Ted on Tech: Put a dock in your desk


My essential manufacturing system is easy — an Intel i5 NUC (New Unit of Computing).

The system is about 4 inches sq. and two inches excessive and does not take up a lot area on my desk. It additionally does not have many USB ports, and I’ve numerous USB accent gadgets, together with an AnkerWork digicam, Logi headset, Epson scanner, and, in fact, a keyboard and mouse. And that is not together with the occasional USB flash drive and USB DVD drive. That is not even contemplating the dearth of ports on my Lenovo laptop computer, which might be true of nearly each laptop computer in the marketplace.

For sure, I often run out of obtainable ports. That is the driving want for a dock that gives further USB ports, each USB-A and USB-C. 

These docks are plentiful and vary in measurement and complexity in addition to worth, relying on the necessity and funds. I’ve checked out quite a few these and located a number of I really feel comfy recommending.

For a small dock that is equally at residence in your desk or laptop computer bag, you may take into account the Satechi USB-C On-The-Go Multiport. For round $100 or so, you get a compact (2.375 x 4.75, 0.5 inches) dock that gives two USB-C ports, one in every of which helps charging, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and slots for SD and Micro SD playing cards. Two further ports are a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a VGA port, which is perhaps usable if you have to join a laptop computer to an outdated VGA monitor. There’s additionally a USB-C cable that shops internally within the dock however slides out to hook up with a USB-C port in your PC or laptop computer. There’s additionally an extra USB-C cable within the field.

In case you want a hefty dock in your laptop computer, you may wish to take into account Cyber Acoustic’s Important Common Dock DS-6000. It is considerably dearer than the Satechi at about $190, however has a number of options that the Satechi lacks. Amongst these are a reasonably hefty energy provide that may present 90 watts of energy supply to cost your laptop computer utilizing a USB-C port, and three 4K HDMI ports to drive a number of shows. There’s an connected two-foot USB-C cable, 4 USB-A ports, two USB-C ports and a gigabit Ethernet port. If most of your equipment are USB-A, this dock might be a sensible choice. On the draw back, the dock is fairly massive at 9.3 x 5.0 x 4.1 inches, weighs in at 2.5 kilos and has a big energy provide, so that you higher have a pretty big laptop computer bag. However for those who want a dock to make use of with a number of shows and USB-A gadgets, it is a good selection.

Lastly, for those who want a dock that additionally capabilities nicely as a speakerphone, take into account Logitech’s Logi Dock. It is costly ($320), and really massive (6.3 x 5.18 x 3.34) and is focused towards desktop customers. It is available in in white or graphite, and is a mixture of speakerphone, docking station and Bluetooth speaker, having a frequency response of 60Hz to 20KHz. It additionally has an array of six beamforming mics, so it picks up a number of audio system when you may have a convention name. 

As a dock, it has some good options, together with two USB-A ports that can be utilized for charging a smartphone or pill, three USB-C ports which even have charging capabilities, and a USB-C upstream port which might energy a laptop computer at as much as 100 watts, an HDMI port and a DisplayPort, letting you join as much as two shows. There is a hefty 230-watt energy provide and a Kensington slot to maintain it from wandering off of your desk. Not everybody wants a speakerphone, however for those who’re one who would really like the comfort of a speakerphone that additionally works as a docking station, the Logi Dock is an efficient guess to fill that want.


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