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Add monitors and other tech to your laptop with one of these docking stations

There are a ton of reasons laptops are worth the money you shell out for them. For starters, you get the portability of a tablet with the power of a computer, all rolled into one compact device.

As useful as laptops are, there are some downsides to these portable machines — like the fact that most are generally short on real estate when it comes to extra ports or screen space.

But did you know you don’t have to be limited by the ports your laptop offers? Docking stations are a simple way to make your laptop work better for your needs. Incorporating one into your setup will open up possibilities that you didn’t know existed. Here are some of our favorite laptop add-ons.

Docking stations are useful tools

Most laptops come with pretty standard features: one or two USB ports, one HDMI port and maybe something a little more modern, like a Thunderbolt and USB-C port. That can make it difficult to be as productive as you would be on a PC.

RELATED: How to give your home office a much-needed upgrade

Well, a docking station helps you add all those necessities you’re used to like a full-sized keyboard, mouse, more USB ports, external monitors — you name it. Just want to add a couple of monitors? There are options for that. Looking to expand USB ports or add ethernet connectivity? Docking stations can do that.

Think a docking station could be a good fit for your needs? Here are some options.

UtechSmart Triple Display USB-C Hub/Docking Station

Want a portable and powerful — but compact — docking station? This UtechSmart Triple Display USB-C Hub/Docking Station could be a good fit. It works with any USB C-capable laptop and offers a slim design, plug-and-play connectivity, along with a number of other features.

Other features include:

  • Thunderbolt 3 port (supports PD charging)
  • Gigabit RJ45 port
  • Two 4K capable HDMI ports
  • VGA port
  • SD/TF card slot
  • 2x USB 3.0 Ports
  • 2x USB 2. 0 Ports
  • Works with MacBooks and PCs

Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station

Are you a PC laptop user who wants to add more high-def monitors to the mix? This Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station offers you multiple outputs for monitors, with built-in HDMI and DVI. It connects with a single USB 3.0 connection and is compatible with Windows 10, 8.x, 7, and XP systems.

This docking station comes with lots of other features, too, which include:

  • Dual video outputs
  • Wired Gigabit Ethernet
  • 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • Four USB 2.0 ports
  • Built-in HDMI and DVI outputs, each supporting 1920×1200 resolution
  • DVI to VGA adapter
  • DVI to HDMI adapter

VAVA USB C Hub 9-in-1 USB-C Adapter

Looking for a docking station that has a ton of ports and charges your laptop? This VAVA USB C Hub 9-in-1 USB-C Adapter does both while offering you the ability to add whatever accessories you need to the mix.

The other notable features include:

  • Ethernet port
  • Charging port
  • HDMI port
  • SD card reader
  • TF card reader
  • USB 3. 0 Ports
  • 4K video adapter

Targus Universal USB 3.0 Docking Station with Power

If multiple monitors and high-def graphics are your thing, this Targus Universal USB 3.0 Docking Station with Power is a good option. It offers dual video ports — one HDMI and one DVI-I — that deliver crystal clear video and graphics to two monitors. You’ll also get integrated universal laptop charging and it’s compatible with most 90W PC laptops.

The other notable features include:

  • DVI to VGA adapter
  • HDMI to DVI adapter
  • Two USB 3.0 ports for your USB 3.0 peripherals
  • Four USB 2.0 ports for all of your USB 2.0 items
  • Universal charging
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Audio in/out ports
  • Security lock slot

CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock

If you need a docking station with plenty of charging power for your laptop, this CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock is a solid choice. It provides up to 87W to charge your laptop while powering all of your USB peripherals. You can also use it to connect up to two [email protected] monitors to your laptop.

The other features include:

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 40Gb/s ports
  • DisplayPort 1.2 port
  • Five USB-A ports
  • One USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) port
  • One USB-C 3.1 Gen2 (10Gb/s data only) port
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • UHS-II SD card slot (SD 4.0)
  • Optical audio (S/PDIF)
  • 3.5mm stereo audio in/out
  • Vertical or horizontal orientation
  • 87W of power

VAVA USB-C Docking Station 12-in-1 Type C Hub

Another solid option for creating the best remote workspace possible is the VAVA USB-C Docking Station 12-in-1 Type C Hub. This docking station is a fully functional laptop companion, and it comes with all the functions you need to create your ideal setup: ultra high-def video capabilities, microphone and audio slots, and dual display capabilities.

Other notable features include:

  • HDMI port
  • Auto-Adjusting Ethernet Port: The RJ45 port recognizes your internet speed and automatically adjusts to the highest level
  • USB 3.0 port
  • USB 2.0 port
  • SD/TF card
  • 3.5mm audio & microphone slot
  • One PD (type C) output to charge your phone
  • Mirror mode

Dell USB 3.0 Ultra HD/4K Triple Display Docking Station

Dude, you’re getting a Dell (docking station)! If you have a Dell laptop and want a docking station that is designed for gaming, the Dell USB 3.0 Ultra HD/4K Triple Display Docking Station would be a good fit for your needs. This sleek, compact docking station offers the ability to add an extra monitor and lots of other accessories to your setup.

Other notable features include:

  • Highspeed connectivity
  • Support for Ultra HD 4K displays
  • Two USB 2.0 ports
  • Three USB 3.0 ports
  • Headphone input and output
  • One HDMI DVI adapter
  • Designed for Inspiron 15 7567 Gaming, 5459; Latitude 13 7350, 3350, E5270, E5460, E5470, E5570, E7270, E7470; XPS 13 (9343)

AmazonBasics USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Dual Monitor Docking Station

Want to add two new monitors to your Windows laptop? This AmazonBasics USB 3.0 Universal Laptop Dual Monitor Docking Station gives you the capability to do that. You’ll also get tons of ports to add whatever accessories you want to the mix — an external hard drive, a mouse, keyboards, printers. You name it, you can add it.

Other features include:

  • HDMI and DVI-I ports
  • DVI-I to VGA adapter
  • Two USB 3.0 ports
  • Four USB 2.0
  • RJ-45 Gbit Ethernet network port
  • Audio/input
  • Ethernet network

StarTech Dual 4K Monitor Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock with Displayport (Mac & Windows)

Need a docking station but worried about space? This StarTech Dual 4K Monitor Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock with Displayport (Mac & Windows) is a compact solution to help you create the best workspace in tight spots. Whether it’s a cluttered desk or a small apartment, this docking station is made to fit your needs — literally.

Other standout features include:

  • Dual 4K 60HZ display port
  • TB3 port supports 40Gbps of throughput and 4K resolution at 60Hz on two DisplayPort monitors (up to 4096 x 2160P)
  • USB 3.0 & GbE port
  • Easy setup
  • Works with all TB3-equipped laptops: MacBook Pro, Dell, Lenovo, and HP

QGeeM Docking Station with Keyboard

If you want a hub and a keyboard 2-in-1, this QGeeM Docking Station with Keyboard is the right fit. It also offers a ton of ports so you can customize your setup to your heart’s content.

Other notable features include:

  • 11 interfaces
  • Ultra HD 4K Output and Dual Display
  • Three USB 3.0 ports (5Gbps)
  • RJ45 Ethernet port (up to 1000Mbps)
  • 3.5mm audio
  • 1080P VGA
  • Micro/SD card reader (up to 2TB)
  • Easy access to external storage devices
  • Two display modes: Mirror and Extend

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