Which DELL docking stations are best?

A laptop is ultra-convenient for working wherever you want to, but it does have limitations. There are usually only a handful of connections and ports, and if you have an extremely slim device, it might not have a network port at all.

The best way to get around the limited connections while still charging your laptop is to get a docking station. If you have a Dell device, one of the best models is the Dell USB 3.0 Triple Display Docking Station. It has all the ports and connections that you’ll need to easily work from home or the office.

What to know before you buy a Dell docking station

What device do you want to dock?

Docking stations are great accessories for all kinds of devices, but unfortunately, they are not interchangeable. Consider which devices you want to use with the docking station, as there are different models for various connections. As an example, a USB-C docking station won’t be compatible with Thunderbolt devices.

Which functions and connections do you require?

A docking station serves as a central hub for connecting various accessories and charging your device. But not all Dell docking stations have the same capabilities. Consider which connections and functions are the most important to you, and look for a station that accommodates that. As an example, some docks have an ethernet port while others might have additional audio and video connections.

Docking stations are great for reducing clutter

Not only does a docking station provide your device with a power source, but it is also excellent at managing the clutter on your desk. As all the components can directly connect to the station, it eliminates the need for a multitude of cables. For an even neater workspace, get a cable management box to hide any wires.

What to look for in a quality Dell docking station

Added connections for audio

While it isn’t a common addition to docking stations, audio connections and video ports will make your life much easier. Depending on your device, you might only have one audio output port, meaning you can’t use a microphone. The audio connections on a docking station add extra slots so that you can connect any headset that you want. 

Multiple 4K video outputs

Most people have shifted to working from home, but that means their workspace needs to be set up for a docking station. Comfortable with multiple monitors, there are few things more frustrating than when your connections aren’t the same as in the office. A good-quality Dell docking station will have multiple monitor connections to spread out your work across several screens. At the top end of the stations, these connections will be in 4K resolution.

Mountable to hide any wires

A clean work environment that is distraction-free is conducive to a productive day. Wires and cables all over the place can hinder your concentration, which is why a cable management box is important. But, if you can get one the next best option is a mountable docking station that clips onto the back of a Dell monitor. This raises the station off the table, and with it hides any exposed cables.

How much you can expect to spend on a Dell docking station

The average price of a Dell docking station will depend on the connection type and the capabilities. A universal docking station can retail for $150-$200, but a Thunderbolt or USB-C station can retail for $400-$500.

Dell docking station FAQ

Do you get a docking station that works as a cradle as well?

A. While you certainly get laptop docking stations that act as a device cradle, Dell doesn’t manufacture any. These cradles lift your laptop off the table and often have fans underneath for heat dispersion.

Does a docking station have microSD slots?

A. Generally, docking stations don’t have any slots for memory cards. If that is something you need, you should look for a good-quality external card reader.

What’s the best Dell docking station to buy?

Top Dell docking station

Dell USB 3 0 Triple Display Docking Station

Dell USB 3.0 Triple Display Docking Station

What you need to know: This docking station has more monitor connections than you can shake a mouse at.

What you’ll love: The most prominent feature of this Dell docking station is that it has three ports for external monitors. It has one super-speed DisplayPort and two HDMI ports. The docking station also comes with an HDMI to DVI adapter. Other features include three USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, and an ethernet connection. For audio, it has a headphones jack and audio output.  

What you should consider: The Thunderbolt version of this dock has a power switch, but the universal docking station version doesn’t. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Dell docking station for the money

Dell 130W USB C Docking Station

Dell 130W USB-C Docking Station

What you need to know: This display port is the perfect solution if you have a multi-monitor setup with different connections.

What you’ll love: This docking station has an ethernet port, headphones and audio output combination and USB ports for accessories. For external monitors, it has two DisplayPort 1.4 connections, one HDMI port and one USB-C multifunction DisplayPort.

What you should consider: While it’s fully-featured, it is a bit more expensive than other models

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Dell Thunderbolt Dock with 130w Power Delivery

Dell Thunderbolt Dock with 130w Power Delivery

What you need to know: Made specifically for Thunderbolt connections, this docking station is widely compatible with most Dell laptops.

What you’ll love: Made for Dell laptops, this docking station is also compatible with USB-C laptops from other manufacturers – which is rather unusual. It has a VESA-compatible mount for attaching it to monitors and can accommodate up to three external displays. Or, if you prefer, it can support one 5K monitor or two 4K monitors. 

What you should consider: Some Apple users have indicated that the docking station isn’t suitable for any USB-C devices that use the new M1 chip.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

 

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