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USB C Docks that assist for workstation duties?

#1

I’m currently looking at ways to improve my laptop. I could probably get a little board work done here and there, I could replace some plugs, or I could be lazy and fat and just buy a USB C dock.

ATM I’m looking for docks that could help turn my little MSI GS63VR into more of a workstation. Optimally one that has some audio ins and outs. But I really don’t know what counts as quality or over priced.

I’m looking for these features:

1/4 in jack for audio in (a hope, not needed)
audio in / out
at least 2X display out (more = better)
USB C passthrough
Ethernet
SD
3X USB minimum

Price doesn’t really matter as atm I’m just researching options. If its one of those 250 buck tower things that fits the bill, then I guess I’ll save up till I have it.

If anyone has a suggestion, please share. I really am unsure about what company where doing what with this because I don’t recognize brands like Anker or any of the newer companies. Hell I think of a dock I think of a business machine. I know lenovo has a dock with a 1050 in it, but does that only work on lenovo machines? (passthrough ideas)

Thanks

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#2

Looking at the Lenovo site, the dock says that it was only tested for an ideapad 720s and that other computer models might not work with it. Which is a bummer.

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#3

Lenovo being lame as usual.

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#4

Doesn’t matter if its Lenovo, Dell or HP they typically don’t like supporting other brands so you need to carefully research individual products–Dell’s Thunderbolt Dock is popular with MacBook Pro owners as its treated as a “business product”. Lenovo’s USB docks haven’t been very good on the normal USB 3.0 side pre-USB-C, I remember post-Thinkpad T430 there were many on NotebookReview grumbling about dock options as they wanted to avoid custom drivers–that dock with a 1050 would most likely be a very custom driver bundle specific to Lenovo and designed for Intel IGP only systems. Also your MSI has Thunderbolt which would support a better docking solution with more display port options & USB ports–price difference between USB-C vs TB is really small once you factor in multi-display support. As USB 4 gets closer, I’m sure there are going to be a greater level of USB-C/Thunderbolt dock solutions at more reasonable prices if you’re not in a huge rush. Most USB-C/USB 3.0 docks have a trade-off of either more screen support with fewer USB ports or more I/O and less display ports.

If you’re looking for a brand neutral dock, the best option is look at Targus or Pluggable’s USB-C docking station. Anker has a better reputation for phone cables and chargers, their computer products haven’t been very good as they seem to try too hard on design over function so you see multiple revisions of some products–they stand behind the products so warranty wise you shouldn’t worry.

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