Laptop Docking Stations Explained

Why Laptop Docking Stations

As Laptops and Notebooks become more powerful, the question of laptop or desktop becomes harder to answer.
This becomes even more of an issue when you consider that laptop manufacturers are now removing traditional ports on their newer devices in order to create laptops with slimmer, smaller form factors.
This leaves consumers in a conundrum as they are forced to decide between the overwhelming benefits of a desktop and the portability of a laptop/ notebook. Laptop Docking Stations solve this problem.

What is a Laptop Docking Station?

A Laptop Docking Station is a device, with a variety of key ports and memory card slots, that can be plugged into a laptop to provide additional functionality.

What is a Laptop Docking Station used for?

A Laptop Docking Station is used to provide additional functionality to a laptop or notebook by making ports such as Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, 3.5mm Audio Jack and SD Card slots available.
Laptop docking stations are mostly used to provide a desktop experience with a laptop but can also be used in cases where a laptop needs a hardwired ethernet connection or for connecting a laptop up to a projector for a presentation.
Due to the flexibility and added functionality docking stations provide, the uses are endless.

Why should I use a Laptop Docking Station?

Not many will argue against the benefits of a larger display, a full-sized keyboard and a mouse rather than a trackpad.
However, portability is a must for many in this new age of flexible working.
A Laptop Docking Station eliminates the need for a desktop computer, saving you money and providing the best of both worlds.
Effortlessly plug a single cable into your laptop and have access to your device through dual 4k monitors with a full-sized keyboard, mouse, HD webcam and Gigabit Ethernet.
Then, when you need to be on the move, disconnect the laptop and enjoy all the benefits of its portability.

Can any laptop use a Docking Station?

As long as a laptop, notebook or tablet has a compatible operating system and the correct ports, it will be able to take advantage of a docking station.
For video output (using external displays), your device must have a USB-C port that supports DisplayPort Alternate Mode. You can identify whether your device has this by looking for a ‘D’ or a thunderbolt symbol next to the port.
If you have a MacBook or newer Dell laptop, you will not find these symbols and will instead need to check your USB-C specification in your laptop settings.
Most new laptops with USB-C have DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. As well as this, MacBooks with the M1 chip or newer, require a docking station that supports MST for Mac, if you wish to have 2 or more external displays.

We provide a range of laptop docking stations with different connectors all listed with their compatibility requirements. All our Laptop Docking Stations are Windows and Mac compatible.

Can my laptop use a USB-C Docking Station?

As long as your device has either a Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4 or USB Type C with power delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode, it will be compatible with a USB-C Laptop Docking Station.
This means that with a laptop docking station, your device would be able to connect a whole host of peripherals with just one USB Type C connection.

What is the difference between a hub and a docking station?

Both USB-C Hubs and Laptop Docking Stations are ideal for providing extra ports and additional functionality to your device.
The main difference between the two, comes down to the type of ports included. USB hubs only expand your USB connectivity, most commonly USB Type A and USB-C.
A docking station on the other hand, provides a much greater variety of connectivity options such as video output, data transfer, battery charging and ethernet.

Do I need to install a driver

It depends on the Docking Station. Here at Lindy, most of our Laptop Docking Stations come with plug-and-play functionality meaning there is no driver instillation needed. Plug in your device and peripherals and you’re ready to go. If driver installation is needed, simply go to the product page on our website and download it with just a few clicks.

Why Lindy for Laptop Docking Stations?

We are one of the world’s leading suppliers of cables, converters and adapters. Established in 1932, we have the knowledge and experience needed to provide cutting edge technology with unrivalled quality. We have a great and growing range of Laptop Docking Stations all designed and constructed to provide exceptional performance and reliability.