Your laptop computer by no means has sufficient ports–particularly if it is the Macbook Air this information was written on. That forces you to hold an array of dongles so you possibly can plug all the pieces in. Fortunately, there’s a greater method. USB hubs can develop the quantity and sort of ports accessible, and USB docks allow you to flip a laptop computer right into a full-blown workstation with one plug. After testing a number of totally different USB hubs and docks, these are the most effective we have discovered for various wants.
Looking for different dwelling workplace gizmos and devices? We’ve obtained numerous guides that may assist, like our Best Work From Home Gear, Best USB Flash Drive, and Best Portable External Storage Drives roundups.
Update June 2022: We added the Plugable USB-C Triple Display dock, up to date costs all through.
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Do You Need a Hub or a Dock?
There’s a gray space between USB hubs and docks, since they technically do (principally) the identical factor: add extra ports and connectors to your laptop. However, there are some slight variations and it is price understanding them before you purchase one.
USB hubs are smaller, cheaper dongles that may add further USB ports, SD card readers, show outputs, or a headphone jack. These typically do not provide further energy, which suggests you may not have the ability to cost devices plugged into them. They’re additionally transportable sufficient to throw in your laptop computer bag so you should utilize them at dwelling and on the go.
USB docks are sometimes bigger, dearer, and are designed to spend most of their time in your desk. They typically include their very own energy provide, to allow them to cost different gadgets, and have a number of monitor outputs and Ethernet connections. If you often use your laptop computer at a desk, a dock can allow you to rapidly join it to a keyboard, mouse, screens, and another peripherals you want .