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Why Choose a Docking Station Instead of a Hub?

  • 2 min read

If you're torn between buying a USB-C hub or a docking station, or if you already have a hub and it's not living up to your expectations, then it could be time to move up to the pro leagues and get yourself a docking station.

Find out what's so great about docking stations below:

1. More Screens, Higher Resolution

Compared to a USB-C hub, docking stations are far superior when it comes to display options. Take Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station  for example. It's equipped with 2 HDMI ports plus a Thunderbolt 4 port to support 4K@60Hz to 3 screens simultaneously. And it can even display in 8K@30Hz to a single screen.

You won't find this level of display functionality in a USB-C hub.

What is Thunderbolt?

Thunderbolt technology combines data transmission, media display, and high-speed charging into a single port. To learn more about Thunderbolt technology check out this article.

2. Fast Charging

Docking stations also have a huge edge when it comes to power. Unlike USB-C hubs, Docking stations come with their own power adapter. This means you can connect your laptop to the dock to get a powerful charge, and you can even connect other devices like phones and tablets to the downstream ports.

3. Speedy File Transfer

USB-C hubs usually support file transfer speeds of 5 Gbps or 10 Gbps. That's enough for most people, but if you're someone that needs to do some heavy-duty file transferring, then a docking station can give you a noticeable speed boost. With up to 40 Gbps speeds, you'll never be left twiddling your thumbs as you watch a file slowly trickle from your thumb drive to your laptop.

Docking Stations vs USB-C Hub: The Stats

If you have high requirements for media display, data transfer, and charging, then opting for a docking station is a no brainer.

Our Top Picks for You

Product name Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C Hub PowerExpand 11-in-1 USB-C Hub PowerExpand 7-in-2 USB-C Hub
Price $299.99 $89.99 $99.99 $59.99
Picture Anker Apex Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station Piciture
PowerExpand 8-in-1 USB-C Hub Piciture
PowerExpand 11-in-1 USB-C Hub Picture
PowerExpand 7-in-2 USB-C Hub Piciture
Number of Ports 12 8 11 7
Number of Supported Displays 3 1 2 2
Supports Laptop Charging
Data Transfer 40 Gbps 10 Gbps 5 Gbps 40 Gbps
USB-A Port 2 × USB 3.1 Gen 2, 10 Gbps, 5V/0.9A
2 × USB 2.0, 480 Mbps, 5V/0.5A
2 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 2 × USB 2.0
1 × USB 3.0
2 × USB 3.0
USB-C Port 1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2, 10 Gbps, PD 3.0, 9V/2.25A 1 × USB 3.1 Gen 2 1 × USB 3.0 1 × USB 3.0
Thunderbolt Port 1 × Thunderbolt 4 downstream port, 40 Gbps, 8K@30Hz, 15W - - 1 x Thunderbolt 3 port, 40 Gbps, 5K@60Hz
HDMI Port 2 × HDMI 2.0, 4K@60Hz 1 x HDMI, 4K@60Hz 1 x HDMI, 4K@60Hz 1 x HDMI, 4K@30Hz
Display Port - - 1 x HDMI, 4K@60Hz -
SD/microSD Card Slot SD Card Slot: UHS-II UHS-I UHS-I UHS-I
Audio In&Out 3.5 mm 3.5 mm 3.5 mm -
Ethernet Port 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps -