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Best Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 Docking Stations

Thunderbolt 4 docking stations are the ultimate way to transform a modern thin and light laptop into a versatile workstation.

With just a single Thunderbolt 4 cable you can instantly connect dual 4K monitors, external storage, printers, cameras, high-speed networking, and any other accessories you need, and turn your lightweight laptop into a desktop-class workstation.

(Credit: CalDigit)

Thunderbolt 4 builds on Thunderbolt 3 technology, offering lightning-fast connection speeds up to 40 Gbps, doubling the minimum data-transfer bandwidth to 32Gbps compared to 16Gbps with Thunderbolt 3.

This massive increase in bandwidth allows Thunderbolt 4 docking stations to transfer data twice as fast, ensuring quick syncing and seamless multitasking when connecting multiple devices.

Thunderbolt 4 docking stations also provide distinct advantages over their Thunderbolt 3 counterparts.

A single Thunderbolt 4 dock can host up to four Thunderbolt ports, while Thunderbolt 3 tops out at just two ports. This allows connecting more accessories without daisy-chaining hubs or resorting to separate USB-C docks.

Moreover, Thunderbolt 4 docking stations are mandated to deliver at least 100W of power to laptops on one port and support wake from sleep, enabling efficient charging even for power-hungry devices and seamless wakes from sleep when accessories are connected. 

While Thunderbolt 3 optionally supports these features, they are not standardized across all docks. Thunderbolt 4 sets a new consistent standard, bringing premium connectivity and convenience to the next level.

The key advantage of Thunderbolt 4 over USB-C docking stations is the massive 40Gbps bandwidth, enabling smooth performance even when connecting multiple high resolution displays and accessories. USB-C tops out at 10Gbps.

USB4 and Thunderbolt 4 both deliver high-speed connectivity, video output, power delivery and networking using the USB Type-C connector. Both are backward compatible with previous standards like Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.2.

However, Thunderbolt 4 sets more demanding standards than USB4 when it comes to performance, video output, power delivery, charging, wake from sleep, and security features.

As notable standard, Thunderbolt 4 requires a minimum 40Gbps data rate versus 20Gbps for USB4. It also mandates higher resolution video output, power delivery, and standards for charging laptops and wake from sleep that USB4 does not.

In this article, we will cover the best Thunderbolt 4 docking stations to supercharge your laptop. From value picks to high-end options, we have recommendations to help boost your productivity.

The 9 Best Thunderbolt 4 Docking Stations

For a quick overview of our top recommendations, refer to the table below. We’ve highlighted the key strengths of each docking station to help you identify which is best suited for your needs and setup.

Our Recommendations: At a Glance

  1. CalDigit TS4 – Widely Considered the Best Thunderbolt 4 Dock with 18 Versatile Ports, 98W PD, 2.5Gb Ethernet, and Vertical Design
  2. Kensington SD5700T – 4x Thunderbolt 4 Ports with Intuitive Port Distribution
  3. Dell WD22TB4 – Modular Design with 130W PD, Upgradeable to TB5
  4. OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub OWCTB4HUB5P – Budget-friendly, Compact, 3x TB4 Expansion, 60W PD
  5. Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Dock (TBT4-UDX1) – 2.5Gb Ethernet, 100W PD, HDMI 2.0, and Versatile Port Selection
  6. Corsair TBT200 Thunderbolt 4 Dock – 96W Power Delivery with 2.5Gb Ethernet and Emphasis on Charging Flexibility
  7. Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock – RGB-Lit Design, 90W PD, and Triple Thunderbolt 4 Expansion for Gaming Setups
  8. Lenovo 40B00135US Thunderbolt 4 ThinkPad Universal Dock – Quad 4K@60Hz Display Support, 100W PD, HDMI 2.1, and Dual DisplayPort 1.4
  9. Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock – 4K Quad Display, Legacy USB Options, 2.5Gb Ethernet, and Vertical Stand

1. CalDigit TS4 – Overall Best Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-12 at 22:45 UTC+3

Pros

  • Most well-equipped dock: The TS4 is described as having the most ports available on any dock currently on the market.
  • Broad compatibility: Works with Thunderbolt 4, 3, USB 4, and even basic USB-C devices like Chromebooks and iPads.
  • Space-saving design: Can stand vertically or horizontally, taking up minimal desk space.
  • 2.5Gb Ethernet: which excels over 1Gb for heavy local file transfers, high-bandwidth tasks, and future-proofing network demands.

