COOL YOUR HOME ON A BUDGET WITH WINDOW FILM TO BLOCK HEAT AND UV RAYS.
Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Stay Connected With The Best Thunderbolt Docking Station

Last updated on December 6, 2022

We looked at the top 15 Thunderbolt Docking Stations and dug through the reviews from 41 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Thunderbolt Docking Stations.

Best Thunderbolt Docking Station

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Thunderbolt Docking Stations

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
Pros
Cons
 Top Pick

HP 4-Port Work Thunderbolt Docking Station

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

HP

4-Port Work Thunderbolt Docking Station

Outfitted with five USB ports, this Thunderbolt docking station helps individuals work and play more efficiently. This 120-watt power version is best for prolonging the battery life, and you'll find it still has plenty of speed. It's also extremely easy to use. Simply plug, play and go!

Overall Take

Nice and LightweightThis Thunderbolt docking station weighs just over 2 pounds and is easily portable, should you need to pack it for business travel.

 Runner Up

ZMUIPNG 14-In-1 Fast Transfer Thunderbolt Docking Station

ZMUIPNG

14-In-1 Fast Transfer Thunderbolt Docking Station

This 14-in-1 Thunderbolt docking station is all you'll ever need. You'll enjoy quick charging, as well as fast data transfer speeds. It's compatible with Dell, HP, Lenovo and a host of other popular laptop brands and you won't need to mess with any settings to start using it.

Overall Take

Economical PickThis Thunderbolt docking station is one of the most affordable options in the company's line.

 We Also Like

CalDigit TS3 Plus Aluminum Thunderbolt Docking Station

CalDigit

TS3 Plus Aluminum Thunderbolt Docking Station

For the widest range of device compatibility, trust this Thunderbolt docking station, which has more ports than most competitors. You'll get plenty of USB hookups, as well as connections for all your peripherals and a high-speed SD card reader. You can connect up to two monitors and retain reasonably good screen resolution.

Overall Take

Wide Range of OptionsYou won't have to worry about running out of ports with this Thunderbolt docking station, which has plenty of USB ports.

Pros
" The dock has a small footprint — it can stand up vertically or sit horizontally — and weighs in at just over one pound. The aluminum case is built strong, and there's lifetime support and a one-year warranty in case..."
Cons
"For everything else, you will likely need an adapter too, especially as there are no HDMI ports (as this would require another converter on the circuit board)."
 Strong Contender

Lenovo Audio Connecting Thunderbolt Docking Station

Lenovo

Audio Connecting Thunderbolt Docking Station

Go with this Thunderbolt docking station if you have a large family. It can support up to six USB ports at once, as well as two HDMI ports. Although it's nice and lightweight at just 2 pounds, it offers reliable service for Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Windows 10 operating systems.

Overall Take

Reliable PickIncluded with this Thunderbolt docking station is a Thunderbolt 3 cable, a power cord and a power adapter.

Buying Guide

Workers are more mobile than ever. Whether you report to an office 40 hours a week or not, chances are you have a need to take your computer with you when you leave. Docking stations have long been a convenient way for workers to enjoy the mobility of a laptop while still having access to the screen, mouse and keyboard they prefer when they’re seated at a desk.

With a Thunderbolt, you get the benefits of speedy technology to charge compatible devices quickly. But as technology and parenting blogger Molly Thornberg explains, Thunderbolt docking stations come in a variety of options.

“Each Thunderbolt Docking Station has its own unique set of ports and features,” says Thornberg, the brains behind the Digital Mom Blog. “Research before buying a docking station to ensure that all of your needs are covered. Some commonly found ports and features include: additional Thunderbolt ports, USB-A ports, USB-C ports, computer charging, displays, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD reader and an audio port.”

But there are several things to consider before you choose a docking station. The first is compatibility with the devices you use every day. With some docking stations, you can plug in multiple electronic items, which means you can charge your mobile devices while using your laptop. You’ll need to check to make sure your docking station has ports that will work with the cables that connect to your devices.

When it comes to ports, advances in technology have made things a little complicated. You’ll see both USB-A and USB-C ports advertised, as well as the rating of USB 3 and USB 2. These are standards applied to data transfers, and both USB-C and USB 3 are newer. You’ll recognize USB-C by its smaller port size, as seen on newer computers and mobile devices. USB-A is the type you’ve seen for years, with a larger port on both the devices and the cables you plug into them.

When looking at ports, consider all the things you’ll need to plug in. If you prefer to have two monitors, make sure your docking station will support that and check how much the video quality will degrade when the signal is split between two monitors. Also keep in mind whether the ports are in the back or front of the docking station, as that will influence how far your cable will have to reach.

There are some cosmetic considerations, as well. You probably have limited space on your desk, so a docking station that sits vertically rather than horizontally can provide some relief. You should also take a look at the basic design of your docking station, as it will become an important part of your office aesthetic.

