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Monterey Peninsula USD Upgrades to Thunderbolt 3™ Docks with the Help of Kensington’s ProConcierge Program

Teacher helping student with school work

  • Industry: Education 
  • Product: Kensington SD5350T Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station (K38626NA)
  • Deployment: Teachers, Administrators, and Nurses


Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (USD) had recently transitioned away from using Microsoft Windows® based PCs, opting to standardize on Apple’s MacBook Pro®. Following the switch to Macs, they needed new MacBook Pro compatible docking stations that enabled their users to connect multiple displays and peripherals, as well as charge, all via a single cable.

Their reseller partner, CDW, recommended they participate in Kensington’s ProConcierge Program. Participating in the program led them to find the ideal solution for their needs, the Kensington SD5350T Thunderbolt 3™ Docking Station.

The Challenge: Finding the Right Docking Station

Monterey Peninsula USD’s move from Windows to Mac was as popular as it was strategic. When the district’s IT team surveyed its end users, 80% of staff preferred Macs over devices running Windows or Chrome OS. Plus, the higher resale value of MacBook Pros leant to a lower total cost of ownership for the district than the Windows PCs they had sourced in the past.

Following the switch, Monterey Peninsula USD needed new docking stations. Specifically, they required high-performance, easy-to- deploy docking stations with Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C connectivity, to support the port selection on newer MacBook Pros. The ideal dock would offer connectivity for everything from a single cable.

Monterey Peninsula USD’s team started by buying and testing a few Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C docks they found on Amazon. Some of the USB-C docking stations they tested required driver downloads which would impact their ease of deployment.

With others they experienced monitor lag, resulting in poor user experience. None of the tested units ultimately met their key requirements. Monterey’s team was left disappointed not only in the functionality and compatibility of the tested models, but in the level of manufacturer support they received when technical issues during testing arose.

Frustrated, the school district reached out to its reselling partner, CDW, to chart a better course forward for its deployment. Knowing Monterey Peninsula USD needed a solution recommendation, as well as a sample of that solution to test, CDW recommended Monterey participate in Kensington’s ProConcierge Program.

Kensington created the ProConcierge Program to help IT professionals, like the IT Team of Monterey Peninsula USD, find the ideal docking solution for their organization’s unique environment.

Assisted by a Kensington Sales Engineer, participants receive a ProConcierge docking solution test kit, configured just for them and free of charge. Kits contain everything that is needed for participants to test the solution in their environment, including a sample Kensington dock, any applicable cables & adapters, and a wiring diagram for easy setup. With their ProConcierge Program enrollment in motion, Monterey was on track toward finding the right docking station to pair with their MacBook Pro deployment.

The Solution: A Kensington Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Through the program, Manuel Zamudio, Director of Technology at Monterey Peninsula USD, was introduced to Kensington Sales Engineer, Matt Sumner. After getting a thorough understanding of Monterey’s environment, challenges and needs, Sumner configured a test kit just for them. After trialing, the Monterey team opted for the Kensington SD5350T Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station. The dock comes equipped with:

Kensington docking station with Thunderbolt icon

  • Ultra HD/4K resolution (4096 X 2160) for up to 2 monitors.
  • 40 Gbps maximum data transfer rate via Thunderbolt 3 cable.
  • An SD card reader for fast file transfers.
  • Five USB 3.1 ports for connected peripherals.
  • 60W of power for laptop charging.

“We needed to find a one cable solution that does it all: charging, connecting to monitors and phones, you name it, everything on the desk,” explained Zamudio. “That is what drove us to Thunderbolt 3.”

With the SD5350T Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station they didn’t have to worry about lag or installing drivers, instead they were able to harness the power of the Thunderbolt 3 port built into their MacBook Pros for unrivaled speed and a driverless deployment.

The Results: A Better Product and Experience

Whether they’re in a classroom most of the day or traveling between sites, Monterey Peninsula USD’s teams can now reliably connect to the devices they need, when and where they need them.

The Kensington Thunderbolt 3 docks continue to deliver the performance that the school district’s staff expects, while the IT Team rests assured knowing they partnered with a manufacturer that prioritizes customer experience and support.

“That made our lives simpler,” Zamudio said in speaking about the ProConcierge Program. “We got the solution, we got the right cables, we got everything from Kensington to allow us to do a real-world test.”

The response to the dock implementation has been uniformly positive, with users appreciating the productivity and flexibility they’ve gained. Monterey Peninsula USD has made the most of its transition to a Mac- centric environment, by investing in docks that unlock the power of Thunderbolt 3.

We’ve gotten nothing but positive responses so far, after deploying to all of our schools and support offices — everybody loves them, they really like the new technology.

- Manuel Zamudio, Director of Technology for Monterey Peninsula USD

About Kensington

Kensington is the Professionals’ Choice for secure, high-performance desktop and mobile device accessories. From docking stations to laptop locks, Kensington has been trusted by organizations across the world for more than 35 years and is committed to providing professionals the tools they need to thrive.