Cons

  • 2x Downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports: Dedicated DisplayPort might be unnecessary for users wanting more Thunderbolt 4 ports.
  • Pricey: Although it’s premium priced because it’s a premium product.

Power Delivery

  • 98W power delivery to charge laptops

Compatibility

  • Compatible with Apple M1 and M2 chips – Pro, Max, and Ultra variants
  • Compatible with iPhones and iPads with USB-C connectors
  • Compatible with Windows laptops with Thunderbolt or USB-C

Ports

Ports/Specs
Details
3x Thunderbolt 4
1x Host; 2x Downstream
1x DisplayPort
Supports up to 8K@60Hz
5x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
10Gbps data transfer
2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
1x Front port with 20W charging
2x Rear ports with 7.5W charging
1x 2.5Gb Ethernet
Ready for next-gen bandwidth demands.
3x Audio
1x Combo Jack
2x (In/Out)
Card Reader
Supports SD & MicroSD UHS-II

The CalDigit TS4 has 18 versatile ports, one of the highest and most varied offerings from a Thunderbolt 4 dock. Of course, one of the three Thunderbolt 4 ports is to connect to the host, leaving you two ports to connect to multiple high-resolution displays and external SSD devices.

The dock is externally powered and offers 98W Power Delivery, enough to charge most professional-grade and daily-use laptops. But apart from the sheer number (and type) of ports, the CalDigit impresses with its performance and form factor.

Its vertical design ensures that the dock maintains a small footprint on your work area, and the material used gives the box a premium feel. Moreover, the comprehensive compatibility with all things Apple will have iPhone and iPad users jumping with joy, but make sure you have USB-C devices.

The CalDigit is perfect for multitasking as it has multiple connections for attaching additional monitors. The two Thunderbolt 4 ports are ideal for dual 4K@60Hz, or you can use the dedicated DisplayPort for an 8K monitor. The dock is also an excellent charging hub for all your portable devices, with USB ports offering 20W and 7.5W charging (depending on the port), and the two Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports offer 15W each.

2. Kensington SD5700T

(Image Source: Docks Hub / Ed Shway)

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-13 at 01:18 UTC+3

Pros

  • 3 Downstream Thunderbolt 4 Ports: Offers three Thunderbolt 4 ports for diverse connection options.
  • Dedicated Network Port: Comes with a Gigabit Ethernet port for consistent network connections.
  • Extended Warranty: 3-year warranty ensures long-term protection against defects.

Cons

  • Video Port Constraints: No dedicated HDMI or DisplayPort for video output.
  • Restricted Compatibility: Isn’t backwards compatible with Windows devices using Thunderbolt 3.
  • No Remote Wake-Up: Absent support for Wake-on-LAN, limiting remote work capabilities.

Power Delivery

  • Up to 90W

Compatibility

  • Compatible with Apple M1 and M2 chips – Pro, Max, and Ultra variants.
  • On Windows it’s only compatible with Thunderbolt 4. It isn’t backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3.

Ports

Ports/Specs
Details
Thunderbolt 4
1x Host; 3x Downstream
3x USB-A
3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
1x USB-A 2.0 front port with 7.5W charging
Ethernet
1x Gigabit Ethernet (1GbE)
Audio
1x Combo Audio Jack
Card Reader
1x SD UHS-II 4.0
Other
Dedicated power button; LED status indicators

The Kensington SD5700T has an uncomplicated plug-and-play design that saves time for power users and is incredibly convenient for novice users. Most of its I/O ports are on the rear panel, but the Thunderbolt 4 port for the host connection is located on the front, making it super easy for users to switch hosts on the fly.

While the port selection lacks dedicated video ports like HDMI and DisplayPort, you get three Thunderbolt 4 ports, which do everything from connecting 8K displays to offering 40 Gbps data transfer speed and have 15W charging to power your portable devices.

The front panel is the convenience end of the dock and has a handy power button, among other things, which allows you to power down the device at the end of a long day. You also get two LED indicators (that display the power and connectivity status), one media card reader, and a USB-A 10 Gbps 7.5W charging port, making it convenient to accomplish tasks that require constant device handling, including a combo audio jack for attaching your headset.

