The Lanq PCDock is a capable monitor stand with RGB lighting, a fingerprint reader, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB connections. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why.
- Desktop hub with all-in-one functionality
- Lanq is a brand that belongs to the Lanq family. USB-A
- 2 USB3.1 ports, 2 USB-C ports, fingerprint reader, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0
- Its firmly designed Qi charging pad is convenient as a monitor stand
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a fingerprint reader are all required by drivers.
- RGB lighting is not compatible with anything
The Lanq PCDock is billed as the next generation of display stands. Is it everything you could want from a monitor stand, with a built-in USB hub, fingerprint sensor, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chip, Qi charger, and RGB lights—everything but the kitchen sink? Most likely not.
Disclaimer on Crowdfunding
With only a week left on the campaign, the Lanq PCDock is looking for backers on IndieGogo. Back it now and save 40-50 percent off the final price. Alternatively, don’t.
The usual caveats apply: crowdfunding is not a pre-order system, and the corporation has no legal obligation to provide anything to backers. Lanq, or Langqun Yunchang (Shenzhen) Electronics Co, looks to be a brand-new firm with no past goods or crowdfunding experience.
As a Monitor Stand, PCDock
Lanq PCDock monitor stands come in two sizes: Pro and Max, which differ only in width. The largest Max size (as tested) is 43.5W x 8.62D x 3.27H inches (1105W x 219H x 83D mm), whereas the smaller Pro is 24.8 inches wide (631mm).
A monitor stand has the advantage of freeing up desktop space by allowing you to keep a keyboard, mouse, and other accessories underneath it when not in use. The Lanq PCDock comes in two sizes, each with 2.24 inches (57mm) of clearance underneath. That’s just about enough for a mouse, but it’s just short of what an Xbox controller requires. In truth, it’s deceptively slight.
Though I “only” had a 55-inch TV to test with on my gaming workstation, the PCDock Max size is designed to allow multiple monitors side-by-side. It handled it admirably, never crumbling during the test. The mainframe is constructed of an unnamed metal (presumable steel) and feels strong, with ABS plastic legs on the side.
If I had two or three monitors, I’d probably install them on adjustable VESA mounting arms so that I could regulate the angle and tilt better.
The PCDock stand, according to Lanq, would lift the display to the proper viewing height, reducing neck strain. This assertion may be a little presumptuous, but I can’t help but think monitor manufacturers have already factored this pretty fundamental design component into their devices. Like many others built for office use, my work monitor has a height-adjustable stand.
RGB (RGB) Lights
Although RGB lighting isn’t for everyone, it is a crucial Lanq PCDock. These are pixel LEDs, not a single color strip, and come in either 60 or 120 LEDs, depending on the size of the dock. The remote control is included and some appealing, albeit slightly distracting animations.
You can also use static colors or slow down the animations to make them less unpleasant. If you’re into that type of thing, which I am, it looks rather remarkable. I’d like all of the RGBs.
Unfortunately, the lights and the desktop controller software do not work together. That small remote control is your only way to control how the lights behave, so don’t lose it.
Gamers who already have a lot of RGB gear are likely to have invested in a system like Razer Chroma, Corsair iCue, or even Philips Hue. As a result, this will not appeal to them.
As a node
The Lanq PCDock also functions as a generic hub, with two USB-A 3.0 connections and two USB-C 3.2 connectors that support rapid charging. However, because these aren’t Thunderbolt, don’t expect to use them to power a display.
The outer right-hand side of the dock appears to be an unsuitable location. I’d prefer to keep my keyboard and mouse cords off the desk by hiding them behind the monitor stand. Perhaps useful as a quick access point for inserting a USB stick, my Razer keyboard performs the same thing.
Ultimately, you wouldn’t buy the Lanq PCDock for the USB hub alone, so I won’t go into detail about it; it’s a nice to have an auxiliary function.
Qi Charger 10W
A smartphone-sized rubber pad inserted into the top surface on the right-hand side also marks the location of the 10W Qi charger.
This worked as predicted, prompting a wireless charge when my phone was placed on top of it. However, I didn’t find it that useful. When I’m at my computer, my modern smartphone usually lasts me the entire day. The battery doesn’t last an entire day only while you’re out and about, using GPS, or filming videos. If that’s the case, I’m not at my desk right now.
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a fingerprint reader
Because each of these features requires a separate driver download, I’ve grouped them together. The drivers come as a RAR file, which you should unpack to reveal a lot of DLLs, and an INF file, which you should locate and right-click on, then select “Install” to install. I’m hoping for a lot better in 2021. The bare minimum should be a single driver package with an install executable. Furthermore, the notion that drivers are required for such basic functionalities is nearly unheard of anymore.
It’s even more perplexing when you realize that you either need to have Wi-Fi or an Ethernet connection connected in to enable the Wi-Fi capabilities. Will you unplug your speedier Gigabit Ethernet connection in favor of a less stable and potentially sluggish Wi-Fi connection? I seriously doubt it. Only use this Wi-Fi adaptor if your current one is over a decade old and only supports 2.4GHz. Lanq’s dual-band Wi-Fi is said to go up to 5.8GHz.
After a lot of tweaking, the Bluetooth chip (BlueSoleil) functioned temporarily and allowed me to connect to an Xbox controller. Until Windows detected a problem and disabled the driver. Each time it needed to be fixed, it required a restart and a USB dance, which looked like considerably more effort than it was worth.
I was unable to test the fingerprint reader, but I do not believe this is the fault of Lanq. Years ago, I removed Windows login, and now it won’t allow me to re-enable it. I don’t need to encrypt my desktop in any way because I mainly use Windows for gaming. It can supposedly be used for Windows Hello, but there doesn’t appear to be any deeper connectivity, such as web payments, like on my Macbook Pro. However, if this is the one thing that sells you, you can definitely justify the rest of the bundle as well.
Is the Lanq PCDock worth your money?
The Lanq PCDock appears to be aimed towards professionals and office workers on the sales page, but the RGB lighting suggests gamers. However, the RGB lighting isn’t compatible with any current RGB system, so gamers won’t be interested unless this is their first experience with this type of lighting.
It would be a lot more useful if the lighting was exposed to the linked PC system via a third-party “works with Razer Chroma” plugin or something similar. As it stands, the dock’s reliance on a single point of failure (a tiny remote control) makes it impossible to endorse this feature.
Then there’s the fact that drivers for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and the fingerprint reader must all be downloaded separately. I can’t recall the last time I had to install drivers for such fundamental functions. So far, my Bluetooth dongle experience on Windows 10 has been “plug and play.” Even if the Lanq Bluetooth had worked dependably for me, which it didn’t, a Pluggable plug-and-play adapter costs less than $10 and is a little larger than the USB port it connects to.
The whole thing looks like it was put together as part of a competition to “create your ultimate monitor stand.” It’s a jumble of nice-to-have features (if they functioned), but none of them stand out individually, and the total is, well, less than its parts.
The Lanq PCDock is a solid monitor stand with nice lighting and a USB hub, but the value for money isn’t there at $200.
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