Dell Triple Display Docking Station

Last updated date: October 24, 2019

DWYM Score
7.9


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We looked at the top Thunderbolt Docking Stations and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Thunderbolt Docking Station you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 59 expert reviews, the Dell Dell Triple Display Docking Station placed 8th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note November 21, 2019:
Checkout The Best Thunderbolt Docking Station for a detailed review of all the top thunderbolt docking stations.

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.4
1,596 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The D3100 makes great use of space and is filled to the brim with ports. The front of the dock boasts three USB 3.0 inputs -- one more than both the WD15 and UD-3900 -- and a headphone and mic combo jack.
- Laptop Magazine
3 x superspeed usb 3.0
- Prestbest
Allow for a triple monitor setup, see compatible Dell Models in the Description
- EZ Reviews
This dock works great to connect my two 24" LED monitors to my laptop!
- Review Finch
What experts didn't like
No USB Type-C support; Some performance hiccups when using three displays
- Laptop Magazine
Has an uncomfortable construction.
- Prestbest
Ordered this product with the understanding that it was "plug-n-play" and never got it to work with my mac book pro I've called Dell support, Display Link support and Apple support and not one of them could help me to get it working
- Review Finch

From The Manufacturer

Full HD displays. The Dell Docking Station allows you to spread out your desktop on up to three external displays, increasing productivity and making it easier to manage multiple applications.Compatible with Latitude 3330,Latitude E6540,Latitude E6440,Precision M3800,Latitude 3340,Inspiron 15 5000 Series (5547),Inspiron 14 5000 Series (5447),Inspiron 15 3000 Series (3542),Inspiron 17 5000 Series (5748),Inspiron 15 3000 Series (3541),Inspiron 14 3000 Series (3442),Inspiron 15R (5545),Inspiron 13 (7347),Inspiron 15 5000 Series (5542),Latitude E5250,Latitude E5450,Latitude E5550,Inspiron 15 7000 Series (7547),Latitude 14 Rugged 5404,Latitude 7350,Inspiron 14 3000 Series (3443),Inspiron 15 3000 Series (3543),Latitude 3450,Latitude E7250,Latitude E7450,Latitude 3550,XPS 13 (9343),Inspiron 14 3000 Series (3451),Inspiron 17 5000 Series (5749),Inspiron 15 5000 Series (5548),Inspiron 7348,Inspiron 17 7000 Series (7548),Inspiron 15 3000 Series (3551),Latitude 3150,Inspiron 15 3000 Series (3558),Inspiron 14 3000 Series (3458),Inspiron 14 5000 Series (5458),Inspiron 5558,Inspiron 5551,Vostro 3558,Vostro 14 (3458),Inspiron 7558,Inspiron 5755,Inspiron 5758,Inspiron 5555,Latitude 3160,Inspiron 3552,Inspiron 14 3000 Series (3452),Inspiron 15 5000 Series (5552),Latitude 3570,Inspiron 14 5000 Series (5459),Inspiron 15 5000 Series (5559),Inspiron 17 5000 Series (5759),Inspiron 11 3000 Series (3153),Inspiron 13 7000 series (7353),Inspiron 13 7000 series (7359),Inspiron 15 7000 Series (7568),Inspiron 11 3000 Series (3158),Inspiron 7559,Vostro 3459,Vostro 3559,XPS 13 (9350),XPS 15 (9550),XPS 12 (9250),Latitude E5470,Latitude E5570,Latitude E7270,Latitude E5270,Inspiron 15 3000 Series (3559),Latitude 3470,Latitude 7275,Latitude E7470,Inspiron 15 5000 Series (5568),Inspiron 13,7000 Series (7368),Inspiron 15 7000 Series (7569),Inspiron 17 7000 Series (7778),Vostro 3549,Vostro 3449. Inspiron 14 (1440) , Inspiron 14 (1464) , Inspiron 14 (3437) Inspiron 14 (N4050) , Inspiron 14 3000 Series (3421) , Inspiron 14 7000 Series (7437) Inspiron 15 (1525) , Inspiron 15 (1526) , Inspiron 15 (1545) Inspiron 15 (1564) , Inspiron 15 (3520) , Inspiron 15 (3521) Inspiron 15 (3537) , Inspiron 15 5000 Series (5565) , Inspiron 15 5000 Series (5567) , Inspiron 15 7000 Series (7537) Inspiron 17 (1750) Inspiron 17 (1764) Inspiron 17 (3721) Inspiron 17 (3737) Inspiron 17 5000 Series (5767) Inspiron 17 7000 Series (7737) Inspiron 17 7000 Series (7746) Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme 7214 Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme 7414 Latitude 3379 Venue 11 Pro (7140)

Overall Product Rankings

1. CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 16
2. gofanco Mini DisplayPort
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 2
3. StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 3
4. Plugable Thunderbolt Charging DisplayPort
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 7
5. Hiearcool Laptop Docking Station
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 1
6. Plugable Universal Laptop Docking Station
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 14
7. SIIG Dual 4K Docking Station
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 3
8. Dell Triple Display Docking Station
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 4
9. WAVLINK Dual 4K Docking Station
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 1
10. Plugable Triple Display Docking Station
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Thunderbolt Docking Stations

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.

DYWM Fun Fact

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.

The Thunderbolt Docking Station Buying Guide

  • 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, gofanco Mini DisplayPort, StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock and Plugable Triple Display Docking Station are all compatible with the Apple MacBook Pro, although the gofanco Mini DisplayPort won’t work with 2015 MacBooks.
  • The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock and StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock provide 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, StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock and Plugable Triple Display Docking Station 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. The gofanco Mini DisplayPort has two USB-A ports, while the StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock has two USB-A ports and one USB-C port. The Plugable Triple Display Docking Station has four USB-A ports and one USB-C.
  • If you’re limited on desk space, look for a docking station with a smaller footprint. The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock and Plugable Triple Display Docking Station stand 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. The gofanco Mini DisplayPort is the lightest at only 6.4 ounces, but both the StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock and CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock measure around one pound. The Plugable Triple Display Docking Station is 3.25 pounds, making it 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. It also comes with a one-year warranty for added peace of mind. The StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock comes with a three-year warranty, as well as lifetime technical support at no charge. You’ll get a one-year limited warranty and local tech support with the gofanco Mini DisplayPort and the Plugable Triple Display Docking Station.
  • 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, StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock or Plugable Triple Display Docking Station. The Plugable Triple Display Docking Station supports up to three monitors, while the CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt Dock and StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 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.
  • For those on a budget, the gofanco Mini DisplayPort will be the most affordable choice, but beyond that extremely low cost, you’ll find most other options are similarly priced.
  • 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 and Plugable Triple Display Docking Station let you connect two 4K monitors or one 5K monitor. The StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Doc gives you 4K resolution on up to two monitors, and the gofanco Mini DisplayPort gives you 1080p resolution.
  • 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, but you’ll find the gofanco Mini DisplayPort has a much lower profile, coming in the form of a small box. The StarTech Monitor Thunderbolt 3 Dock is perhaps the most attractive of the options, with a horizontal design that can easily tuck behind other items on your desk.