MacBook Pro Docking Station Suggestions

benboy12

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2014
164
22
Hi All,

I am about to order a 13' MacBook Pro. I would like to set up dual external displays to have the extra screen real estate for when I work from home. What are some options that you would recommend? I don't need anything too crazy. I would just like something that supports dual displays, has an ethernet port, a USB-C port for charging, and maybe a couple of extra USB ports for some peripherals. I like something options that are visually appealing like the Hengedocks (I don't see one compatible with the latest MacBook Pro line-up), but practicality is more important ascetics.

Also, will there be any issues with the integrated graphics in the 13" MacBook Pro powering the dual displays?

Thanks!
 

pallymore

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2013
206
269
Boston, MA
I'm also looking for this -

Although, currently it's not possible to run two displays in extended desktop mode with the current gen mackbook pros. You will have to ge a separate adapter, that plugs into the other side of the macbook.
With docking stations, you can only duplicate the displays.

the elgato tb 3 dock looks promising but it's $300 :/
I'm also looking at the Tethered dock from Hengedocks - but currently their usb-c version ships in Sept and the TB-3 dock does not have a release date yet :/
 
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benboy12

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 5, 2014
164
22
I'm also looking for this -

Although, currently it's not possible to run two displays in extended desktop mode with the current gen mackbook pros. You will have to ge a separate adapter, that plugs into the other side of the macbook.
With docking stations, you can only duplicate the displays.

the elgato tb 3 dock looks promising but it's $300 :/
I'm also looking at the Tethered dock from Hengedocks - but currently their usb-c version ships in Sept and the TB-3 dock does not have a release date yet :/
So would my solution be to plug Monitor 1 into a dock which is also plugged into one of the USB-C ports on my MBP and then plug monitor 2 directly into one of the other USB-C ports on my MBP?
 

pallymore

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2013
206
269
Boston, MA
The Kensington Thunderbolt 3 dock claims to be able to drive two 4k monitors at 60hz - one through displayport and the other via the usb-c connector. https://www.kensington.com/us/us/4491/k38239us/sd5000t-thunderbolt-3-docking-station
I'm certain it only support mirroring - this is an Apple issue, not hub/dock maker's.
currently you cannot extend your desktop to two or more monitors with a single thunderbolt 3 port on the macbook. (daisy-chaining is also NOT supported)
you have to use two TB3 ports on the MBP itself (not the dock) to use multiple displays in extend desktop mode.

Kensington's product page is misleading - in there FAQ page for the dock they stated:

>Please note that there are some computers which are known not to support dual monitors in Extended Mode. Two examples are the Apple MacBook and the Google Chromebook Pixel. These computers will only support one extended monitor and if two monitors are connected to the dock, both of the external monitors will go into Mirror Mode.
[doublepost=1501127189][/doublepost]
So would my solution be to plug Monitor 1 into a dock which is also plugged into one of the USB-C ports on my MBP and then plug monitor 2 directly into one of the other USB-C ports on my MBP?
yes, you will definitely need a separate adapter for your 2nd monitor.
 

thasan

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2007
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are you sure about this? do you have any source/personal experience to back it up?
the information i seem to be getting is that with a kensington (or elgato/caldigit), u should be able to run two displays. extended, not mirrored. i am about to place an order on the kensington one actually.
also, i beliebe kensington one is made only for mac.
 

dipan

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2008
82
20
I'm certain it only support mirroring - this is an Apple issue, not hub/dock maker's.
currently you cannot extend your desktop to two or more monitors with a single thunderbolt 3 port on the macbook. (daisy-chaining is also NOT supported)
you have to use two TB3 ports on the MBP itself (not the dock) to use multiple displays in extend desktop mode.

Kensington's product page is misleading - in there FAQ page for the dock they stated:

>Please note that there are some computers which are known not to support dual monitors in Extended Mode. Two examples are the Apple MacBook and the Google Chromebook Pixel. These computers will only support one extended monitor and if two monitors are connected to the dock, both of the external monitors will go into Mirror Mode.
[doublepost=1501127189][/doublepost]

yes, you will definitely need a separate adapter for your 2nd monitor.
You are wrong about this. One TB3 display will drive two 4K displays (not mirrored). You only need to use both TB3 ports if you want to run two 5K displays.
 

carestudio

macrumors 6502
Aug 6, 2008
491
70
I am using CalDigit TS3 dock and can confirm it can do dual extended displays. It does everything OP needs. MBP charging, more USB ports, Ethernet. The design is very solid and appealing. It's much cheaper than Belkin and Kensington but more features.
 
