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TobenONE (UDS033) Triple 4K Docking Station Review

Feature-Rich Up to 4-Display Docking Station with Versatile Connectivity

The TobenONE UDS033 is a remarkably versatile USB docking station. It allows you to connect up to 4 external displays. You get the ability to extend 2x DisplayLink-based displays that can even work for USB-A for compatibility with older laptops (USB-A to USB-C adapter not included). So you can enjoy dual monitors even if your laptop itself only has USB-A ports.

Additionally, the UDS033 has 2x Plug-and-Play display outputs that tap directly into your laptop’s discrete graphics card over USB-C. So, for modern laptops with USB-C with video-out support/Thunderbolt 3/4, you can connect up to 4 total displays for massive screen real estate.

On top of the stellar display connectivity, the UDS033 also packs an array of convenient ports, such as HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, and USB-A ports for accessory connectivity. An SD/microSD card reader, 3.5mm audio, and gigabit ethernet provide for flexible peripheral usage as well.

It’s an upgrade of the UDS030 TobenONE docking station that we reviewed recently.

Best For

  • Maximum screen real estate – supports up to 3 displays (Mac) or 4 displays (Windows) for productivity
  • Users/creative professionals needing lots of accessory ports
  • Users who need robust power delivery (up to 100W) to charge high-end laptops
  • Future-proof with support for 8K displays and high-wattage charging
  • Mainly semi-permanent desktop setups since the power brick is quite large/heavy

Considerations

  • Only supports 3 displays on MacBooks due to MacBook constraints
  • Premium-priced
  • Lacks more advanced network management features like wake-on-LAN or Mac passthrough
  • Not the most portable, due to the large 120W power brick
  • USB-A to USB-C adapter required (sold separately) to use DisplayLink if laptop lacks USB-C.

Our Verdict

The TobenONE UDS033 comes with a premium price, but offers premium versatility in return if you want to maximize external displays. With support for up to 4 monitors without having to have a Thunderbolt-capable laptop, it allows you to fully harness the display capabilities of most laptops.

The lack of advanced networking features like PXE boot, Wake-on-LAN, or Mac passthrough makes it less suited for managed corporate environments. This is more of a powerhouse dock for an individual’s home/personal office setup.

The large 120W power brick and cables also make the UDS033 less portable than a barebones travel dock. It’s better suited to semi-permanent desk setups to transform your laptop into a capable workstation, in my opinion.

If your primary goal is to have plenty of desktop real estate, the TobenONE UDS033 delivers well. Four video outputs plus a stack of handy ports give you stellar productivity.

I don’t think many docking stations can match the UDS033’s versatility in display connectivity. That power does come at a cost – but it’s worthwhile if you need 3-4 monitors connected to your laptop and a diverse selection of ports.

Connectivity & Ports

Front Side

Port
Details/Description
Power Button
Turns the docking station on or off.
Small LED Power Indicator
Light that shows if dock is powered on.
3.5mm Audio Combo Jack
Allows you to plug in headphones or a microphone. Supports both at the same time.
2x USB-C 3.0
Modern USB ports that support fast data transfer speeds and power delivery to charge devices. Transfer data up to 5Gbps and charges devices up to 18W.
3x USB-A 3.2
Standard rectangular USB ports used to connect peripherals like mice, keyboards, and external storage drives. Supports data transfer of up to 10Gbps. Backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0 devices.
SD/MicroSD Card Reader
Allows you to access data from SD memory cards and microSD cards (TF cards). Useful for transferring photos from cameras.

Back Side

Port
Explanation
Display Group 1: HDMI 1 or DisplayPort 1
Allows connecting one external 4K display at 60Hz refresh rate. Cannot use both HDMI and DisplayPort at the same time from this group. Requires DisplayLink drivers.
Display Group 2: HDMI 2 or DisplayPort 2
Allows connecting one external 4K display at 60Hz refresh rate. Cannot use both HDMI and DisplayPort at the same time from this group. Requires DisplayLink drivers.
Display 3
Supports one external display up to 8K resolution at 30Hz refresh rate without needing extra drivers. Plug-and-play.
Display 4: HDMI (3)
Supports one external display up to 8K resolution at 30Hz refresh rate without needing extra drivers. Plug-and-play.
1x DC Port
Connects the included power adapter to provide up to 100W of power delivery.
1x USB-A 3.2
Standard rectangular USB port used to connect peripherals like mice, keyboards, and external storage drives. Supports data transfer of up to 10Gbps. Backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0 devices.
1x Ethernet Port 1Gbps
Wired network port supporting up to 1Gbps network speeds.
1x USB-C Host Port
The USB-C port that connects to your laptop.
Note on USB-C Charging & Display Support

Before using a USB-C docking station, check if your laptop supports USB-C Power Delivery (Charging) and Video Out (Display).

