • Good for dual 4K 60Hz
  • Supports multiple USB accessories 
  • Data/Video/Audio/Power
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Windows/macOS/Chrome support
  • Available on Intel and AMD systems (2017+)

Thunderbolt 3 Connector

Thunderbolt 3 & 4
40 Gbps bandwidth

  • Good for single 5K 60Hz, or dual 4K 60Hz
  • Supports multiple USB accessories 
  • Data/Video/Audio/Power
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Windows/macOS support
  • Intel systems only

USB-C Only Describes the Connector

The speed, video, and power delivery capability it supports are all optional and subject to the manufacturer's implementation. Check the guide on the right for more information on how to identify which USB-C port you have. USB connector chart

Discover more about USB-C and Thunderbolt!

Which Dock is Right for Me?

With so many connectors, technologies, and standards, we know it can be confusing. So we've created a helpful selector to make it easy to know which docking solution is right for you.
Docking Solutions

Thunderbolt Docks

Power, plus the fastest data and video available on a single cable.

USB-C Docks

The industry standard for data, video, and power.

USB-A Docks

Most popular USB type, providing data and video.

Surface Docking

Integrated Surface Connect technology for a seamless dock and charge experience.

Docks with Smart Lock Technology

Combining a best-in-class docking with next gen locking technology.

4K Docks

Docking stations that deliver 4K UHD video.

Power Delivery Docks

Connects and powers your laptop.

Docks with SD Card Readers

Makes transferring photos fast, easy, and convenient.

Your Needs, Answered by Kensington

In the office, on the road, at school, home, or wherever, we've got a laptop & desktop docking station that's perfect for your needs.
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A Solution for Any Type

Let us help you find the right laptop or desktop docking station by the features and functions that are most important to you.
Discover More

The Road Warrior
Today's mobile workforce

Portability
Low-profile solution
USB-C Solutions
Single monitor support
Gigabit Ethernet
USB-A ports and more!

The Task Master
Desktop productivity

Full-scale workstations 
Solutions up to 5Gbps 
USB-C Solutions 
USB 3.0/USB-C Solutions
Dual monitor support 
Gigabit Ethernet 
USB Fast-Charging 
USB-A ports and more!

The Innovator
Ultimate desktop experience

Full-scale workstations
Solutions up to 40Gbps
Thunderbolt 3 & 4 Solutions
Dual 4K monitor support 
Gigabit Ethernet
USB Fast-Charging
USB-A ports and more!

Want to see what all docking stations have to offer, view our entire line of innovative solutions!

 

kensington docking station

 View All Docking Stations

FAQs

  • What are docking stations?
  • Do docking stations charge laptops?
  • Are docking stations universal?
  • Do docking stations have power cords?
What are docking stations? Chevron Icon

Docking stations expand the functionality of your portable device, transforming it into a desktop replacement. A docking station connects via Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C or USB-A and provides workstation power for your entire setup.

Do docking stations charge laptops? Chevron Icon

Yes! Unlike most hubs, docking stations are plugged into the wall, so they can provide power to both your laptop (up to 100W depending on the model) and peripheral devices.

Are docking stations universal? Chevron Icon

Not all docking stations are universal. However, here’s a selection of our best universal laptop docking stations.

Do docking stations have power cords? Chevron Icon

Yes. A docking station is intended for use at a fixed desktop location. As universal laptop docking stations are designed to provide more features and functions (dual 4K video, 100W power delivery, charging of mobile accessories and more), an external power supply is required. The same is true for Dell docking stations, HP docking stations, Lenovo docking stations and even MacBook docking stations. If you are looking for a solution to support your mobile needs, a bus-powered mobile docking station (often referred to as a USB hub or mobile dock) might be the better option.

Learn more at kensington.com/news/docking-connectivity-blog/hubs-vs-docks-explained/

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