We all have packing essentials we never travel without, but the list can be a little different for gadget lovers and business travelers. In a world that increasingly relies on mobility, networkability and flexibility, the traditional stand-alone PC seems to have had its day. Slim, lightweight devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro or the MacBook have become the trend.
Although working with these new devices is practical, users have to accept a drop in performance and comfort as well as ergonomic disadvantages. Modern notebooks have only very few ports. A USB-C dock and hub can help here. With only one connection, laptops can be upgraded to real desktop devices without losing mobility.
What is a Dock?
A docking station, or dock, is a device that connects a laptop to multiple peripherals. It provides a single connection point that allows a laptop to use a connected monitor, printer, keyboard, and mouse. This allows a laptop to function like a desktop computer.
What is a Hub?
Hubs expand the number of ports on your device. Whether it is USB-A or USB-C, these hubs work as splitters to let you plug more devices into a given port. These hubs typically pull power from the laptop, and their lightweight and small size make them easy to carry around.
How Does a Docking Station and Hub Work?
We all have many USB devices to connect these days, from smart app-based power banks to external hard drives, SD card readers, smart home hubs, printers (2D and 3D), tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. There simply aren’t enough ports on today’s laptops to handle them all.
Hubs are the perfect solution for expanding the power of your existing ports, whether on a laptop or desktop. They are plug-and-play and ensure there is always an available port for connecting and/or charging another peripheral. While some hubs support audio and video, some people need to step up to a docking station.
Docking stations expand the functionality of your portable device, transforming it into a desktop replacement. A docking station connects via Thunderbolt 3, USB-C or USB-A and provides workstation power for your entire setup. Most docks offer four to eight USB-A and two to four USB-C ports with fast charging each independently powered by the dock itself, instead of your laptop.
Video output on docking stations is standard, often supporting one or more monitors. The video ports supported from one docking station to the next can vary though between DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, or VGA with resolutions up to triple 4K @ 60Hz. Docks also support Gigabit Ethernet, a variety of audio connections, SD card readers, and more.
However, not all docks are created equal. Docking stations made for a specific notebook let you snap the computer securely into place and immediately connect the video to an external monitor, link to peripherals, exchange a Wi-Fi network link for a faster wired connection and begin to charge the system’s battery in one step.
Universal docking stations, on the other hand, work equally well with a multitude of laptops. Instead of being built for a specific machine to snap into, they connect to your laptop via a single USB cable, making them easy to connect and disconnect.
In addition, most docking stations will accept an Ethernet cable connection, allowing the computer to automatically switch from a wireless to a wired internet connection, which is often faster. When docked, the laptop battery is automatically charging, which means it will be fully charged and ready to go when you are.
5 Benefits of Using Docks and Hubs When Traveling?
1. Increase laptop functionalities
One drawback to owning a laptop is that it may not accommodate several accessories at one time. A dock or hub can alleviate this problem. You will be able to plug multiple accessories into your docking station, with a separate power cord, which connects to your laptop. Wherever you are, you get to enjoy the full functionalities of your laptop or notebook. Docks for Apple are generally geared towards increased performance, faster data transfer speeds and multiple external displays.
2. Use of multiple devices
If you need to connect your laptop to several devices such as printers, scanners or mouse, traveling with docks and hubs makes it easier. Many laptops have two USB ports, meaning they can only connect to two devices at one time. With the docking station, you will have to make just one connection to your laptop. When you are finished, simply unplug the laptop from the docking station.
3. Access to New Devices
A docking station allows you to connect to devices that you could not use in the past. Devices like flat-panel monitors and digital cameras are not always compatible with laptops. By plugging the devices into the docking station, you can enjoy the increased visibility that is provided by a larger monitor.
5. Desktop not needed
If you’re a laptop owner who is considering the purchase of a desktop computer to accommodate your devices, a docking station can eliminate the need. As a result, you can save money. Some docking station models can be purchased at an affordable price.
6. Makes work easier
The use of a USB-C docking station makes work easier if you change location frequently. Sales representatives, business men and women or students who travel a lot can process their recordings and collect data without having to endure ergonomic restrictions.
Docks and hubs are valuable tools for traveling. Both options reduce desktop clutter, allowing you to make the most of your space. Compared to PCs, laptops have fewer ports, smaller screens, and compact keyboards. If you want all the fixings of a PC with the convenience of a laptop when traveling get a docking station. USB C is the future, and it has better connectivity and offers faster speed. MacBooks and all new laptops are equipped with USB C ports. Make your trips go smoother with this docking station and hub from linkpin designed just for you, to get the most out of your MacBook.