Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station

Last updated date: June 12, 2020

DWYM Score

9.5

Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station

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

Editor's Note June 12, 2020:
Checkout The Best Docking Station for a detailed review of all the top docking stations.

Overall Take

Work smarter, not harder, with this impressive docking station. The unit comes equipped with 11 ports of connectivity and allows you to add dual monitors. You'll love the high-resolution display, as well as the vertical position of the docking station, as this allows you to place the station virtually anywhere.


In our analysis of 18 expert reviews, the Plugable Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Designed for those who want a one-stop upgrade for your USB 3.0 laptop. The Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station for Windows (UD-3900) allows you to add dual monitors, and connect your peripherals, all through a single cable back to your laptop. Quickly come and go from your desk with ease. By connecting one cable to your laptop, you gain 11 extra ports of connectivity, making it easier to do more work in less time.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.0
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
4,346 user reviews

What experts liked

Affordable
- Laptop Magazine
This laptop docking station provides SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 Gbps) link from PC to video, Ethernet, audio input/output, and two USB 3.0 ports. The USB 2.0 is compatible and includes four USB 2.0 ports. The laptop docking station has HDMI and DVI/VGA monitor ports that support and display resolutions up to 2048×1152/ 1920×1200.
- Best Consumer Reviews
Offers fantastic resolutions up to 2560×1440 with HDMI, and 1920×1200 through DVI or VGA. They’ve even thrown in a free DVI to VGA adapter.
- Nerd Tech
It has a sleek design
- TV Review Land

What experts didn't like

Doesn't support 4K
- Laptop Magazine
Dual displays can be achieved, but the resolution will be limited to 1920 x 1200.
- Nerd Tech
It does not support Mac OSX or Linux systems
- TV Review Land

An Overview On Docking Stations

Plugging and unplugging devices from your laptop or home computer on a daily basis is not only frustrating and time-consuming, but it can also lead to port damage over time. A docking station is an excellent solution to this problem, as it allows you to permanently plug all of your devices in one place. There are a host of different docking stations on the market, so you’ll want to explore this guide before you shop to ensure you find the best one to meet your specific needs.

The first type of docking station is made for one purpose. It’s designed to charge multiple devices at once. The Poweroni USB Docking Station And Device Organizer is one such model. It has six charging ports, each of which comes with an LED indicator light that lets you know the device is fully charged. It’s also a great tool to keep your favorite electronics organized when not in use.

When opting for a docking station that is meant for simply charging your devices, you need to review the types of ports the station accepts and which devices it’s designed to charge. Some models only add power to smaller devices, like cell phones, smartwatches, cameras, handheld gaming devices and tablets.

Some of the charging docking stations come with extra perks, like a built-in alarm clock, a speaker and a radio. Others are equipped with an integrated lock slot that works with industry-standard security locks. You’ll need to purchase the lock separately, but this is a great way to safeguard your equipment.

Not all docking stations are designed to provide a charge. Instead, they offer the ability to connect multiple devices to just one device. For example, you may opt for a docking station that has ports for your laptop, printer and a set of speakers. That way you can print documents from your laptop or use the speakers to listen to music more loudly. The docking station may even be designed to hold your laptop or tablet. Models that offer this sometimes even keep the device nice and cool while you use them.

The Sabrent Laptop Docking Station With Stand is one model that comes with a stand to hold your smartphone or tablet. It features two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two high-speed ports for charging your phone and tablet, an HDMI port, a DVI port and a VGA adapter. There’s also a microphone jack, a port for your speaker and a port for an Ethernet cable.

Increasing work productivity is a cinch with a docking station like the Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station. Having a model that can expand your workstation is key to getting more tasks completed in a shorter amount of time. The biggest draw to this particular docking station is the ability to use dual monitors. The station itself is slim and vertical, which means you can slide it in between your monitors without it taking up much space. It’s got a high-resolution display and has an astounding 11 ports of connectivity.

If you’re looking for a docking station to enhancing your gaming experience, go with the UtechSmart Triple Display USB C Hub Docking Station. It’s made from a durable rolled aluminum that’s lightweight. It has three display modes for flexibility and a super-fast 1000M Ethernet port. Latency is significantly reduced with this docking station, which means you’ll enjoy uninterrupted gameplay.

The Docking Station Buying Guide

  • Check to see whether the docking station comes with a power adapter. You may need to purchase one separately.
  • Not all docking stations are equipped with a surge protector. It’s a good idea to invest in a surge protector on your own and then plug your docking station into it.
  • The drivers will not update automatically. While the docking station should come with instructions on how to do this, some users have reported that the instructions were a bit difficult to understand. To update the drivers yourself, you’ll need to open Windows Explorer and right-click on “my computer.” From there you need to right-click on “properties” and then click “manage devices.” Next, right-click “pluggable device” and select “update drivers.” After that, you simply need to follow the prompts and you’re all set to begin using your new docking station.
  • When installing the software that comes with your docking station, you’ll need to first close out all of the programs you’re currently working on. Attach the power adapter to the nearest outlet first and then plug the adapter into the docking station. You can now plug the USB port from your laptop or computer into the docking station and follow the software prompts until you get the message that the software has been successfully installed. In some cases, you may be instructed to restart your computer before connecting the rest of your devices to the docking station.
  • To prevent dust from interfering with the performance of your docking station, take the time to regularly wipe it down with a dust cloth. Make sure the unit is powered off before you clean it.
  • While docking stations that allow for multiple displays are typically capable of connecting to monitors with touchscreens, it is important to note that not all touch drivers will recognize more than the primary monitor. That means you wouldn’t be able to use the touchscreen feature on a secondary or third monitor. You’ll want to contact the manufacturer of the touchscreen monitors to ask if their touch drivers are multi-monitor savvy.
  • If you experience any trouble with one or two of your screens not communicating with the docking station, you simply need to go into your computer’s display settings and locate the multiple displays section. From there you can see which monitors are turned on and which ones aren’t. Turn on all of the screens you’d like to use and you’re back in business.
  • How much you pay for a docking station depends upon its purpose and the number of devices it is able to service. The Poweroni USB Docking Station And Device Organzier is one of the cheaper docking stations, as it simply charges your devices and keeps them organized. The Sabrent Laptop Docking Station With Stand and the UtechSmart Triple Display USB C Hub Docking Station do quite a bit more, so they are moderately priced. You’ll pay the most for the Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station, which supports simultaneous HDMI, DVI and VGA displays.