For many people, it may not matter, but for photographers and videographers, an SD card reader is essential. These professionals often need to quickly offload photos or videos to a memory card at the end of each day. If they’re in a rush, the process of transferring the data can be cumbersome. With a good SD card reader, you can get the high-speed transfer you need, allowing you to spend less time waiting and more time working.

Our Expert Consultant

Molly Thornberg   
Technology and parenting blogger

Molly Thornberg is a professional writer, creative and mom to four kids, living her best life outside of Dallas, Texas. With a love for all things tech, she is passionate about helping parents raise kids in the digital age. She writes about technology, parenting and humor on her blog Digital Mom Blog.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
22

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the thunderbolt docking stations available to purchase.
15

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

41

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Laptop Magazine, Prestbest, EZ Reviews, Review Finch, Nerd Tech.

18,810

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 15 Thunderbolt Docking Stations and also dug through the reviews from 41 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Thunderbolt Docking Stations.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Bang For Your Buck

ZMUIPNG 14-In-1 Fast Transfer Thunderbolt Docking Station

Key Takeawy

This 14-in-1 Thunderbolt docking station is all you'll ever need. You'll enjoy quick charging, as well as fast data transfer speeds. It's compatible with Dell, HP, Lenovo and a host of other popular laptop brands and you won't need to mess with any settings to start using it.

What to Look For

  • You likely already know what devices you want to dock. If you need your docking station to power a MacBook Pro or PC, you’ll want a unit with plenty of power. The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock is compatible with the Apple MacBook Pro.
  • The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock provides 85 watts of power, which is plenty to charge a 15-inch MacBook Pro at full speed.
  • An 85-watt docking station will also provide enough power for you to set up a compatible host to serve as a charging station.
  • For compatibility, you’ll need to make sure your chosen Thunderbolt will work with the devices you have.

“Using just one Thunderbolt port on your computer, a docking station expands that to however many ports your particular docking station offers,” Thornberg says. “These additional ports come in handy when your computer or laptop does not have the ports you need built-in, if you are out of ports or want additional functionality.”

  • The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock can connect to any Windows or Apple device that has a Thunderbolt 3 port on board. Thunderbolt 3 was released in 2015 and designed to provide fast connections to docks.
  • The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock promises to offer the most ports, and it doesn’t disappoint. You’ll get 5 USB-A ports, ideal for plugging in hard drives, mice and keyboards. You’ll also get two USB-C ports for devices that support that. Some models have two USB-A ports, while other models have two USB-A ports and one USB-C port.
  • If you’re limited on desk space, look for a docking station with a smaller footprint. The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock stands upright to minimize the real estate they consume.
  • Those who need to transport the dock from home to work and back again may want to look for a lightweight model. You may find a unit that comes in at only 6.4 ounces, but the CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock measures around one pound. Other models can weigh as much as 3.25 pounds, making them best for those who plan to keep the docking station in one place for the duration.
  • Whether you’re regularly moving your docking station or not, you’ll likely want a unit that’s built to last. The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock has a strong aluminum case that should hold up against anything that might fall on it.
  • As you’re looking at ports, pay close attention to which docking stations have easy-to-access connections on the front of the device. Since your docking station will most likely be on your desk, not having to reach around to plug in those often-used items will come in handy. Your keyboard and mouse may be fine to stay plugged in permanently, for instance, but you’ll be connecting and disconnecting items like your laptop and headphones on a daily basis.
  • Some consumers use mobile storage solutions regularly. If you’re a professional photographer or videographer, for instance, you may need to quickly download your footage for safekeeping when you return home at the end of each day’s work. The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock has an Ultra High Speed II (UHS-II) SD card reader to transfer your data at lightning-fast speeds.
  • If you prefer to use multiple monitors, consider the CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock. The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock can handle up to two monitors along with the usual peripherals. However, if you’re going for the highest resolution possible, you may notice resolution starts to degrade once you’ve split the connection between multiple monitors.
  • Resolution can be an important feature, especially if you’re a gamer or you watch video on your monitor. The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock lets you connect two 4K monitors or one 5K monitor. Other models give you 4K resolution on up to two monitors.
  • The overall design of your docking station may come into play, particularly since it will become a prominent part of your office environment. The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock looks similar to a router.

More to Explore

At one time, workers reported to an office and sat in a designated workstation all day. As remote work and mobile devices have become more popular, though, a trend called hotdesking has emerged. This setup involves allowing personnel to choose where they work each day. This type of environment is typically seen in an open-plan layout, where workstations aren’t sectioned off by walls and desks may be a combination of tables, benches, booths and sofas. Hotdesking makes it essential for workers to bring in their own electronic equipment every day, with each workstation typically equipped with power outlets and possibly even docking stations and peripherals.

From our partners