Best Thunderbolt 3 Docks - Top Docks For Maximum Performance

Best Thunderbolt 3 Docks - Top docks for maximum performance

Last updated: 20 October, 2021

Models Considered 9 Models Considered
Hours of Research 150 Hours of Research
Experts Interviewed 20 Experts Interviewed
Reviews Analyzed 180 Reviews Analyzed
While the laptop versus desktop debate may never come to a satisfactory conclusion, everyone can agree that high performance is always in high demand, often above all else.

The introduction of Thunderbolt made this a reality, and now anyone looking for peak performance on a variety of peripheral devices should consider the best Thunderbolt 3 Docks.

Devices with a Thunderbolt port can introduce power users to a whole new world of high-speed connectivity, simplified operation, and multi-screen efficiency that puts every hacker movie of the mid-90s to shame.

Just as the best gaming routers transform your online dominance, and the best Ethernet switches ensure you never lose that precious connection again, Thunderbolt 3 Docks can give you everything you need for efficiency and productivity with only one cable.

It's not really magic, of course, but it works so well and with such ease–; often without the need for pilots and installations -; you will be disappointed not to have invested sooner. There is no time like today, after all.

Best Overall
CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock

15 connectivity ports, including USB ports, Power 85W Laptop Charger, Extended single 5K or dual 4K displays

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10
TechscoreTM
?
Limited Stock
StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Dual 4K 60Hz display capability, 4 output ports including Gigabit ethernet and USB, Bus-powered design ensures easy portability

Read Our Review
9.9
TechscoreTM
?
Best Compatible
Cable Matters Aluminum Thunderbolt 3 Dock

AC powered docking station with 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 cable, Dual 4K display at 60Hz

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9.8
TechscoreTM
?
Dual Monitor 4K
Kensington SD500T Thunderbolt 3 Dock

40Gbps data transfer speed, Ultra HD resolution for single or dual display with up to 60fps

Read Our Review
9.7
TechscoreTM
?
Graphics Dock
Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock

Integrated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics cards boost performance, Data transfer speed up to 40 Gbits / s

Read Our Review
9.6
TechscoreTM
?
HDMI/DisplayPort
Thunderbolt 3 Plug-in Docking Station

Allows expansion of up to 5 daisy-chained devices for wider connectivity, 4 USB ports for multiple file transfers, and connection options

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9.5
TechscoreTM
?
Male to Female 3-in-1
CableDeconn Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt)

Daisy-chained up to 6 Thunderbolt 3 devices, Support for a single 5K monitor or two 4K displays

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9.4
TechscoreTM
?
Best Color
OWC 14-Point Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Includes 14 connectivity ports, including multiple USB, SD, and DisplayPort ports, Multi-display with dual 4K or single 5K

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9.3
TechscoreTM
?
80W Charging
Cable Matters Gen 2 USB C USB C Docking Station

Simultaneous reading and writing to UHS-II SD and microSD cards, 10Gbps charge for USB-C connectivity

Read Our Review
9.2
TechscoreTM
?

1. CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock - Best Overall

Features
  • Dimensions: 6.81 x 5.35 x 4.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.32 pounds
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Caldigit TS3 Plus is our top pick for a Thunderbolt 3 Dock which, with 15 ports, is the most complete option you can find, at least until the next generation hits the market. 

Included in these ports are 5 USB-A and 2 USB-C with 5Gb / s transfer speed for fast and efficient file transfer and allowing you to keep everything organized and stored with ease.

The Ultra High Speed ​​II SD card slot offers other transfer options, making it a great option for those who use portable storage solutions every day and are also in a hurry than most people. 

This achieves the optimum transfer speed of 312 Mb / s, and the stressful days of slow migration are over. You could even say it's as fast as love at first sight.

For gamers, developers, or those who think that switching between tabs or windows doesn't have the time (and who has the time?).

The multiple display options are reliable and so high definition that you can see the wind blowing through the shadow of the characters in the background at 5 o'clock. 

For efficiency and productivity, it's crucial for easy, hassle-free work, and the throughput of 40Gb / s is unparalleled, giving you a premium solution.

While multiple ports will go a long way in reducing the footprint of desktops, this high power demand also requires more power, so the adapter is large, perhaps too large for smaller spaces. 

However, this is a minimal compromise, and if you're a creator or a savvy user, we're sure you won't have too many issues with this.

Easy to set up and easy to use, this intuitive option could solve all your connection, usage and productivity problems. Also, be sure to check out our guide to the best USB hubs.

2. StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 Dock - Limited Stock

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎10 x 4.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Weight: ‎5.1 ounces
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The StarTech Mini Thunderbolt 3 is a compact option for those shopping on a budget or looking for a smaller, more portable option without needing all the bells and whistles of the bigger, more expensive models. 