The rear panel is the business end of the dock because you’ll find all the functional connections, such as the Ethernet, USB-A, and Thunderbolt 4 ports. There are no dedicated video ports, so you must purchase a USB-C to HDMI or USB-C to DisplayPort video adaptor to hook up your non-compatible monitors.

Read our in-depth review of the Kensington SD5700T

3. Dell WD22TB4

Dell thunderbolt dock, out of the box
(Image Source: Docks Hub / George A.)

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-13 at 01:18 UTC+3

Pros

  • Power Delivery: Offers 130W for Dell laptops and 90W for non-Dell laptops, which is relatively high, ensuring rapid charging.
  • Swappable Module: The Thunderbolt module can be swapped out, allowing for future upgrades without needing to replace the entire dock.
  • Remote Work Features: Supports MAC pass-through, Wake-on-LAN, and PXE-Boot which are essential for remote working setups.
  • Compatibility: Works seamlessly with both Mac and Windows computers.

Cons

  • Potential Proprietary Limitations: The 130W power delivery and the MAC-passthrough are exclusive to Dell laptops, potentially limiting its universality.
  • USB-A Limitation: Offers USB-A ports with only 5 Gbps, whereas competitors provide faster 10 Gbps ports.
  • Possible High Upgrade Cost: The cost of the upgrade module for the previous version (WD19) is nearly the same as buying a new upgraded dock (WD22). Based on the trend, when TB5 releases, upgrading the WD22 might cost as much as a new TB5 version. However, prices can change, so monitor the manufacturer’s updates.

Ports

Ports/Specs
Details
3x Thunderbolt 4
1x Upstream (connects to host) & 2x Downstream Thunderbolt 4 Ports
3x USB-A
5 Gbps data transfer. One port with PowerShare charging.
2x DisplayPort 1.4
Up to 8K@60Hz
1x HDMI 2.0
Up to 4K@60Hz
1x Gigabit Ethernet (1 GbE)
Up to 1 Gbps speed
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
10 Gbps data transfer
1x USB-C Multifunction DisplayPort
Allows USB-C to be used for display and other functions

Power Delivery

  • Offers 130W for Dell laptops and 90W for non-Dell laptops

The Dell WD22TB4 is a modular Thunderbolt 4 dock that lets you swap the Thunderbolt module and upgrade the dock when Intel launches newer Thunderbolt versions.

The Thunderbolt module has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, and Dell incorporates a built-in Thunderbolt 4 bus, allowing you to retain the ports for I/O expansion.

While the device offers all the essential utilities of a Thunderbolt dock, the port selection could be better. For instance, you only get USB-A 5 Gbps ports, whereas most competitors offer faster 10 Gbps ports. Further, DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 are a bit dated, and the WD22TB4 could do with a much-needed upgrade.

Nevertheless, the multiple video connectivity option and the provision for network connectivity add to the strengths of the WD22TB4. While you can use the Thunderbolt port to connect an 8K display, professionals who need multi-monitor setups would appreciate the range of video output and connect multiple 4K monitors.

With its support for MAC pass-thru (with Dell laptops), PXE-Boot, and Wake-on-LAN, you can securely and remotely connect to your laptop while it charges using the 90W (130W in case you use a Dell Laptop) Power Delivery of the WD22TB4.

The dock has a plug-and-play design, making it convenient to use when you hook it up. Mac and Windows computers detect the dock instantaneously, and you are ready to use it in seconds. Thus, considering its modular design and ease of use, we can recommend that the dock is best suited for small or home offices.

Read our in-depth review of the Dell WD22TB4

4. OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub (OWCTB4HUB5P)

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-13 at 01:18 UTC+3

Pros

  • 3 Downstream Thunderbolt 4 Ports: Allows connecting multiple high-speed peripherals like external SSDs and high-resolution displays.
  • Budget-Friendly Price: More affordable than many full-featured docks. Good value.
  • Compact and Portable: The hub has a small, travel-friendly design that takes up minimal space. Good for users who need to dock on the go.
  • 2-Year Warranty: Provides peace of mind with good warranty coverage.

Cons

  • Limited Legacy Ports: Only includes a single USB-A port. Additional dongles/adapters needed for HDMI, DisplayPort, more USB-A, etc.
  • Up to 60W Power Delivery: This isn’t enough for heavy-duty laptops.

Power Delivery

  • Power Delivery up to 60W

Ports

Ports/Specs
Details
4x Thunderbolt 4
1x Upstream (Connects to Host), 3x Downstream
1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
10 Gbps data transfer

The OWC Thunderbolt 4 Hub is a budget-friendly device with a compact form. So, while it has a small footprint at your workstation, it’s also perfect if you want a device you use on your travel.

But don’t let the compact size and minimal offering fool you, as the hub packs quite a punch despite the size. That right! It’s a hub, not a dock. But it does everything a dock does, including supporting high-resolution and multiple displays, connecting legacy devices, and expanding your Ultrabook’s connectivity ports.

It has three Thunderbolt 4 ports for expansion, allowing you to daisy chain all your compatible high-performance accessories. This also means you’ll have to purchase additional adapters to connect legacy devices like HDMI (or DisplayPort) monitors, USB-A peripherals, and whatnot.

It has one USB-A port on the front panel, but you’ll want to reserve that to charge your portable devices like smartphones, cameras, or tablets. The front panel is also home to the Thunderbolt 4 port for connecting the host, which is handy when alternating between several compatible computers.

Overall, the OWC Thunderbolt 4 hub is a handy device that’s easy on the pocket, literally and figuratively. It’s an excellent addition to your Ultrabook-centric workstation, as it has a considerably small footprint and tremendous utility.

5. Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Dock TBT4-UDX1

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-13 at 01:18 UTC+3

Pros

  • 11 Ports Total: Good port variety including USB-A, HDMI, SD card, and audio. HDMI to USB-C adapter included.
  • 100W Power Delivery: Charges most demanding laptops. Allows fast charging up to 50% in 30 minutes for compatible laptops like MacBook Pro.
  • 2.5Gb Ethernet: Enables high-speed wired network connectivity and future-proofing.
  • Two-year Warranty: Comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Cons

  • No DisplayPort/HDMI: Lacks a dedicated DisplayPort/HDMI, having to use Thunderbolt 4.

Ports

Ports/Specs
Details
3x Thunderbolt 4
1x host connection, 2x downstream with 15W charging
1x HDMI 2.0
Up to 4K@60Hz
1x 2.5 Gb Ethernet
Ready for next-gen bandwidth demands
4x USB-A
10 Gbps data transfer. Front-facing port offers BC 1.2 Charging
1x Media Card Reader (SD Card UHS-II)
For reading SD cards with UHS-II speed
1x Combo Audio Jack
Supports audio input and output

Power Delivery

  • Dedicated power button to control the dock
  • LED indicators that show the status
  • Power Delivery of up to 100W

The Plugable Thunderbolt 4 TBT4-UDX1 (TBT4) offers several high-performance features and ports that provide significant utility. It’s a well-rounded dock suitable for home and office workstations requiring a sizable workstation setup because it allows for a wide variety of ports.

The host connection offers 100W Power Delivery, allowing you to charge your MacBook Pro up to 50% in 30 minutes. In fact, the device has several charging options, including 15W on the two Thunderbolt 4 ports and one USB-A port (on the front panel) that offers 7.5W for charging your portable devices.

The Thunderbolt 4 ports provide the usual connectivity for 40 Gbps data transfers and 8K@30Hz video. Otherwise, you can set up dual-4K displays using the HDMI 2.0 port and the included USB-C-to-HDMI adapter, yet have an additional Thunderbolt 4 port for attaching external SSD drives.

But the most significant feature is the 2.5Gb Ethernet port that facilitates connection to high-speed wired networks and enables you to future-proof your workstation.

The dock has a typical flat-bottom design with commonly used ports on the front panel and the lesser used ones on the rear panel. Like the Kensington SD5700T, the TBT4 also has a dedicated power button and LED indicators to simplify usage and power down the device when you’re done using it.

6. Corsair TBT200 Thunderbolt 4 Dock

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-13 at 01:18 UTC+3

Pros

  • The aluminum body makes the dock durable.
  • It includes a USB-C 10 Gbps port with 15W charging.
  • The 2.5Gb Ethernet provides high-speed network connectivity.
  • All high-speed USB-A ports have 7.5W charging.
  • The 96W Power Delivery will charge even the most demanding laptops.

Cons

  • There is no dedicated video port for HDMI monitors.
  • The bulky power brick will occupy precious space at your workstation.

Ports

Power Delivery

  • Power Delivery of up to 96W
  • All USB-A, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 4 ports offer charging.
Ports/Specs
Details
4x Thunderbolt 4
1x for the host connection and 3x downstream
1x USB-C
10 Gbps data transfer with 15W charging
1x 2.5 Gb Ethernet
Ready for next-gen bandwidth demands
3x USB-A
10 Gbps data transfer ports with 7.5W charging
1x Media Card Reader (SD 4.0 UHS-II)
Slot for reading SD cards, supports SD 4.0 UHS-II standard
1x Combo Audio Jack
Supports audio input and output

The Corsair TBT200 has a strong aluminum body that protects the dock, making it durable and immune to easy damage from accidental drops. But the most significant feature of the dock is its support for power pass-through, enabling it to offer charging on all data ports.

The TBT200 foregoes dedicated video ports. But Corsair acknowledges the popularity of DisplayPort and HDMI monitors by thoughtfully including USB-C adapters for each kind. And you always have the option of using a Thunderbolt 4 monitor and getting up to 8K@30Hz video.

The TBT200 is perfect for office use as it provides a 2.5 Gb Ethernet port for connecting to high-speed LANs. Moreover, with support for multiple monitors and a wide range of charging options, which includes 96W Power Delivery to the host computer, the TBT200 allows you to multitask efficiently without running out of power on your laptop, phone, or table.

Despite the absence of a dedicated video port, the TBT200 has one of the best port selections among similar devices. In addition to multiple Thunderbolt 4 ports, the dock features a USB-C and many USB-A ports that support 10 Gbps data transfer speed. And because they are backward compatible, you can hook up your old printers, scanners, and other legacy devices without being forced to upgrade.

7. Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-13 at 01:18 UTC+3

Pros

  • Impressive Gaming Aesthetics: The dock features RGB lighting and an all-black metal body that complements gaming setups.
  • 90W Host Power Delivery: Provides enough power to charge most gaming laptops.
  • 3 Downstream Thunderbolt 4 Ports: Allows connecting multiple high-resolution displays and GPUs.

Cons

  • Premium Pricing: Relatively expensive compared to competing non-gaming docks.
  • No USB-C/USB-A Ports on Front: Inconvenient to quickly connect peripherals.
  • Only 1 Year Warranty: Short warranty period compared to some competitors that offer 2-3 years.

Ports

Ports/Specs
Details
4x Thunderbolt 4
1x for host connection and 3x downstream for peripherals
1x Gigabit Ethernet
Standard Ethernet Port
3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
10 Gbps data transfer
1x Combo Audio Jack
Supports audio input and output
1x Media Card Reader
Supports SD cards with UHS-II standard

Power Delivery

  • Power Delivery of up to 90W

This Thunderbolt 4 dock from Razer is a gamer’s delight because it combines utility with sharp gaming aesthetics. It is the only dock on the market that features RGB lighting, and combined with the all-black metal body, it will complement any gaming station while you are immersed in gameplay. The RGB light is downward-facing and does an attractive job of highlighting the dock’s footprint.

Interestingly, the dock lacks a dedicated video port, so you must rely on Thunderbolt to do the job. But that shouldn’t be a problem as there are three Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports, so you’ll still have a spare port after hooking up an ultrawide monitor and an external GPU.

The dock has an aluminum body, which makes it rugged and durable enough to withstand a gamer’s tantrum. Its front panel is where you’ll find the host connection, the audio jack, and the media card reader. And the rear panel is home to everything else, including the Ethernet, USB-A, and downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports.

The dock is compatible with Windows and Mac computers and is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3 devices. While M1 Mac users will be restricted to one 4K@60Hz display (for no fault with the dock), Intel-based Mac users can hook up dual-4K@60Hz using the Thunderbolt 4 port.

8. Lenovo 40B00135US Thunderbolt 4 ThinkPad Universal Dock

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-13 at 01:18 UTC+3

Pros

  • Support for up to 4x 4K@60Hz displays: Can connect up to four 4K external monitors. Unique capability compared to other docks.
  • 100W host power delivery: The 100W Power Delivery will charge the most demanding laptops.
  • Variety of display outputs: Gives options of HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4, and Thunderbolt 4 for external displays.
  • Economical price: More affordable compared to competing docks with similar capabilities.
  • 3 year warranty: Comes with a 3 year warranty from Lenovo.

Cons

  • Multi-display setup requires expertise: Using four external displays not straightforward and needs technical knowledge.
  • Only 1x Thunderbolt 4 downstream port: Lacks additional downstream Thunderbolt/USB-C ports.

Ports

Ports/Specs
Details
2x Thunderbolt 4
1x for host connection and 1x downstream
1x HDMI 2.1
Supports up to 8K@30Hz video output
2x DisplayPort 1.4
Supports up to 8K@60Hz video output
4x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
10 Gbps data transfer. Includes one always-on port for quick charging or connection without wake-up
1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
10 Gbps data transfer
1x Gigabit Ethernet
Standard Ethernet Port
1x Combo Audio Jack
Supports audio input and output

Power Delivery

  • Power Delivery of up to 90W
  • Dedicated power button to control the dock

The Lenovo 40B00135US is the ultimate tool for multitasking workflows, as it supports up to four 4K@60Hz displays. Yes! You read that correctly. However, setting up a multi-monitor display requires familiarity with the system and some technical know-how.

The dock is considerably cheaper than rivals yet offers similar features, making it a value pick. But cheaper doesn’t mean that Lenovo cuts corners.

Interestingly enough, the dock offers 100W Power Delivery to the host computer, and all four USB-A ports offer 10 Gbps data transfer speeds and include one always on port. You also get a dedicated USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) port to attach your newer peripheral devices.

Moreover, the dock features an HDMI 2.1 port, two DisplayPort 1.4, and one Thunderbolt 4 port, giving you plenty of flexibility to choose a video interface that best suits your workstation. Thus, it’s perfect for content creators and users who multitask using multiple screens.

The 40B00135US is a no-fuss and economical dock that offers tremendous value with unmatched utility. And with a three-year warranty, Lenovo protects your dock longer than several rival devices. But with durable materials and a minimalist design, you will likely not avail of the warranty at all.

9. Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock

Last Amazon Price Update on 2024-05-13 at 01:18 UTC+3

Pros

  • Extensive video connectivity: Supports up to 4x 4K displays at 60Hz for tremendous multi-monitor flexibility.
  • Legacy support: Includes both USB-C and USB-A ports to connect modern and older devices.
  • Compact vertical design: Stand allows dock to be positioned vertically to save desk space.
  • Power Delivery up to 96W: Capable of charging can power most high-end laptops.
  • Connects up to four 4K@60Hz screens

Cons

  • Single Thunderbolt 4 port (to host): Only one Thunderbolt 4 port for host connection limits Thunderbolt expandability.
  • Pricey: More expensive than competing docks with similar capabilities.

Ports

Ports/Specs
Details
1x Thunderbolt 4
For connection with host. Provides 96W Power Delivery for fast charging
2x HDMI 2.1
Supports up to 8K resolution, enhanced refresh rates, and improved audio
2x DisplayPort 1.4
Supports up to 8K resolution with HDR and high bandwidth capabilities
1x 2.5 Gb Ethernet
Ready for next-gen bandwidth demands
1x USB-C
10 Gbps data transfer and supports charging capabilities
3x USB-A (10 Gbps)
One port offers 7.5W charging for quick device charging
2x USB-A (5Gbps)
Standard speed for data transfer
1x USB-A 2.0
Legacy USB port with slower data transfer rates
2x Media Card Reader
One for SD UHS-II and one for Micro SD UHS-II standards
1x Combo Audio Jack
Supports audio input and output

Power Delivery

  • Dedicated power button to control the dock
  • Power Delivery of 96W on the host connection

The Satechi Thunderbolt 4 dock offers plenty of I/O ports for expansion, including multiple dedicated video inputs that allow you to hook up as many as four 4K displays running at a 60Hz refresh rate.

