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StarTech, Belkin, and ATEN USB-C Docks: Page 2 of 2

These USB-C docks and accessories can turn a laptop into a desktop workstation and more. By James E. Gaskin

ATEN 2-Port USB-C Gen 1 Dock Switch with Power Pass-through (Model US3310)

Image: Courtesy of ATEN

Those looking for a handy dock to add an external 4K monitor and USB peripherals should check out the ATEN 2-Port USB-C Dock Switch. The dock will also charge your laptop and a second device, like an Android phone or iPad. And for certain models of Android phones and newer iPads, you can duplicate the smaller device screen on your connected monitor. Supporting devices must run Android 8.0 and later. Samsung and Huawei phones support PC-like operations, while others just mirror the screen. There’s a handy remote so you can switch devices by pressing a single button.

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini HD

“Mini” is right, as the Belkin dock is about the size of a thick smartphone, so there’s barely room for all the handy ports. Those include two 4K HDMI 60 Hz ports, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, and Gigabit Ethernet.

Once we enabled the Thunderbolt utility, the Ethernet port kicked in and two external monitors became part of the system. The mix of high and low resolutions didn’t bother the Belkin. The USB ports handled keyboards, mice, and external storage like pros. About as simple a dual-monitor dock as you can find.

Belkin Multiport to HDMI Digital AV Adapter

Image: Belkin Mini courtesy of Belkin

Have new AV equipment to connect? Conference room TV or a new projector? The Belkin Multiport to HDMI Digital AV Adapter may solve a sticky connection issue.

Four different input options (Mini DisplayPort, USB-C, HDMI, VGA) and a high-resolution HDMI output that works for a TV or projector almost guarantees you can make Device A talk to Device B. It may be a funny-looking cable, but when it solves a problem, it looks beautiful.

With accessories and docks like these, both road warriors and office workers can transform their laptops into desktop powerhouses.

FEATURES AND PRICING (Specifications courtesy of StarTech)

StarTech Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Price … $337.99 MSRP, $275 street

Displays Supported … 2

4K Support … Yes

Audio … Yes

Fast-Charge Port(s) … Yes

Ports … 6; USB-C Device Port(s) and USB-C Host Connection                    

Maximum Digital Resolution

  • Thunderbolt 3 Laptops Dual Monitors: 4096x2160
  • USB 3.1 Type-C Laptops Dual Monitors: 1920x1080 and 1920x1200
  • USB 3.1 Type-C Laptops Single Monitor: 3840x2160

Type and Rate

  • Thunderbolt 3–40 Gbit/s
  • USB 3.1 Gen 2–10 Gbit/s
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1–5 Gbit/s
  • USB 3.0 5 Gbit/s

Host Connectors … 1 Thunderbolt; 3 USB-C (24-pin) (40 Gbps) receptacles

OS Compatibility … Windows 8, 10; macOS 10.15, 10.14, 10.13, 10.12

Power Source … AC adapter included

Cable Length … 27.6 in. [70 cm]

Color ... Black and Space Gray

Dimensions (HxLxW) …1.2 in. x 3.1 in. x 8.7 in.

Weight … 8.8 oz.

Warranty … 3 years

FEATURES AND PRICING (Specifications courtesy of ATEN)

ATEN 2-Port USB-C Gen 1 Dock Switch with Power Pass-through

Price ... $277 MSRP, $175 street

Computer Connectors

  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C Port 1 (Laptop)
  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C Port 2 (Android: Samsung Dex or Huawei Desktop model)

Device … 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A female

Video Output … 1x HDMI female

Power … 1x USB-C DC-in female

Input … Remote port selector

Video Resolution … Up to 3840x2160 30Hz

System Requirements

  • Windows 10 and above, USB-C enabled computer with DP Alt Mode
  • Mac OS X 10.12 and above, USB-C enabled computer
  • Android 8.0 and later, USB-C enabled smartphone with DP Alt Mode
  • iOS 12.1 and above (13 and above recommended), iPad Pro 3rd generation (2018)

Housing … Aluminum

Weight … 0.73 lbs.

Dimensions (LxWxH)… 5.63 in. x 4.69 in. x 0.94 in.

FEATURES AND PRICING (Specifications courtesy of Belkin)

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini HD (Specifications courtesy of Belkin)

Price … $139.99 MSRP, $115 street

Ports … 2x HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet

Cable Length … 6.8 in.

Dimensions (LxWxH) … 3.1 in. x 5.1 in. x 0.8 in.

Weight … 179 g/6.3 oz.

Belkin Multiport to HDMI Digital AV Adapter

Price … $149.99 MSRP, $115 street

Input Ports … Mini DisplayPort, USB-C, HDMI, VGA

Output Ports … HDMI Ultra HD 4K

Opening Image: Courtesy of StarTech.com

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

JAMES E. GASKIN is a ChannelPro contributing editor and former reseller based in Dallas.

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