Despite its size, this Thunderbolt docking station offers a variety of useful functions, including Dual DisplayPort with 4K, 60Hz and 50Hz display to keep it traditional and use a single screen.

Considered by some to be a single cable to rule them all, it has a Gigabit Ethernet port and a single USB-A port (along with the two display ports we already mentioned). 

This USB makes installation simple and flexible, and the lack of a power cable port means it's one of the most portable options out there. 

Bus-powered technology helps prevent tangled cables and trip hazards in your local cafe, but the included cables take the hassle out of sourcing yourself.

With its small size, you won't get the versatility of larger sized products and those with more demanding projects or needs might get better results looking elsewhere. 

However, small projects or those who just need a one-stop-shop for more varied connection options for the home office or playroom can still find a lot to like about it.

It is compatible with Mac and Windows, among other operating systems, and its size is deceptive. 

It's still well built, which is great when you need to use it on the go. It's also powerful, providing a superb 85W to ensure reliability, although the more ports you make us the less efficient it will be.

3. Cable Matters Aluminum Thunderbolt 3 Dock - Best Compatible

Features
  • Dimensions: 8.8 x 3.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Weight: 3.31 pounds
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For versatility and range, the Cable Matters Thunderbolt 3 Aluminum Docking Station is a great choice for those looking for something reliable.

But with enough power to ensure you don't get what just becomes a shiny aluminum paperweight after just a few months. By using AC outlets, you are assured of having a constant power source without having to worry about random blackouts or lack of charging. 

For those who need reliability as much as connectivity options, this is crucial for efficiency and productivity.

Like other Thunderbolt options, it offers a dual 4K 60Hz display for ultra-clear graphics, while multiple USB ports provide input options for all your peripheral accessories while leaving enough space to plug in more. gadgets if necessary. 

Not only is this convenient, but it also eliminates many of the delay and sluggishness issues that you will encounter with "older" technology, even if that technology is only the previous generation.

If you are working with large video and image files, this is a great choice due to the fast read and write speed for data transfer.

While Thunderbolt and USB-C are traditionally fast compared to older systems, even this update wipes them out. 

They are so fast, in fact, you are unlikely to notice them, so be prepared to receive lots of notifications telling you that some files already exist on your computer.

Because of its versatile compatibility, it's a great choice for a MacBook Pro Dock as well as your slightly more specialized Windows, Linux, or other systems. 

We know most people have their favorite system, but if you ever feel like investigating life on the other side of the fence, this Thunderbolt Dock is a perfect companion for easily switching allegiances.

Our handy guide to the best USB drives features more great products like this.

4. Kensington SD500T Thunderbolt 3 Dock - Dual Monitor 4K

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎8.6 x 3.4 x 1 inches
  • Weight: ‎3.6 pounds
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Compatible with Macs, the Kensington SD500T Thunderbolt 3 Dock offers 40 Gbps of data transfer speed, Ultra-HD resolution whether you're using dual or single displays, and 85W of power for Consistent performance and fully reliable, worry-free or at least worry-free.

With 85W of power, it's easy to charge your Macbook even in tough situations and you stay connected at all times.

While peripherals including your keyboard and mouse connect easily and save space on your Macbook for other connection options. 

The fast ethernet port is also crucial for those who need a reliable network connection, while the speaker or headphone port lets you enjoy your favorite tunes without interruption, which is really all everyone wants. , no ?

The single-cable design makes it easy to organize everything, and you can also use it with other Thunderbolt 3 docking stations for other connectivity options, although this isn't always necessary due to the multiple ports monitor. 

Speaking of these ports, although they are not always present there are cases of flickering and blinking, but it could just be an issue with the cables provided and easily fixed by purchasing more.

While that flickering isn't a problem right off the bat and while it's only compatible with your Mac, it's still a Thunderbolt 3.

Docking station that offers great versatility, high performance and a sleek and sophisticated style that blends seamlessly with your other Apple products.

5. Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock - Graphics Dock

Features
  • Dimensions: ‎9.77 x 0.89 x 5.12 inches
  • Weight: ‎1.51 pounds
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For gamers, the Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock is a marvel, that's why we picked it out of the best Thunderbolt 3 docking stations. By using an NVIDIA 1050 graphics card, you get high performance.

Quality during CPU intensive gaming while enjoying the convenience of your laptop or ultrabook. These results are what you typically expect from a desktop, but they are brought to you on a portable device.

For unparalleled display options, you can project up to three monitors with flawless clarity in 4K resolution and even fast-paced gaming -

Especially those that generally don't support your laptop's graphics -; blast from around 32 fps to over 100.

The only problem with the dock is the lack of daisy-chaining, but given its specific design this is to be expected and if you need a maximum connection options, there are other choices.

