Because of their superior performance and compatibility with a variety of other interfaces, the best Thunderbolt 4 hubs and docking stations are gradually displacing their Thunderbolt 3 predecessors. Many of these docks will give more ports, charging, and more, even if your PC has Thunderbolt 3, USB 4, or USB-C. Let’s take a look at some of the best Thunderbolt 4 hubs and docks on the market if you’re ready to turn your laptop into a full workstation.
- In a TB4 dock, the most ports are available Lock slot for added security
- UHS-II SD and microSD card readers were integrated in DisplayPort 1.4.
- Up to 98W charging power for the host
- To create place for DP 1.4, one TB4 port has been removed.
- There is a lower warranty than some of the rivals.
- Availability is spotty.
The CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt 4 docking station is a worthy successor to the CalDigit TS3 Plus docking station. Since my CalDigit TS4 review, I’ve been using the dock on a regular basis, and I can still say it’s the pinnacle of modern docking. It’s built in the same way as the TS3 Plus, with three solid aluminum components held together by four strong screws. For vertical usage, it includes a rubber cushion on the bottom, and additional rubber feet can be added to the ribbed sides if you want to use it horizontally.
The TS4 has the most Thunderbolt 4 ports of any dock currently on the market. The dock’s 18 ports are split between the front and back, with the host Thunderbolt 4 port on the front and the other two downstream Thunderbolt 4 ports on the back. Why not four TB4 ports in total? One was sacrificed in favor of a DisplayPort 1.4 connection. Other features include four USB-A (10Gbps) connections, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, USB-C (10Gbps), and dual 3.5mm audio connectors in and out on the dock’s back. In the office, a Kensington lock slot is ideal.
A USB-A port, a 3.5mm audio combo, dual USB-C ports (one with 20W of charging power), and UHS-II SD and microSD card readers can all be utilized at the same time on the dock’s front. The dock can accommodate two 4K displays at 60Hz refresh rates or one 8K display at 60Hz refresh rate. The dock can offer up to 98W of power when connected to the host laptop.
Due to the dock’s popularity, availability is spotty. For the time being, the best results can be found by visiting CalDigit’s official website.
- Four USB-A 3.2 ports are added (Gen 2)
- Three Thunderbolt 4 ports are added.
- Aluminum construction for long-term use
- A more reasonable pricing
- Size is small.
- There is no Ethernet.
- There are no SD card readers available.
- Traveling with a large AC adaptor is difficult.
CalDigit’s Element Hub is yet another outstanding docking solution, earning a spot in our best laptop docking station list. I found the CalDigit Element Hub to be the ideal high-performance accessory for everything from an eGPU to a RAID storage system to several high-resolution screens when I reviewed it.
The Element hub is smaller and less expensive than some of the other Thunderbolt 4 options, so it’s a smart choice if you’re short on desktop space. It does require a large AC converter, so don’t expect to take it on the road without it taking up a lot of space.
The host laptop plugs into the dock’s side, revealing seven more ports. Four USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2) ports with 10Gbps speeds and 7.5W charging power are located on the front edge. The AC input and three Thunderbolt 4 connectors with 40Gbps speeds and 15W charging capacity are located on the back edge. Keep in mind that the host laptop will receive up to 60W of charging power when connected.
For even more connections, daisy-chain the Element hub with a larger dock (such the TS3 Plus or TS4), and the reversible design provides you more desk arrangement possibilities. The Element hub can support up to dual 4K displays at 60Hz in extended or mirror modes, a single 8K display at 30Hz, or a 5K Thunderbolt display at 60Hz in terms of monitor support. Expect read speeds of up to 3,000MB/s when connecting high-speed external storage. If you don’t need a lot of ports and only want to add USB-A and Thunderbolt 4, this is a nice dock that isn’t as pricey as some of the other options.
- Warranty of three years
- SD card reader and Ethernet are integrated, as well as a host charging power of up to 90W.
- Three TB4 ports downstream
- It’s possible to mount
- It is more expensive than alternative solutions.
- It takes up extra room on your desk.
