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Choosing The Best Macbook Pro Dock

MacBook Pro Dock: What Is It?

Docking stations are special peripheral devices that are designed to enhance the utility of your Macbook. They are essentially communications hubs — they plug into your MacBook and drastically expand the range ad number of ports that it has in order to interface with various external devices.

They are also specifically designed to be out of the way. Most docking stations are designed to let your Macbook rest on their surface while it is docked so that it takes up minimal desk space. These docks also raise the computer off of the desk a little, which allows it to dissipate heat better.

There also exists a MacBook pro Dock that is designed to accept closed MacBook Pros, slid sideways into a slot. This essentially turns them into desktop machines, as they are made to be connected to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

In addition, many docking stations are designed to be compatible with both MacBooks and PC laptops — both for market profitability and adaptability on the part of the users.

A docking station can allow you to easier connect peripherals that were designed to be used with a different type of device than the one you have.

If you have a MacBook Pro with a Mini DisplayPort, for example, a docking station will allow you to connect an HDMI port to your MacBook even if you don’t have the corresponding port.

In general, docking stations are designed for people who like to connect a lot of peripheral devices to their machines, or for those who want to use their PC laptop or MacBook like a desktop computer when at a desk.

If you are one of these people, you will definitely want to sit through this article. It will go over the best docking stations and their features, prices, comparisons to other docks, and what to look for in a docking station in general.

StarTech Thunderbolt 3 Dual-4K Docking Station

The StarTech Thunderbolt 3 Dual-4K Docking station is less of an actual docking station and more of a peripheral hub. It is designed for PCs and MacBook Pros that are equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 port.

Thunderbolt 3, if you didn’t know, is a lightning-fast connectivity standard that provides up to 40 Gbps (gigabytes-per-second) of data transfer between devices. It is shaped like a round USB-C port/connector, so it has connectivity with all devices with this shape.

This means that any devices connected to either the Thunderbolt 3 port or the docking station can transfer data between devices at speeds of 40 Gbps. This greatly increases the efficiency of your devices because they are capable of transferring information between them at much faster speeds.

The StarTech Thunderbolt 3 docking system allows you to add extra monitors to your laptop display for multitasking. Multitasking, in general, is the main feature of this docking station, as it allows you to do it at speeds much faster than normal.

It requires no additional driver installations either, so you can immediately use your connected devices. This includes connectivity of twin 4K 60Hz monitors through the use of its Mini DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports.

This docking station is designed to be so compatible with peripheral devices, that you can easily connect all the peripherals that you need to turn your laptop into a full-size workstation with only a single Thunderbolt 3 cable.

The device features a Thunderbolt 3 host cable, three USB 3.0 ports (two of which are USB-C, and one is USB-A), two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, one 3.5 mm audio out jack, one 3.5 mm microphone in jack, and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

It is also equipped with an always-on USB 3.0 fast-charge and sync port for mobile devices, which also supports USB Battery Charging Specification 1.2.

In conclusion, the StarTech Thunderbolt 3 docking station is an excellent choice for a working environment. Its literal lightning fast connectivity and built-in compatibility with a wide range of devices allow you to use a portable device — even a mobile phone or tablet — and connect to to a full suite of devices required for serious work.

LandingZone Docking Station Model A1707

The LandingZone Model A1707 docking station is specifically designed to fit the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and is not compatible with older MacBook Pro models with Retina Displays.

This beast of a docking station comes equipped with SIXTEEN PORTS! If you’re the kind of person that has to connect their MacBook Pro with every peripheral device on the planet, you can do no wrong buying a dock like this.

It possesses:

3 USB 3.1 Type-C Ports (data only, no video)
2 USB 3.1 Type-A ports (data only, but does allow video)
1 USB Type-A Port (data and 1.5A high-speed charging)
1 USB Type-C Passthrough port, an HDMI port (3840p x 2160p resolution @ 30Hz)
Mini DisplayPort at the same resolution (cannot be used at the same time as HDMI port)
Gigabit Ethernet port
SD card slot
Micro SD card slot
Two-way audio port
Kensington security slot
96W LandingZone Power Adaptor
3-color LED status indicator light

This is an extremely powerful and adaptable docking station, able to provide your MacBook Pro w/ Touch Bar with an entire science lab’s worth of port connectivity. You’ll never run out of space for ports again!

This dock also has the added benefit of serving as a rest for your MacBook Pro. The front rests on the dock and connects to the MacBook via the aforementioned 96W Power Adapter, which also powers the dock.

When the MacBook is mounted on the dock, it is raised off of the surface of a desk by up to an inch and a half. This improves the level of airflow in and around your MacBook, allowing it to stay cool for longer periods and under a more strenuous workload.

The LandingZone Model A1707 docking station is designed to turn a 15-inch MacBook Pro w/ Touch Bar into a versatile, stationary workstation. It can also turn this same model of MacBook into a powerful media center able to connect with many different media devices at once.

If either of these two applications is something that you’re looking to use your MacBook for, then this docking station is an excellent choice. There also exist models of this dock that are compatible with the 13-inch MacBook Pro w/ Touch Bar and without Touch Bar.

OWC Thunderbolt 3

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 docking station is a powerful, yet portable docking station. It is designed to be portable and easily fit into a backpack and leave a small footprint, yet powerful. It features 14 ports that are both front and rear facing, allowing you to easily connect any type of device.

It is designed in such a way that the front allows for the easy connection of portable devices, media cards, and headphones, while the back connects to static devices like monitors and peripherals. Allows such static devices to stay out of sight and not occupy unnecessary desk space.

The OWC Thunderbolt 3 docking station operates completely independently of any power adapter — it supplies 85W of power to your computer via Thunderbolt 3 and offers multiple high-power USB ports to charge devices.

In order for a docking station to be truly portable, it should be easy and simple to safely disconnect all connected devices. The OWC dock offers just this.

In a single click, it safely ejects and disconnects all connected devices, drives, and peripherals, ensuring that data is safely written and saved beforehand. With the OWC, you’ll never need to worry about accidental data loss ever again.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 docking station has the ability to daisy-chain multiple Thunderbolt 3 devices — up to 6 devices per port. You can connect a Thunderbolt cable to 2 ports on each device, then link everything to a single dock.

This will allow you to connect every Thunderbolt-capable device together in one single Thunderbolt 3 port on the docking station. This gives you the blazing-fast connectivity speeds that Thunderbolt 4 has to offer, while at the same time, freeing up your other ports so that you can connect EVEN MORE devices to the dock.

Docking stations are designed to provide your PC laptop or MacBook with much more versatility and connectivity than before. They’re designed to enhance the processing power and utility of your computer, making it a more efficient workstation or media center.

When you decide to buy a dock, it is best to buy one that suits your needs and intended uses for your machine. Look for the features, port options, number of ports, and interface style that suits your preferences and needs.