But extensive videos aside, the dock offers every imaginable generation of USB connectivity, from USB 2.0 to USB-C 10 Gbps ports, making this one of the few docks offering a dedicated USB port for legacy devices. Most rivals rely on the backward compatibility of USB to provide the same.

The dock comes with a stand that enables you to orient it vertically, maximizing the space at your workstation by minimizing the dock’s footprint. More importantly, the design incorporates Polycarbonate over its aluminum body to prevent the dock from overheating and protect it from several electrical failures, including short circuits, over-current, and over-voltage.

Unfortunately, the dock has only one Thunderbolt 4 port (for host connection) despite the price. However, you can still connect your Thunderbolt devices using the USB-C port, but you’ll have to forego Thunderbolt’s 40 Gbps data transfer speed, among other things.

Nevertheless, it’s an excellent dock with everything you need from a Thunderbolt 4 dock, including a dedicated Ethernet port for high-speed network connectivity.

Docking Station Ports and Their Usage

Docking stations offer several kinds of ports, and it’s confusing and challenging to understand and remember which ports offer what utility. Here is a ready reckoner of the most significant ports and their crucial specifications.

Thunderbolt 4

In the context of Thunderbolt 4/USB4 docks, a Thunderbolt 4 port is the most significant port because it acts as the interface between your laptop and dock.

It is a versatile port that uses a USB-C connector to facilitate power, data, and video signal on a single interface. So, every Thunderbolt 4dock will have at least one Thunderbolt 4 port (except for docks such as Dell WD22TB4, which has an in-built Thunderbolt 4 bus).

Some of the most significant features of a Thunderbolt 4 port are as follows.

  • 40 Gbps data transfer
  • Support for one 8K@60Hz, dual 4K@60Hz, 5K@60Hz, and several low-resolution low-refresh rate videos.
  • Power Delivery up to 100W

Note: Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 are compatible with each other. However, unlike Thunderbolt 4, which makes it mandatory to feature the above specification, USB4 doesn’t have any such mandate, and that is why you must read the specifications of your laptop’s USB4 port.

Video Ports

You’ll most commonly find either DisplayPort or HDMI ports on docking stations. Here are the video specifications of the most common versions of these ports.

Port
Max. Specification (uncompressed)
HDMI 1.4
4K@30Hz

1080p@120Hz

HDMI 2.0 (2.0a and 2.0b)
4K@60Hz
HDMI 2.1
10K@120Hz
DisplayPort 1.4
4K@60Hz
DisplayPort 2.0
10K@60Hz

Dual 4K@144Hz

Triple 4K@90Hz

USB Ports

Docking stations offer two kinds of USB ports. You’ll either find USB-C or USB-A ports.

USB-A

These are the conventional USB ports that you must have seen on any computer and used to connect anything from a USB flash drive, printers, scanners, and whatnot. Over the years, the USB Implementer Forum (USB-IF) has released several versions. Here is a quick look.

USB-A 2.0

While uncommon on Thunderbolt 4/USB4 docking stations, a few dock manufacturers (like Satechi) offer this port for connecting legacy devices. Capable of 480 Mbps data transfer speed, these ports are now mainly used to offer up to 7.5W power charging portable devices.

USB-A 5 Gbps

Also known as USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, these ports are considerably faster than USB 2.0 and offer 5 Gbps data transfer speeds (nearly ten times faster than USB 2.0).

USB-A 10 Gbps

It goes by many names, USB 3.1 Gen 2, USB 3.2 Gen 2, and whatnot, but its most distinguishing name is Superspeed 10. These are the most common USB-A ports on docking stations because they offer twice the speed at 10 Gbps.

USB-C

The term “USB-C” is an identifier of the smaller (and reversible) connector manufacturers commonly use to offer the USB 3.2 Gen 2 standard. While USB also has USB 3.2 Gen 2×2, which provides 20 Gbps speed, Thunderbolt 4 docking stations don’t offer these ports.

Incidentally, Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 also use a USB-C connector.

Ethernet Ports

An Ethernet port lets you connect your laptop (or Ultrabook) to a wired network. Most Thunderbolt 4 docking stations offer 1Gb or 2.5Gb Ethernet connections. The only difference is the bandwidth, with 1 GbE offering 1000 Mbps and 2.5 GbE offering 2500 Mbps speeds. Naturally, faster is better.

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