So, you are ready to purchase your new laptop but have you thought how tiring it can get typing on a laptop for hours on end? Have you considered having a larger monitor or dual monitors and an ergonomic keyboard? You need to consider having a work station in addition to your laptop. The first thing you need is a docking station. What are the best laptop docking stations?
First Off, What is a Docking Station?
A docking station is used to make your laptop feel more like a desktop computer. The advantage to this is you can plug in the keyboard of your choice, a mouse, speakers, dual monitors, a printer and other accessories.
Sometimes it gets tiring looking at a small laptop screen and I for one don’t like the position my hands are in while typing on a laptop for long hours. That’s why I have a docking station at my corporate office and at my home. This is what my work station looks like at home.
You may also be able to tell I have a sit and stand Varidesk. This is one incredible and comfortable work space and I still have the flexibility of un-docking the laptop and taking it anywhere I wish to work.
Now That You Know What a Docking Station Will Do for You….
Let’s make sure there is a docking station for the laptop you wish to purchase.
Some people won’t care about having a work station or may not be able to afford any more than a laptop but just in case you want something similar to the picture above, you need to make sure a docking station is available and that it fits the laptop model you have selected.
I created a list of some of the Best Laptops for 2018, so I am going to look at each of the laptop brands and models I presented and see if a docking station is available.
LAPTOP DOCKING STATIONS
WARNING: You must be careful to ensure you purchase the correct docking station for the specific model of laptop you have purchased or would like to purchase and beware there are many types of docking stations that have different accessories or number of ports, etc.
Lenovo ThinkPad Docking Station
Lenovo has several types of laptops and just about as many types of docking stations. Shown here to the right is the Lenovo ThinkPad Pro docking station. This is where I would like to remind you again that there are other versions and different prices so make sure you are getting the right one for you.
This docking station sits under your laptop and is snapped into place easily.
Apple MacBook Pro Docking Station
The Elgato Thunderbolt 2 Dock is the one you would need for the Apple MacBook Pro. This docking station sits next to your laptop rather than the laptop being docked on top of it. See the image to the right.
You can see a close up view of the dock below.
Dell XPS Docking Station
The Visiontek VT1000 Universal Dual Display USB 3.0 Dock is one of many to choose from for your Dell XPS laptop. This is a perfect example of making sure you get a docking station that can handle dual high definition monitors if that is something you require.
Another great feature is Dells 2-in-1 monitor stand that holds the dock behind the monitor to clear up desk space and create cleaner look.
Microsoft Surface Dock
Do you sometimes want a desktop with all the great accessories it brings? Well, you will need this Microsoft Surface Dock to get you started. You will have all the versatility and ports you desire, including two high-def video ports.
This docking station is created for the HP UltraSlim laptops and you’ll be impressed on how it gets the job done. It doesn’t look like it has enough ports but look closer. It has plenty.
ASUS Chrombook Docking Station
The ASUS Universal Dock looks great and has all the ports you need to make your laptop run like a powerful desktop. It can run multiple displays and has extra USB ports. Don’t settle for just working on a smaller keyboard and screen. Make your life more comfortable.
Microsoft Surface Pro Dock
The Microsoft Surface Pro Dock uses the same dock as the Microsoft Surface Dock listed above.
Dell Latitude Docking Station
The Dell Latitude Series laptops have several docking station options. One of these options is the Dell Universal Dock. This attaches conveniently to any laptop equipped with a USB-C or USB 3.0.
Lenovo Yoga Docking Station
There are many Lenovo docking stations to choose from and I am a fan of more powerful docking stations with all the ports you can get so this ThinkPad USB 3.0 Pro Dock looks great to me. I know that finances can be the determining factor but when you’re talking about a difference of $50 or $70 dollars on something this important; my recommendation is to upgrade.
HP Elite Dock
Transform your HP laptop into a powerful desktop with multiple monitors, ergonomic keyboard and much more with this HP Elite USB-C Docking Station. Trust me when I say it can be tiring always working off your laptop. I love laptops and the freedom they give me but when I know I am going to be working for hours on a particular project or story, then I dock my laptop, sit back in my comfortable leather chair and get to work in style.
This is an awesome dock that can dock to any laptop with a USB-C or USB 3.0 port and you can connect three 4K displays at the same time. Have you ever wanted to have a lot of software, charts and graphs up at one time to make your work easier? Or, how about being able to play a video game and have a front screen and two side screens. You could always open your laptop screen and have it be your review mirror screen.
Ok, that’s me dreaming about my perfect gaming setup but guess what? You can do that with this dock.
Dell Precision Docking Station
This is where we start getting serious. Ok, I’m just saying this is the docking station I use. This docking station is really convenient and powerful. It’s easy to snap my laptop into place and there’re no worries about hooking any cables up. I actually have three of these. I have one at my corporate office, one at home and one at a colleague’s office. How’s that for some flexibility. The Dell E-Port Plus Advanced Port Replicator is one serious docking station.
Samsung Chromebook Pro Docking Station
Finding a docking station for the Samsung Chromebook Pro was a little more challenging. I have read several reviews that say the ASUS USB-C Dock works great with the Chromebook. This is a case where I would actually call Samsung’s customer service line and find out for sure what Dock or Docking Station works with it.
There You Have It
Do you want more out of your laptop? I sure do. I want the flexibility that a laptop brings plus the power of a work station that the dock or docking station brings.
Just remember to make sure you get the right docking station for your new laptop. It will make a world of difference and you’re online experience will explode.