Ensure your laptop:

  • Has a USB-C port.
  • Can charge through its USB-C port.
  • Can send

For example, my ASUS ZenBook’s USB-C port does not support charging, so I have to connect both the laptop’s charger and the docking station’s charger separately.

If your laptop supports USB-C charging, you can conveniently connect just one USB-C cable from your laptop to the docking station. This allows for simpler cable management and avoids the need for multiple power bricks.

It also does not support video out, so it cannot use the 2x Plug-and-Play displays made possible by the TobenONE UDS033.

What’s in the Box

  • The UDS033 Docking Station
  • 1x 120W power supply (which is quite a large power brick)
  • 1x detachable power cable that allows for easier storage of the power adapter and cable, since they can be folded more neatly
  • 1x 3.3ft (1 meter) USB-C to USB-C host cable that connects from the host port to the laptop
  • 1x User Manual card with contact details and a QR code linking to the digital user manual

Compatibility

OS Compatibility

The TobenONE UDS033 is compatible with Windows 7, 8, 9, 10 and macOS 10.14+ officially.

The docking station has 2 displays (HDMI 3 and DP3) that can be used plug-and-play for up to 8K@30Hz, and 2 displays that are driver-based, which means via DisplayLink, which we’ll cover right away, support up to 4k@60Hz, but the degradation in quality when using DisplayLink is noticeable.

MacOS

On my Mac M1, it worked exactly as advertised. It extended to 3 displays – 2x via the DisplayLink driver and 1x plug-and-play.

Although Windows supports up to 4 monitors, Macs have a limitation that allows for a max of 3 displays.

In total, you’ll have 4 displays, including your laptop display.

The UDS033 connected to my Mac M1 and 3 extended displays.

Windows

Windows works with up to 4 displays – 2x DisplayLink-based and 2x Plug-and-Play based. For this to work, we need a Windows laptop with USB-C that supports video out. Sadly, I mistakenly thought my Asus Zenbook’s USB-C, as well as my two desktop PCs, did support video out. Turns out none do. So all I was able to get for this review are 2x DisplayLink-based displays.

I’ll try to get my hands on a Windows laptop with USB-C supporting video-out and will update this review because I really want to test it out.

This is the most monitors I’ve seen a docking station expand to so far. I know there are others out there, but this is the first quad monitor docking station I’ve actually had.

Linux

On Linux, I tested only the 2x DisplayLink displays on an old Thinkpad T410 running Linux Mint (which is related to Ubuntu) using a USB-A port because it has no USB-C ports. USB-A doesn’t natively support displays, but DisplayLink handles this, and it worked perfectly.

I would’ve liked to test it with Ubuntu or Linux Mint on a laptop with a USB-C capable of video out, but sadly I don’t have one available. It turns out all my laptops and desktops, besides my Macbook, have USB-C just for data transfer.

I’m not clear whether the TobenONE UDS033 would support an additional 2 or 1 displays when using an Ubuntu laptop that has USB-C with video out, but I’m really eager to find out.

Laptop Compatibility

The TobenONE is compatible with most modern laptops.

If your laptop has at least a USB-A port, then you can rest assured that you can use the 2x DisplayLink displays. You will need an USB-A to USB-C adapter, however, as the docking station comes with an USB-C to USB-C cable.

As for the plug-and-play (or native) displays, your laptop needs a USB-C port with video-out support.

Yes, not all USB-C’s have video out, unfortunately. Most modern laptops do have USB-C ports that support it, though, but best to check the symbols next to it:

USB-C display capability symbols that you should find next to your USB-C port
Source: ASUS

For laptops before 2024, it’s that D symbol. My laptop has the USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C without the D:

Power Delivery

The docking station comes with a 120W adapter which is rather big, but that’s understandable given all the features it has.

The dock is certified for 96W laptop charging and delivers up to 100W, plus ~20W for its own operation.

MacOS system info confirming that the charger can deliver up to 100W.

Displays & Graphics

I mentioned this earlier, but will again in case you skipped directly to this part.

The UDS033 has up to 4 displays:

  • 2x DisplayLink-based displays that go up to 4K@60Hz
  • 2x Plug-and-Play (also called native) displays that go up to 8K@30Hz

As you can see in the image above, the TobenONE UDS033 docking station has 3 display groups:

  • Groups 1 & 2 are HDMI and DisplayPort ports for the DisplayLink displays – you can use one port or the other from each group.
  • Group 3 has both a HDMI and DisplayPort port that can be used simultaneously for the 2 native plug-and-play displays.
In Short

The combination of both DisplayLink and native displays makes this docking station versatile for different needs.

