Plugable TBT3-UDZ Thunderbolt three & USB-C Docking Station Evaluation



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Plugable has a brand new flagship Thunderbolt three (T3) docking station, the TBT3-UDZ, which is suitable with each USB-C and Thunderbolt three.

This dual-connector assist is due to the most recent Titan Ridge chipset, which we’ve seen in a number of of our favorite T3 docks.

It is going to even be suitable with 40Gbps USB four, when that rolls out.

The Mac and Home windows-compatible TBT3-UDZ options a formidable 14 ports, a lot of them high-performance, such because the 10Gbps USB-A and USB-C ports on the entrance of the dock.

This slim docking station will be laid flat horizontally or stand upright vertically, and there’s a weighty stand within the field for added stability.

With a dock, you’ll be able to connect with a number of gadgets with only one cable (Plugable provides a zero.8m T3 cable that will even work with USB-C), together with exterior shows, onerous drives, printers, and reminiscence playing cards.

Options & ports

100W PD charging
As much as two exterior shows (4K at 60Hz)
Two DisplayPort 1.four ports
Two HDMI 2.zero ports
One Thunderbolt three (40Gbps) port to host
One USB-A (10Gbps) port
5 USB-A (5Gbps) ports
One USB-C (10Gbps) port
SD Card Reader (SD four.zero UHS-II)
microSD Card Reader (SD four.zero UHS-II)
Gigabit Ethernet port
Entrance-facing three.5mm combo Audio In/Out port
100W energy provide

Docking station for exterior shows

What is actually particular about this dock, except for the quick ports and USB-C compatibility, is the inclusion of two ports every for DisplayPort and HDMI, which we haven’t seen on another Thunderbolt three or USB-C docks we’ve got examined.

This offers you most flexibility for operating as much as two exterior shows from a Thunderbolt three host – together with 4K (4096×2160) at 60Hz – while not having adapters in case your monitor isn’t HDMI or DisplayPort.

Even with out Thunderbolt three it is nonetheless spectacular – related to a laptop computer operating Home windows 10 or later over USB-C, the dock can drive two 1920×1080 shows at 60Hz, or one 4096×2160 show at 30Hz.

A USB-C Mac, such because the 12in MacBook, can drive as much as two 4096×2160 mirrored shows at 30Hz.

We must always notice that Apple’s newest M1-based MacBooks (with non-Intel processors) assist solely a single exterior show. Intel MacBooks have full dual-display capabilities.

Additionally, some Thunderbolt three Home windows laptops do not assist twin 4K shows. Verify together with your laptop computer producer if you’re not sure.

USB aplenty

This dock has seven USB ports, 5 of them old-school USB-A at 5Gbps. This needs to be sufficient for anybody, even when they nonetheless use a wired keyboard and mouse and need to connect with reminiscence sticks, printers, and onerous drives.

The front-facing USB-A port is rated at an excellent quicker 10Gbps, which isn’t that widespread on docking stations however will certainly turn out to be the norm in 2021. Additionally on the entrance is a 10Gbps USB-C port.

There’s simply the one 40Gbps Thunderbolt three port on the again, which is for connecting to the host laptop computer or PC. USB-C laptops additionally use this port, however don’t really feel the enjoyment of the upper bandwidth – being caught at a nonetheless affordable 10Gbps.

Notice that with simply the one T3 port, you received’t have the ability to daisy-chain a number of T3 gadgets.

Thanks for the reminiscence

The TBT3-UDZ has each SD and microSD Card readers at its entrance, and they’re the quick 312MBps UHS-II selection.

These aren’t only for photographers, however enable anybody so as to add cheap and extremely moveable backup storage, as much as 1TB.

Amazon has a variety beginning at round £15 or $20 for 128GB.

Energy

USB-C has a most energy supply restrict of 96W, and this dock can deal with laptops – corresponding to Apple’s 16in MacBook Professional – which can be rated at that wattage, which is the best we have seen in a USB-C dock.

Value

The Plugable TBT3-UDZ prices £249 within the UK and $299 within the US. Within the EU, it’s priced at €332.

This places it at across the identical value as different hybrid Titan Ridge USB-C/T3 docking stations, such because the Caldigit USB-C Professional Dock, and cheaper than the Belkin Thunderbolt three Dock Professional.

The place it wins is its variety of ports, together with high-performance choices and show connection flexibility.

It additionally costs the laptop computer at 96W, which can imply quicker powering occasions than with the opposite 85W docks.

Its solely actual draw back is the dearth of a second T3 port, which the Belkin dock does boast.

Should you’re not planning on connecting one other Thunderbolt three gadget, the TBT3-UDZ is our really useful Titan Ridge docking station. Should you do, then take into account the Belkin dock – though you’ll want that port (and an adapter) if you wish to add a second exterior show.

There are cheaper Thunderbolt three docks, such because the Caldigit TS3 Plus, however these don’t have the backwards compatibility with USB-C laptops. See additionally, our roundup of the most effective USB-C docks.

Verdict

Appropriate with each Thunderbolt three and USB-C laptops, the Plugable TBT3-UDZ Thunderbolt three Dock is a superb resolution for hot-desking workplace areas, or houses with a mixture of applied sciences, eradicating any connection confusion.

We love the inclusion of two of every HDMI and DisplayPort connections (for as much as two exterior 60Hz 4K shows), as that is one other flexibility win.

The 10GBps USB-A and USB-C ports and 96W charging are additionally nice options that put this dock on the high.

Specs
Plugable TBT3-UDZ Thunderbolt three Docking Station: Specs

Titan Ridge suitable with Thunderbolt three and USB-C

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