usb c docking station

Choosing amid hubs and docks for use with MacBook

For connecting computers, such as the MacBook, to monitors and other devices, we nowadays have more options than we ever used to have earlier. Hubs are one option at one’s disposal, and usb c docking station is the other.

It is however difficult to tell a hub apart from a dock, because either has an overlapping functionality. The two look similar as well.

However, usage of a hub is unique from a dock. Either makes a valuable device in the technological world of today.

When we consider the case of the latest models of MacBook, we come to see that they use only two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports for connectivity. This is primarily done to ensure that the device is slim and easy to carry.

However, the disadvantage that comes with the arrangement is that one cannot directly connect the MacBook to other peripherals. This is not acceptable through the current times, with the present day MacBook users’ requirements in mind. One should be able to connect all devices to MacBook and use it charge one’s phones. Connecting an external monitor to the MacBook should not pose a difficulty.

Hubs and docks are primarily intended to meet this functionality. Here, we discuss the two and the differences among them.


A hub is intended to expand the number of ports over your device. A MacBook uses USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 connector ports. So, one should invest in a USB-C multiport adapter for a MacBook.

Hubs or multiport adapters frequently use USB-A and USB-C adapters. They act as splitters and make it easier to plug in more devices over the multiple ports available.

Characteristically, the hubs derive power from the MacBook or any other laptop that one uses. They make a highly feasible arrangement due to their high portability and light weight.

Using a hub can be particularly useful for one, in case he uses several USB-A accessories, such as an external mouse or external hard drives.

In several cases, a user can also derive maximum value from MacBook with the use of cable convertors. They may be used for converting DisplayPort to passive VGA, USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet and Mini DisplayPort to HDMI in 4k.

In the event when a user requires an additional connection to fit in a setup, cable connectors make a great choice to go ahead with.

Hubs, overall, expand the power of the existing ports. This works for desktops, and also for different laptops, such as the MacBook. Hubs are plug and play devices and hence do not need any additional devices for their operation. They make additional ports available for connecting or charging a peripheral. Even while some hubs support A/V signals, there are cases wherein a user may have to set up a docking station, such as usb c docking station.

usb c docking station

Docking stations elaborate your portable device’s functionality. It then transforms into a replacement for a desktop.[ hdmi hub]

Characteristically, a docking station will connect via USB-A, USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. The entire setup then receives the workstation power.

In most cases, a docking station will make two to four USB-C ports and four to eight USB-A ports available. Each of the ports will charge your devices quickly. The ports will be independently powered by the dock instead of the laptop or the MacBook. This is one of the primary differences between a hub and a dock, such as usb c docking station.

Docking stations are frequently powered by a power socket on a wall. This is unlike the case of most hubs. Docking stations hence power up both, your laptop and the peripheral devices.

Video output, over an usb c docking station is frequently standard. It supports one or more monitors. A docking station can support a range of video ports, varying from DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, DVI, to mini DisplayPort. Alternately, usb c docking station can support SD card readers, several audio connections and Gigabit Ethernet.

usb c docking stations are sometimes hybrid solutions that support both USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 laptops. They come in to be particularly useful when hot-desking and mixed laptop deployments are needed.

They may feature a power splitter that allows charging both, USB-C and USB-A devices simultaneously. They may have several power tips.

What is a better choice for me, hub or dock?

Utility of both, hubs and docks is high. Choosing among the two is no debate at all. The selection should instead be made depending on the purpose for which one needs to use a hub or an usb c docking station.

A docking station will transform your laptop or MacBook into a desktop powerhouse. This will deliver a matchless connectivity for your smart home or office.

You’d have the power to use any screen in the building as a 4K extended monitor. Similarly, one could handwire a printer, a reliable internet connection, and so on. In many ways, usb c docking station is similar to a second engine for your computer.

Hubs, on the other hand, have their own utility. We nowadays use a range of USB devices which we can connect to the MacBook. A few among them include smart and app-based power banks, external hard drives, SD card readers, smartphones, tablets, 2D and 3D printers, and smart home hubs.

MacBook has insufficient ports, and a hub will make additional ports available for connecting your devices.

 Mounting docking stations

A few of the docking stations provide facility for mounting itself at places such as behind a monitor, monitor stand or arm, or to a cubicle partition wall. This keeps the workstation clutter free. 

Macbook pro standing dock

Macbook pro standing dock sounds similar to a docking station, but is not. It is instead a stand over which one can keep the Macbook when one uses it when seated at a bed. It’s an ergonomic arrangement that keeps the back comfortable.

In some cases, macbook pro standing dock can be set at different angles for placing the MacBook in the most comfortable way. At times, the height is adjustable. Folding and stationary alternatives are both available. Folding alternatives are space saving arrangements.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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