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StarTech USB 3.0 Dual Video Laptop Docking Station Review

Manufacturer: StarTech

Introduction and Design

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We’re always on the hunt for good docking stations, and sometimes it can be difficult to locate one when you aren’t afforded the luxury of a dedicated docking port. Fortunately, with the advent of USB 3.0 and the greatly improved bandwidth that comes along with it, the options have become considerably more robust.

Today, we’ll take a look at StarTech’s USB3SDOCKHDV, more specifically labeled the Universal USB 3.0 Laptop Docking Station - Dual Video HDMI DVI VGA with Audio and Ethernet (whew). This docking station carries an MSRP of $155 (currently selling for $123 on Amazon.com) and is well above other StarTech options (such as the $100 USBVGADOCK2, which offers just one video output—VGA—10/100 Ethernet, and four USB 2.0 ports). In terms of street price, it is currently available at resellers such as Amazon for around $125.

The big selling points of the USB3SDOCKHDV are its addition of three USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet—but most enticingly, its purported ability to provide three total screens simultaneously (including the connected laptop’s LCD) by way of dual HD video output. This video output can be achieved by way of either HDMI + DVI-D or HDMI + VGA combinations (but not by VGA + DVI-D). We’ll be interested to see how well this functionality works, as well as what sort of toll it takes on the CPU of the connected machine.

Continue reading our review of the StarTech USB3SDOCKHDV USB 3.0 Docking Station!!!

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From left to right, the rear of the unit features ports for DVI-D, HDMI, VGA, Gigabit Ethernet, headphones and microphone, and USB 3.0 (x2).

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Meanwhile, the right side of the unit hides a third USB 3.0 port, while the left side has a Kensington Lock port, the USB 3.0 port to connect to the laptop, and a DC 5V port to power the docking station.

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The unit is built entirely from plastic, but feels sturdy enough. The footprint is just 263 x 87 x 34 mm, with a weight of just 289 g. It’s nondescript enough for the typical business setting, featuring just a single StarTech logo on the top. The bottom of the device holds two large rubber feet on either side which do an adequate job of holding the dock in place (though once lots of cables are plugged in, the weight of the cables does tend to lift the unit off the table—a common problem with all docking stations that do not rest underneath the machine to which they are attached). StarTech’s two-year warranty covers the hardware in case of any issues.

The only thing you’ll find in the box, by the way, is the charging cable (with USA and Euro tips) along with a USB 3.0 cable for use in connecting to the PC.

January 14, 2014 | 09:28 AM - Posted by TinkerToyTech

Steve, Could you please look into the "Pluggabe" USB 3.0 dual monitor Dock, it's one I've been looking at.
Thanks,
TinkerToyTech

January 21, 2014 | 03:22 PM - Posted by ButtonPuncher (not verified)

I've got the Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock and I really like it. Using it on a Surface 2 Pro mirroring the display. It's pretty flawless. I wonder how it compares directly to the StarTech?

BP

September 12, 2014 | 09:04 AM - Posted by gmasters (not verified)

Good Port replicators/docking stations are needed (I am wary that this is one), but can be problematic. last one I tried was asus and my thinkpad twist crashed when plugged in (blue screen and I had to do some rebuild- scary/yuk). For some reason the pc builders seem to think they can move away from dedicated docks at the same time that increasing sales of ultralight/hybrids with not enough ports and mini portsthat all need adapters are happening- very frustrating. I looked at lenovo and certain models seem highly rated- but those seem to indicate which thinkpad they are compatible with and mine is not listed...again very frustrating. the world seems to be filling up with lots of innovative new tech that is all half baked in terms of providing total solutions.

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