Docking station deference

Hello everyone
I’m trying to understand the difference between docking stations
Looking to have an easy way to connect 2 monitors to my laptop for work

At work i have dell docking stations that is thunderbolt and has a 240w adapter but as my laptop is razer i have to use the laptop original charger as well

So my question is just for monitors +maybe normal usb use

Does that make a difference to buy either:

1- usb c 3.1 vs thunderbolt (considering price difference)
2- powered vs usb PD usb c

Options like:
Dell docking with power adapter
These amazon 40-50$ 12 in 1 dockings

Please help me choose
Thank you so much

As I understand it, the benefit of a dock is that you can leave all your stuff (keyboard, monitor(s), ethernet, printer, external USB drive, scanner, whatever) attached to the dock, and just connect one cable when you get back to have access to all your devices. Usually the more capable the dock, the more expensive it is. If all you wanted was just the monitor(s) then ideally some sort of a USB4/Thunderbolt daisy chain could work great, but I think these are not ideal for gamers because they may be more latent.

Thunderbolt hasn’t always been commonly present on Windows machines, but if Thunderbolt is an option for you, I think that would be my first choice. USB4 is about to become the new hotness, and that is basically Thunderbolt, and has the highest data rates. The downside is that the higher data rates mean shorter cables and more expensive cables. With higher bandwidth it means you can do more at once, so if you choose to have ethernet and three monitors and a removable drive all running at once, you should have all the bandwidth you’ll need.

This one seems to be pricey, but the one everyone wants

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Thanks for the details

So you say choice should be thunderbolt 3 or 4 at least

What about the ones with adapter or the ones with no power adapter ?

Are these 60-70$ good or should I opt for a 200-300$one

The most use for me is 2 monitors and keyboard

I don’t have any experience to relate unfortunately, as am not a laptop user and don’t have any Thunderbolt yet.

Having power supply from the dock is all about the “one single connection” lifestyle. If you don’t care, then maybe the hub can be powered by the laptop and that’s fine. I don’t know if power delivery is going to work for your laptop if it needs more than 90W or so, because I think that is the limits of current power delivery systems. (You might get more with a dock specifically designed for your laptop, if such a beast exists.)

If you commute or otherwise travel frequently, there is probably a benefit to leaving the power brick in the laptop bag when get home, thus preventing the possibility of ever forgetting to pack it when you’re packing up to go the next day. (Some people are more methodical and some are more haphazard :wink: ) I would want the dock to power by device if it could, but that is just my preference because if I was buying a dock I would want the one wire lifestyle.

If you’re not needing all the bells and whistles but can find a thunderbolt dock that supports the two monitors you need that is well rated, go for that.

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I have an Anker dock that I purchased on Amazon that is Thunderbolt 4 and works with my Dell Lattitude.

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USB-C docks will work with devices with USB-C and Thunderbolt ports, Thunderbolt docks will only work with devices that support Thunderbolt, if you connect it to a USB-C port that doesn’t understand Thunderbolt, it won’t be recognised.

I learnt that the hard way with my Lenovo TB dock, I didn’t read the instructions closely, just plugged it into the USB-C port that the power supply also goes into, logical to my mind… But that port is just USB-C 3.2 and power, the second USB-C port is the only one that was Thunderbolt compatible!


Does your Razer have Thunderbolt? Not clear from the first post. If not, and you had no immediate plans to upgrade I’d get a decent USB-C dock with passthrough charging and enough connectors for your displays. Read the specs carefully, 'cos the passthrough wattage varies.

A compact GaN charger is a good idea for travelling. I leave the full-size one that comes with the laptop at home plugged into the dock.


That’s a very good experience trick to know
Backward compatibility is a nice to have

Yes my Razor has 3 thunderbolt ports
And my Omen has 1 thunderbolt port

So for the time being I’ll use my older USBC docking with my 2 other monitors for work and my 4k monitor for home

For office i have 3 27” monitors connected to a dell thunderbolt docking

Do you think i can use 2 usb c docking to hook 3 monitors 2 to one and the other to 1

No technical reason why that wouldnt work AFAIK

Although unless you need the extra ports from a second hub, couldn’t you just get a USB to DP/HDMI cable and connect the 3rd monitor straight into the laptop?

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That should work. The maximum number of attached displays (including the internal) that can be used at the same time comes down to the laptop, how many displays it can output to. USB-C docking stations channel DP emulation from the laptop to the ports on the docking station, there is no graphics chip in it, like there used to be with DisplayLink on USB-A docking stations.

3 displays should be possible, but you might have to choose between the internal display and one of the external displays, depending on the laptops capabilities.

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