It's not just for gamers, and while it enhances your nighttime adventures, it can transform your professional job as well. Video editing and content creation are the tasks that lend themselves best to this. 

With higher frame rate, sharper, clearer and more vibrant graphics, it brings creative projects to life like in a 21st century fairy tale.

Battery isn't an issue either, with the Lenovo providing continuous power through the Thunderbolt and USB-C ports, so while you play in your living room to relax after a long day, it gives you the flexibility to turn on the power.

Your favorite game wherever you want. We advise you not to make a habit of doing it at work, but you do it yourself. 

Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best microSD cards.

6. Thunderbolt 3 plug-in docking station - HDMI/DisplayPort

Features
  • Dimensions: 3.74 x 7.28 x 1.26 inches
  • Weight: 14.6 ounces
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The easily pluggable Thunderbolt 3 plug-in docking station is another option for those who, after successful Thunderbolt systems, might not be sure it's right for them just yet. 

For the price, this is a decent entry-level Thunderbolt 3 dock, and while it doesn't come with everything you'll find on more complete models, it does. an ideal candidate for increasing efficiency and performance.

This is in part due to expandability, which allows up to 5 additional Thunderbolt devices to daisy-chain. 

While novices are unlikely to need such options, if you need multiple docks, the Plugable's price makes it an economically viable choice. 

The multiple ports are also very convenient and ensure that you don't want additional connection options. This is both a USB port (types A and C) and an SD card slot for fast data transfer.

DisplayPort +++ offers vivid colors and smooth transitions between images, making it an ideal tool for video editing and an adequate but not perfect substitute for games. 

However, this port is not compatible with all devices, so check before purchase to make sure it will work with your machine.

It also does not load the host system when in use. If you are working for a dedicated base this won't hurt you too much (although it can be inconvenient), but if you are looking for a solution in the field, there are better options. 

This, combined with the potential incompatibility with some systems, means that while decent, there may be better options for some of them. 

If not, and you have a Thunderbolt 3 compatible Mac or Dell laptop, this is a low-cost alternative.

7. CableDeconn Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt) - Male to Female 3-in-1

Features
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.7 x 0.39 inches
  • Weight: 0.32 ounces
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The CableDeconn Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt) Dock is a next level option that's both sleek and stylish and compatible with virtually any device you plug into it. 

That's good news for everyone, and if nothing else can at least reduce the tired debates between Mac and PC to a quiet whisper. It's much better when everyone gets along, right?

Its features: you will have the ability to daisy-chain up to 6 devices, which is the highest we've found so far, and it supports 5K (single screen) and 4K (dual screen) displays for Stunning graphics and vibrant colors that you would normally only find in real life (and sometimes not yet). 

You will also find yourself good at easy and super fast file transfer. There are 5 USB-A ports, 1 SD card slot and Gigabit Ethernet to ensure consistent and reliable connectivity for those research days that never seem to end.

It's also simple to set up, with an easy plug and play system that cuts down on time wasted with pilots, registrations and all the other nonsense you get from other options. 

Thunderbolt charging operates at 60W, and fits snugly on the desk, and is also light but sturdy, and the lights on board are bright enough that you can always see it on.

However, there is a belief that its performance doesn't quite justify its price tag, especially when compared to similar products that cost a lot less. 

This is mainly due to the lack of a DisplayPort output, because while HDMI still delivers great pictures, it's not the same, is it? Be sure to also check out our guide to the best USB C cables.

8. OWC 14-Point Thunderbolt 3 Dock - Best Color

Features
  • Dimensions: 9.06 x 3.5 x 0.98 inches
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
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With 14 ports not the biggest but the most important, the OWC 14-point Thunderbolt 3 Dock offers great versatility and helps you control all your charging, transfer and connectivity options from a secure hub and reliable. 

These ports include DisplayPort, USB, and SD, and DisplayPort ensures that the screen is large, giving you the ability to work on multiple projects (or games) at once without getting confused.

The SD slot transfers data at speeds of up to 312 Mbps, while all other necessary office accessories (microphone, mouse, keyboard, etc.) connect reliably to boost productivity to levels that you could use. scare a bit at first. 

To ensure you're always ready to get to work (or work for downtime), the 85W power rate is an optimal option for laptops and similar small machines.

However, while you will get a dual 4K and 5K single screen connection, these aren't the most reliable around and have an annoying blinking habit, which considering the price is something you would have liked to avoid. 

Again, however, this is not a catch-all, and you can buy longer replacement cables which should hopefully fix the problem. If you are willing to take the risk, then go for it.

It's not as easy to use when comparing other options, so unless you have experience with docking stations (or somebody knowledgeable about docking), it might be wise to put your money elsewhere. 

