Which Dock Is Best for You?
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Which Dock Is Best for You?

January 26, 17 - Posted in: Tech Talk by Kevin Quinn, Thee DocKtor
Which Dock Is Best for You?

With all the docking station choices from Targus and Hyper, it's sometimes hard to choose the right one. It ultimately depends on the application, what you want to do with your docking station-based workstation. There are a few things to consider that may be different from choosing a company-wide docking station or even one just to use at work.

This article was written to be more personal and help with an individual docking station solution choice, especially for those working from home who want to be ultra-productive.

Host PC (Macbook/Chromebook/Tablet)

The host platform (Windows PC, Macbook, Chromebook, etc.) doesn't necessarily determine the dock recommendation. While Targus supplies truly Universal Docking Stations (UDS) that can be used with virtually any platform, a universal dock may not be necessary for home use, including work from home. The flagship Targus DOCK182 is a great universal docking station, especially for companywide enterprise use cases, but in general an individual is often best served by matching the host receptacle connection and power technology to the docking station capabilities for that technology.

If the host has a Thunderbolt or USB4 port receptacle, any Hyper or Targus docking station can be used but a Thunderbolt docking station will provide the best performance. The Hyper HDG2TB314 is a cost-effective fully featured docking station to be used with Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 hosts. More Thunderbolt compatible docks are available from Hyper depending on the features desired.

If the host is USB-C, then a lower cost solution from Hyper or Targus may be better for the home use case. The Targus DOCK430 is the most compatible USB-C desktop docking station but many of the Hyper USB-C solutions can fit the bill. The Targus DOCK419 is also an excellent choice when only a single external monitor and limited ports are needed.

If you have an older host, or one that doesn’t support USB-C (Alternate Mode including Thunderbolt) then one of the Targus truly Universal Docking Station models DOCK1XX/3XX may be a better choice if within an individual’s budget. For travel, consider the DOCK116 Universal Docking Station.

Power

Choose a desktop docking station that can supply the power needed to run your host and keep its battery charged. Targus has docks that can supply up to 100WDC, these are often adequate for even up to 130W PC and MacBooks. Costing a bit less, many of Hyper and Targus docks support 85WDC, some down to 60WDC. 60WDC can be adequate for many PC and especially acceptable for Chromebooks.

If you will be using the power supply that came with your host, then a desktop docking station that supplies power is not needed. It will work, but you can save a little money by using a Hyper or Targus dock in bus powered mode where the host device supplies power to it.

Travel Docks

Many of the Hyper and Targus docking stations are designed for travel. They are compact and can be used by host bus power or utilizing Power Delivery Pass-Through with the power supply that came with the host. However, these smaller compact docking stations are not designed to be desktop docking stations, they are designed mainly for travel situations and limited duty cycles.

Power Delivery Pass-Through

Keep in mind that docks and devices supporting Power Delivery Pass-Through also reserve a bit of the power for themselves. It is possible to run out of power used for keeping the host battery charged. It may be necessary to utilize a larger power supply supporting more power through the Power Delivery Pass-Through port. Hyper and Targus have these available for you. We often recommend a power supply unit cable of at least 100WDC for larger PC laptops and MacBooks.

Monitor and Peripheral Input/Output

Consider the monitors and other peripherals that will be connected to the dock, to in turn be utilized by the host – especially graphics monitors.

Display Monitor Connection

Knowing the application or at least what monitor(s) will be connected helps narrow it down a bunch. The monitor size is not important, but be sure to select a dock that supports the resolution (technology speaking the timing modes) that are needed (i.e. 4K).

Between Hyper and Targus there are many solutions that support a single, dual, or even multiple display monitors connections. Some support and only HDMI monitor connections, some DisplayPort only, some a mix, and some even support the older VGA monitors. Targus also has Docking Monitor that are often perfect for WFH(i.e. DM4240PUSZ).

Pro Audio

Many work-from-home and home audio mixing and producing applications are best served by docking stations that provide external audio support not found in docks designed for the enterprise. Hyper has docks with Toslink and other higher-end audio support(i.e. HDG215-US).

Card Reader and Flash Memory

Many professionals utilize digital cameras at home. Often these cameras utilize SD cards for their data. Hyper has solutions that support various card readers for any application needing flash memory support.

Peripheral I/O

A Targus “docking station” has an Ethernet port. Hyper may use the term “hub” for such devices interchangeably with “dock” or “docking station”. Our advice is to utilize the Ethernet port if your home office has one; select a docking station that supports it, otherwise it may be more cost effective or fit your workstation better to utilize a hub/dongle that has your specific ports needed. Consider all USB-A ports needed to support mice/keyboard/dongles thereof, cameras, flash memory, and anything else requiring USB.

Hyper/Targus Has The Solution

Between Hyper and Targus there is an affordable solution. Always feel free to contact us to help you make the best choice.

Support

Contact your Targus representative for more information, pricing, and availability.

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