The DisplayLink displays allow you to easily add extra monitors for productivity, even with laptops that have limited ports or graphics capability. Although image quality and performance are not as good as native displays, it enables more screen real estate.

On the other hand, the plug-and-play native displays provide high resolutions, rapid refresh rates and full graphics performance without limitations for gaming or professional graphics work.

So you get the best of both worlds – easy monitor expansion for multitasking as well as support for immersive, lag-free gaming and media. This flexibility makes it a good choice for mixed productivity and entertainment needs.

Let’s briefly cover DisplayLink, and then we’ll discuss what that means.

What is DisplayLink & What This Means

DisplayLink is a technology that allows you to connect additional displays over data-transfer-only ports like USB-A, which normally don’t support video output.

In short, DisplayLink allows additional displays to be added over USB, but at the cost of some resolution, refresh rate, and performance compared to directly connected displays.

DisplayLink is best suited for productivity and desktop workloads.

Setting up DisplayLink

DisplayLink is a combination of hardware and software. It requires a DisplayLink chipset in the docking station (which is the case with the UDS033), as well as DisplayLink software drivers installed on the host computer (which we have to install).

Getting DisplayLink Displays Working:

  1. Connect the DisplayLink device (e.g., docking station) to the computer via USB
  2. Install the DisplayLink drivers from https://www.synaptics.com/products/displaylink-graphics
  3. Once installed, the OS detects the DisplayLink displays
  4. Extend or mirror your desktop as needed through the normal display settings

Number of Displays

Windows

Windows laptops with USB-C ports that support display (also called video out) can extend up to 4 displays. Otherwise, they can use only the 2x Plug-and-Play displays via USB-C and even USB-A.

To check if your USB-C supports video, check the symbol next to it.

MacOS

MacOS laptops can extend up to 4 displays, but:

  • Macbookss won’t support 4 displays due to some limitations, and they can support up to 3 (2x DisplayLink + 1 Plug-and-Play):
    • 2x DisplayLink-based (Displays 1 and 2)
    • 1x Plug-and-Play (one of Displays 3 group).

Linux

Linux laptops can extend up to 2x DisplayLink displays, based on my experience. I’ve only tested it with Linux Mint/Ubuntu.

  • I can’t speak for other distros, and I don’t have a Linux machine that has a USB-C with video out right now to confirm myself.
    • I’ll try it out on Fedora and Arch Linux with DisplayLink and will update the article.
    • I will also try to find a laptop with USB-C with video out to check if Plug-and-Play works.

I like the availability of both 2x DisplayLink and 2x Plug-and-Play because it’s good both for productivity (to extend to a number of laptops) but also for media/gaming, since DisplayLink displays aren’t suited for fast-paced gaming due to possible lag, while plug-and-play (native) are ideal for that.

The TobenONE UDS033 with all 3 displays connected.

Resolution & Refresh Rates

DisplayLink

Unlike the native video outputs like HDMI or DisplayPort, which have a direct connection to the graphics card, DisplayLink works by compressing and transmitting the video signal over USB.

This means DisplayLink-based displays have some limitations compared to directly connected displays:

  • Resolution – DisplayLink supports up to 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution. However, compared to a directly connected 4K monitor, the image quality may suffer from compression artifacts, noise, and degraded clarity.
  • Refresh Rate – Similarly, DisplayLink officially supports up to 60Hz refresh rate no matter the resolution.
  • Performance – There is significant overhead in compressing and decompressing the video stream over USB, which causes lag. So, gaming will have poor performance compared to native displays.
  • DRM – DisplayLink may not work properly with content protected by digital rights management (DRM). So it may not play back Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other DRM-protected content. However, in my experience, DisplayLink worked fine with Netflix on Windows and Linux but not on Mac.

You’ll likely want to use DisplayLink for productivity or non-fast-paced gaming. Also Netflix and other streaming services may not work on Mac, but they may work on Windows/Linux, although that’s not a guarantee.

Plug-and-Play (Native)

The docking station’s 2x Plug-and-Play displays connect directly to your laptop’s discrete graphics card, providing a native video output.

This allows for higher resolutions, refresh rates, and performance.

Some key advantages of the Plug-and-Play displays:

  • Performance – Since there is a direct connection between the graphics card and display, there is no video compression overhead. So you get full native performance for gaming or video playback without lag, quality loss or artifacts.
  • ResolutionThey support up to 8K@30Hz resolution without any video compression artifacts or quality loss, allowing for sharp image quality even on large or high-pixel-density monitors.
  • Refresh Rate – The docking station specs mention maximum resolution and refresh rate as 8K@30Hz. This is the maximum supported resolution. This means that as you go lower in resolution, higher refresh rates are possible due to lower bandwidth requirements.

Here’s me getting a 144Hz refresh rate on 2K resolution using the UDS033 docking station:

The 2x Plug-and-Play displays allow users to connect high-resolution, high-refresh rate monitors for gaming or creative workloads without the limitations of DisplayLink or USB graphics. You get full native performance similar to directly attaching displays to laptop ports.

Setup, Installation & User Experience

Connecting the TobenONE UDS033 to MacOS, Windows, and Linux went smoothly.

I know this is the third time I’m linking those images, but it’s for the sake of people scrolling straight to this section.

Heat Dissipation

I performed a stress test on the docking station for 25 minutes with 3 displays connected and playing video while also running a Blackmagic Disk Speed Test on an NVMe SSD. The test was recorded using a thermal imaging camera.

As you can see in the sped-up video below, the maximum temperature reached under this workload was 43.7°C (110.66°F).

The monitors I used were a combination of 1080p and 2K. I’ll test with 2x4K as soon as I can.

Testing the TobenONE UDS033 Triple 4K Display for 25 minutes.

Noise

The TobenONE UDS033 makes no noise at all.

Audio

I used my headset, and the audio was the same as connecting directly to my laptop.

In case the audio doesn’t work right away go to your Sound settings and change the output to USB Audio.

Data Transfer

I tested data transfer speeds using high-speed external storage devices connected to the dock:

Kingston NV2 1TB NVMe SSD: Achieved ~350MB/s read/write speeds. This PCIe 4.0 drive was likely bottlenecked by my NVMe, so I believe higher speeds are possible with higher-end NVMe drives.

64GB SanDisk MicroSD card: Got 60-80MB/s read/write speeds via the USB 3.2 Gen 2 port.

Build & Design

The docking station has a robust, well-crafted aluminum case. The manufacturing is first-rate, which gives it a rugged yet refined look that blends perfectly into most work areas, in my opinion.

The docking station’s orientation is vertical by default, with two rubber feet providing stability.

However, it can easily be positioned horizontally as well, seamlessly fitting into either orientation in your workspace.

Networking Options

While the TobenONE UDS33 docking station ticks a lot of boxes with its extensive port selection and power delivery capabilities, it lacks more advanced networking features like Mac passthrough or wake-on-LAN.

So, for users who need to remotely access their Mac or wake it from sleep while away from the desk, this dock would not suit those needs. The lack of passthrough networking also means you lose some network management functionality that IT departments may require.

So, if seamless network connectivity and remote wake/access features are essential, this docking station would not provide enough on the networking side.

But for anyone prioritizing display outputs, USB expansion, and power delivery, it is a very capable option at a reasonable price point, considering everything included.

Just don’t expect enterprise-level network management capabilities.

Brand, Support, & Community

TobenONE products have been around since 2022 and have lots of positive reviews. This, along with the fact that this is the second TobenONE product I’ve tested and the fact that they seem so involved, suggests to me that they produce quality products.

TobenONE also seems very transparent about what their products can and can’t do well, and I’m a big fan of transparency. For DisplayLink docking stations like this one, they state upfront it’s not ideal for gaming/GPU tasks. This helps set reasonable expectations for customers.

Their support seems very responsive and helpful based on our interactions so far.

My thoughts here are:

  • TobenONE seems committed to building a strong reputation and community around its products based on relying on word-of-mouth and great support. This suggests they will stand behind what they sell.
  • As more people buy their products, we’ll be able to find more reviews and opinions online in forums/communities. This is pretty important to me, because a strong community keeps the brand accountable and helps with troubleshooting.
  • The responsiveness of their support team implies you’re likely to have a good experience getting assistance if they have any issues with the docking station or need help setting it up/using it.

Price & Value

Based on the premium build quality, versatile design, and extensive port selection outlined, the TobenONE UDS033 docking station provides good value at its’ current price.

The ability to connect up to 4 displays and a variety of accessories is very appealing to users who need a versatile docking station that can handle either 4 displays, or up to 2 displays on older laptops (via DisplayLink) or up to 2 regular extended displays (via Plug-and-Play).

This is also very appealing to me because I really like versatility like this, and I sometimes use older laptops for fun and testing.

While the price is certainly on the high end, you are getting a robust product and one of the most versatile docking stations I’ve tested so far. For the right professional consumer who needs this level of connectivity and display capabilities, the price likely delivers good return on investment through boosted productivity and convenience.

If you’re budget-conscious you can find cheaper options, such as the TobenONE UDS030 that has only DisplayLink-based displays, but this dock seems well-suited if you need maximum expandability.

Warranty & Returns

TobenONE offers a 1-year limited warranty. Additionally, if you purchase from their Amazon store and submit product feedback after 5+ days of use, they provide an extra 1-year warranty as a gift – effectively giving you 2 years of coverage. Link to their warranty page.

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, TobenONE has a 30-day return policy.

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