The learning curve is not that steep that anyone who wants to learn as they go cannot, however, so it is still a decent option, and it may even prove to be beneficial for you to spend a few hours sorting everything out.

9. Cable Matters Gen 2 USB C USB C Docking Station - 80W Charging

Features
  • Dimensions: 7.85 x 2.76 x 1.02 inches
  • Weight: 2.84 pounds
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So, even if it doesn't say Thunderbolt 3 in the title, the Cable Matters Gen 2 USB C Docking Station is still Thunderbolt 3 compatible.

It brings fast read and write speeds thanks to UHS-II SD cards. and microSD cards at the same time.

Which is great if you're in a rush, and even if you're not in a rush, it's still cool, because we all hate waiting around.

It supports dual monitors on Windows (10 or later) and Linux, and while it is compatible with a Mac, it is not dual monitor compatible, so you will just have to design your worksheet.

Calculation on which no one will comment during the meeting on one screen. Such is life. 

If you're lucky enough to have a Windows laptop (most of you, we assume), you'll see vivid, high-resolution graphics that will light up your home office like never before.

Maybe it's a good thing that it doesn't offer multiscreen capability with Macs too, as bandwidth allocation has the annoying habit of freezing it. 

This is, of course, the opposite of what you want or need, whether you are working or playing or just trying to have 5 minutes to yourself while watching a video on YouTube or Twitter or Facebook or wherever the cool guys are right now.

While it's cheap, it performs well, so well, in fact, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it costs a lot more than it does. 

It's relatively easy to install, too, and the ports are placed in an intuitive way, keeping your most used accessories on one side.

Making it easy to access and plug in other cables you may not be using. -be not as often.

How we chose our selection of Thunderbolt 3 docks

Brand - There are many brands out there that produce a Thunderbolt hub, so we had to narrow the wide range of those brands down to the ones we know and can trust.

These brands are renowned for providing high quality products you can count on. 

While it is not always advisable to follow the most popular brands, we believe that if you are working with electronic devices it may be best that way.

Reviews - We would love to have time (and double or even triple screen) to test these Thunderbolt docks properly, but we're not. Instead, we used some of our research to look closely at the reviews. 

These are written by those who have had the time to test their Thunderbolt Dock and can give us an idea of ​​the most important aspects like connectivity, reliability, and even size and weight.

Price - The best technology is never cheap, but just because something is expensive doesn't mean those who can't afford high-end options should be left out. 

Finding a range of affordable Thunderbolt docks for anyone who wants one was key here, and while they weren't cheap, they should still be affordable for those interested.

Features to look for in Thunderbolt 3 Docks

Read / Write Speed ​​- Fast read / write speeds are essential for efficiency and productivity, especially when working with video files. 

This is essential for content creators and video editors, who can get a lot out of Thunderbolt 3 Docks if they use them.

Charging - Providing charging options for your laptop can reduce cable clutter and ensure that your battery will never run out no matter where you are. 

This facilitates portability and allows you to work on the go.

Entries - The more entries the better, most of the time. If you need multiple displays, many peripherals and file transfer devices, more inputs allow you to avoid plugging and unplugging your devices from your docking station and maintaining your productivity. 

If you need more, you can also daisy-chain your device.

Display Options - The best Thunderbolt 3 docks offer at least two displays, and other more specialized options can offer up to three.

Which is ideal for gamers, coders, and anyone who likes to keep the clutter low. of their screen. You can choose between DisplayPort or HDMI ports.

Compatibility - Thunderbolt 3 is only compatible with Thunderbolt 3 ready devices. New technology, this can minimize your options (although you can find a Thunderbolt to USB accessory). 

The best Thunderbolt 3 docks work with Windows, Mac, and other operating systems, but others are more restricted. 

Check before you buy so you don't end up with a machine that doesn't work with your machine.

Size - Office real estate is often overlooked when shopping for new gadgets, but if you can't fit your Thunderbolt Dock on the desk, you won't get the most out of it and it could hurt other accessories. 

Its size could also affect its portability, with heavier options being more restrictive when you carry it around.

FAQ

Are Thunderbolt 3 and USB C the same?

Yes, sort of, no, not really. In fact, they look so similar to each other that you are unlikely to be able to choose any of them from a list of potential cable criminals the first, second, or even the third time, if you had to do it right.

THE TEAM THAT WORKED ON THIS REVIEW

ADRIANA

ADRIANA

(Writer)

AMANDA

AMANDA

(EXPERT CONSULTANT)

DIANA

DIANA

(SENIOR EDITOR)

ELYSE

ELYSE

(Writer)

JENNIFER

JENNIFER

(PHOTOGRAPHER)

JOSEPH

JOSEPH

(CONTENT MANAGER)

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