5 Reasons to Buy a Docking Station

Posted on March 17 2019

5 Reasons to Buy a Docking Station

Reclaim your Office

Working remotely, heading back to the office? Arrived and ready to launch in and complete those projects? Totally frustrated by having to waste time connecting your devices and taming the wild mess of cables that have ensnared your workspace? 

Then a Dock is the workflow solution that will save your sanity and pay for itself in no time, leaving you free to maximise your productivity. Docking station, dock or port replicator? Don't be confused! The term Dock can used to refer to a box with slots which houses PCIe cards and HDDs that are permanently connected to your PC or Laptop, eg OWC Drive Dock. The alternative slimline, desktop solutions we are talking about today are interchangeably referred to as a port replicator, dock or docking station. Ok, we admit it can be confusing.

Here are our top 5 reasons you need a Laptop Docking Station

Our number one reason - just ONE cable is all you need to connect and disconnect from your laptop, enabling you ready access to all your peripheral devices - mouse, keyboard, monitors, external hard disk drive or any USB 3.0 universal device. One dock can connect them all.

Simply plug the dock in to your power source and plug your Laptop into the Thunderbolt 3 port (or USB port on your USB 3.0 docking station) with the included cable (on the OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock you can easily tell your dock is receiving power from the blue LED that unlike other Thunderbolt 3 docking devices does not turn off when disconnected from the computer. HINT: label this cable OWC Dock, as not all Thunderbolt cables are equal and this can save you some time troubleshooting connectivity issues. Once you have established an active data connection the Data LED will glow green.) 

You can check everything is working ok by visiting: System Information on your Mac and clicking on the Thunderbolt category. No problems? Great, you are now set for lightning fast data transfers (if you have the latest Thunderbolt 3 port on your dock). Don't forget, safety first! Most docks support hot-plugging, but to protect your data ensure you eject or dismount your storage devices before removing your data device.

Reason number two. Some docks can connect Dual 4K or HD displays like the ASUS Gaming Monitor PB287Q, perfect when editing your latest video content. Alternatively, if you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a latest generation 5K display many docks support next level viewing of a single 5K display. There is no longer any need to tackle large screen monitors, projectors or TV's simply connect your screen to a power source and then connect via the monitors video connection to your dock (HDMI, mini DisplayPort or Thunderbolt USB 3.0 - check your docks port availability as you may need a USB-C display adapter, our Sonnet 11 port dock includes a HDMI port). 

Good to know: A Thunderbolt device can support up to 6 devices daisy chained together. For example up to 5 additional thunderbolt devices can be connected to the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock - ensure your display device is at the end of the chain for a seamless viewing experience. With the convenient connection solution offered by your dock you will never have to look at the back of a display screen again!

Our third reason. A USB-C dock is the perfect way to charge your USB devices. With the number of portable devices we use on a daily basis, and at the same time, steadily increasing - think phone, watch, e-reader to name a few - charging on the go is critical. Some docks will provide power to your peripherals but not keep your laptop powered. Be sure to read the fine print and understand the host charging options your selected dock will deliver. 

The OWC 14 port dock includes 4 USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the rear of the device and provides a high powered USB 3.1 port for convenient charging from the front of the dock. Not forgetting anything, it also caters for USB 3.1 Gen 2 devices providing easily accessible high powered USB charging. Connecting your Laptop via the Thunderbolt 3 connection will protect you from any inconvenient battery power warnings providing up to 85W, you can keep everything you need powered and available.

The fourth reason to love your dock is the Ethernet port. Providing easy access to your wired network and ensuring a ready connection to the internet and all your shared network resources an included ethernet port provides the ultimate in accessibility. Avoid the most common problems with Ethernet network access, loose cable connections, by keeping your dock permanently connected to your network saving you the hassle of finding and connecting that blue cable. Just connect your Laptop to your dock and so long as your dock is powered on you will be ready to go.

And finally number 5, perhaps the most important reason to add a docking station to your office workflow - your dock will compensate for any ports missing on your laptop that you need to connect to. Docks can provide easy access to your workhorse Firewire devices. A convenient way to access your SD cards and move digital assets from your camera to your storage solution. Easy web conferencing with Microphone and Headphone connections, additionally statically connect your digital audio device for the ultimate output. Not only does this mean you can confidently invest in the latest mobile computing devices regardless of the onboard ports available, it also ensures you have access to the fastest and latest data transfer methods at a price that is easy to justify. 

Before you purchase double check the dock you are about to buy has the ports to connect your required devices, and make sure you understand the charging capabilities to avoid disappointment. We couldn’t get by without our compact OWC 14 port Thunderbolt 3 dock. The perfect workflow partner for our new MacBook Pro (love, love, love!!) which includes only 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports - ughhh, please @Apple why no USB ports?? Happy docking :)

But Wait. What about when you are out of the office? We haven't forgotten the importance of convenient connectivity when you are on the go. Check out the OWC USB-C Travel Dock for the ultimate compact travel companion. 

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