If you need a permanent solution and have plenty of desk space, the SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 dock is a wonderful option. It’s a little bigger than the Element hub, but it has a more diverse set of ports. It also doesn’t cost nearly as much as our top option, despite having fewer ports. This dock will undoubtedly be an excellent choice if you require Ethernet, a UHS-II SD card reader, or a 3.5mm audio jack. The two lock slots and bracket mounting option, according to my Kensington SD5700T review, make it suitable for a public office where plenty of desk space isn’t always available.
It uses Thunderbolt 4 to connect to the host and adds 10 ports, including one USB-A 2.0, three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2), and three Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports. There’s support for a single 8K monitor at 30Hz or dual 4K displays at 60Hz, and you can get up to 90W charging power back to the laptop (ideal for PCs with dedicated GPUs that demand more power).
A Kensington lock slot and a Kensington Nano lock slot are included in the dock for added security. There are mounting options available if you don’t want to keep the aluminum dock on your desk. The SD5750T is also optimized for the latest Surface PCs, such as the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop Studio. If you have the latest from Microsoft, it’s one of the greatest Thunderbolt 4 docking stations.
- The RGB underglow illumination is very nice.
- Some tables may be better suited to the three downstream Thunderbolt 4 Black finish.
- Support for dual 4K @ 60Hz displays
- The host can receive up to 90W of charging power.
- Only one USB-A port compared to other options
- Warranty of one year
Razer appears to have a Thunderbolt 4 dock and just about any other device you can think of. And, true to Razer’s goal, it’s a high-performance, RGB-drenched choice. Yes, even your docking station can have a lovely Chroma glow to make your workspace appear even better. It was evident after a few weeks of trying the dock for my Razer Dock Chroma review that this is the appropriate attachment for laptop gamers.
The dock has roughly the same port layout as the Kensington SD5700T, albeit it lacks the front-facing USB-A 2.0 port. Thunderbolt 4 provides three downstream Thunderbolt 4 connections, a 3.5mm audio connector, a UHS-II SD card reader, three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2) ports, and up to 90W charging power to the host. If the standard black color doesn’t work for you, a Mercury option is now available.
Razer’s Chroma RGB works with other compatible Razer accessories to give you 16.8 million colors to play with. It’s worth noting that the dock’s guarantee is only one year.
- Less expensive than other options
- a wide range of ports
- Charging capacity of up to 90W for the host
- Slots for locks are included.
- Two-year warranty is only two years.
- More plastic is being used.
The Thunderbolt Dock from OWC is nearly comparable to the SD5700T from Kensington in terms of port choices, port layout, and lock slots. The price, on the other hand, is a significant distinction. It used to be much more noticeable, but with the SD5700price T’s reduction, it’s no longer as significant. What’s the deal with the price difference? The dock from OWC is made of a lot more plastic and comes with a two-year warranty. If none of these factors are important to you, you can have the same connectivity for a lot less money.
The dock uses Thunderbolt 4 to connect to the host laptop and provides up to 90W of charging power. On the front, there’s a USB-A 2.0 port, as well as a UHS-II SD card reader and a 3.5mm audio jack. Three Thunderbolt 4 ports are available downstream, as well as Ethernet, three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2) ports, and an AC outlet. It can support dual 4K monitors with a 60Hz refresh rate or a single 8K display with a 30Hz refresh rate.
On the side, there’s a Kensington lock slot and a Kensington Nano lock slot. This dock’s initial production run was quickly sold out, but more docks are on the way. It’s currently available for purchase on the OWC website.
The finest Thunderbolt 4 hubs and docks all support external monitors, have plenty of USB-A ports, and can charge a host laptop. The full-size docks will undoubtedly be a better alternative if you require an SD card reader or an Ethernet connector. The CalDigit TS4 is our best pick since it has the most ports and charging options of any TB4 dock.
However, if you don’t want to go with a full-size hub but still need USB-A ports and Thunderbolt 4 downstream, the CalDigit Element Hub is the best alternative. It’s less expensive than the other options, but it still works with external displays and can be daisy-chained with other docks if you need more.
If Thunderbolt 4 isn’t quite what you’re looking for, have a look at our list of the top Thunderbolt 3 docks for more choices. Check out our guide to Thunderbolt 4 vs. Thunderbolt 3 vs. USB4 vs. USB 3.0 for more information on the future of connectivity.
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