Laptops are getting slimmer and slimmer, and that’s a good thing. It means that they’re more portable, easier to carry around, and more. But there is one problem with the trend – and that’s that laptops are also losing ports and connectivity. Thankfully, there’s a way around the loss of ports – using a docking station. Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why you need a USB-C docking station.
1. It turns one port into many
Increasingly, laptops are moving away with all forms of ports except for one – the USB-C port, or Thunderbolt 3 port, depending on what the manufacturer implements. Ultimately, this will be a good thing, as it means that your peripheral devices will all connect with one type of connector, as USB-C becomes more prevalent. In the meantime, however, you likely have a number of devices that use different types of connectors – and a good USB-C docking station will help you connect those many peripherals into the single USB-C port on your laptop. This could include video outputs like HDMI, SD card slots, Ethernet ports, and more. Most modern laptops don’t have these ports – but a hub can add them back.
2. It adds a ton of convenience
If you own a laptop, chances are you regularly take it out of the home with you – whether that be to the office, while traveling, or anything else. A docking station ensures that you don’t have to plug in all your devices whenever you get back to your home or office. That’s good news for those who have a number of different peripherals plugged in. For example, you could have a few monitors, a keyboard and mouse, an external hard drive, and more – and with a docking station, you can connect all of them simply by plugging in a single USB-C connector. Pro tip: If you use your laptop at work and at home, having a docking station in both locations will make for an even more convenient setup. You don’t necessarily need a large hub either – brands like Cable Matters offer plenty of smaller travel hubs and docking stations that you can take on the road with you if you need.
3. It can give you a whole lot more screen space
Speaking of multiple monitors, that alone can make a docking station worth buying. Laptop screens are often high-quality, but they’re normally relatively small. Adding an external monitor or two to your setup can seriously increase productivity, allowing you to spread out a little more and see everything you need to at a glance. You’ll never need to set up dozens of virtual desktops again.
There are plenty of great use-cases for this. A big one is gaming – when gaming, you might want a larger display to take advantage of your laptop’s performance and make for a more immersive experience. The same is true for those with a powerful laptop like a MacBook Pro – especially if you want to use it for media creation or productivity. Put simply, modern laptops pack a ton of power and using a docking station helps you take full advantage of it. This is one of the main reasons for using a USB-C docking station.
4. It can give you access to new devices
If you have a relatively modern laptop, you might need to buy a docking station to access the peripherals you want to use. From gaming mice, to keyboards, to HDMI-connected monitors, if your laptop only has USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, you’ll need an adapter of some kind to use them. Why not make that adapter a high-end docking station that will support future expansion and other devices?
Of course, even if your laptop does have ports other than USB-C, it still probably doesn’t have everything you need. More and more, laptops are getting rid of things like SD card slots, and the number of USB ports is shrinking too. As such, it may still make sense to get a USB-C docking station, even if your laptop has a variety of ports.
5. It eliminates the need for another computer
One common reason to buy a desktop over a laptop computer is the extended connectivity – and in that way, buying a dock could actually save you money. That’s because you won’t need to buy a second computer – you can just use your laptop for all your desktop needs. With a dock, simply get one, relatively powerful laptop, and it’ll be able to handle all your portable and desktop computing needs.
What USB-C Docking Station to Buy?
If you’re looking for a USB-C docking station, Cable Matters sells a variety of models featuring different display connectors, peripheral ports, and special features like pass-through charging. Take a look at some of Cable Matters’ most popular models.
USB-C Docking Station with Dual 4K HDMI
USB-C Docking Station with Dual 4K DisplayPort