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thasan

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2007
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I am using CalDigit TS3 dock and can confirm it can do dual extended displays. It does everything OP needs. MBP charging, more USB ports, Ethernet. The design is very solid and appealing. It's much cheaper than Belkin and Kensington but more features.
Thanks! Any performance issue, flickering etc?
 

english_mac_in_ny

macrumors newbie
Aug 10, 2017
28
9
I have both the Elgato dock and the Belkin dock. I couldn't get the TS3 dock when I wanted to purchase a dock a few weeks ago, only Elgato and Belkin were able to actually send me their docks. The TS3 Lite was available but it doesn't charge the Mac, so it's useless for me. The ones from Elgato and Belkin are the same, they use the same Intel reference design and have the same hardware inside (and the exact same power supply is packaged with it).

I kept the Elgato as it was cheaper. You need a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 to DisplayPort cable to get a second DisplayPort port for plugging in your secondary external screen, but that allows you to use 2 displays up to 4K each.

It does what it is supposed to do, and it's the cheapest of them all. No flicker, all working well.

You'll need this cable to plug in the additional screen: https://www.startech.com/AV/usb-c-video-adapters/usb-c-displayport~CDP2DPMM1MB There are adapters out there too, but very few companies make trustworthy accessoires, one of them being Startech who make very high quality cables. With some random adapter from Amazon it's hit and miss.

Do not get the Kensington dock. It has bad reviews and apparently the manufacturer support does not exist, and it just doesn't work well.
 

thasan

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2007
1,088
1,019
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I have both the Elgato dock and the Belkin dock. I couldn't get the TS3 dock when I wanted to purchase a dock a few weeks ago, only Elgato and Belkin were able to actually send me their docks. The TS3 Lite was available but it doesn't charge the Mac, so it's useless for me. The ones from Elgato and Belkin are the same, they use the same Intel reference design and have the same hardware inside (and the exact same power supply is packaged with it).

I kept the Elgato as it was cheaper. You need a USB-C Thunderbolt 3 to DisplayPort cable to get a second DisplayPort port for plugging in your secondary external screen, but that allows you to use 2 displays up to 4K each.

It does what it is supposed to do, and it's the cheapest of them all. No flicker, all working well.

You'll need this cable to plug in the additional screen: https://www.startech.com/AV/usb-c-video-adapters/usb-c-displayport~CDP2DPMM1MB There are adapters out there too, but very few companies make trustworthy accessoires, one of them being Startech who make very high quality cables. With some random adapter from Amazon it's hit and miss.

Do not get the Kensington dock. It has bad reviews and apparently the manufacturer support does not exist, and it just doesn't work well.
Thanks. I almost got the kensington one! Elgato is not available in my university product list so I will get the Belkin one :)
Fingers crossed! :)
 

english_mac_in_ny

macrumors newbie
Aug 10, 2017
28
9
They're the same, it's just that Belkin charges an extra premium on top of the general premium dock prices, so it's the more expensive option. Also be aware that some units have a high beeping sound, at least that is reported in a few reviews (mine makes a noise occasionally, but is silent mostly), so perhaps get it from a place where you can do a return easily in case you need to exchange the unit for a different one.
 
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kuruptmixer

macrumors member
Dec 28, 2011
47
1
Are there any other recommended docking stations for the new Macbook Pro?

Looking for:
  • 2-3 USB Ports
  • Support dual displays
  • Ethernet
 

JamesBerry

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2009
69
12
My OWC dock arrived Friday from Scan (with Euro power connector). Scan have just sent a UK connector (the dock power brick has a cloverleaf power connector so I didn't have a spare) and it's up and running.

So far, very good! Nice that everything works from one cable!
 

Paofneele

macrumors newbie
Feb 24, 2012
2
0
My OWC dock arrived Friday from Scan (with Euro power connector). Scan have just sent a UK connector (the dock power brick has a cloverleaf power connector so I didn't have a spare) and it's up and running.

So far, very good! Nice that everything works from one cable!
Can you charge your MBP with that dock?
 

brerlappin

macrumors member
Oct 14, 2012
61
13
I second the OWC. Just set mine up a couple of days ago and it's amazing!

I have a 15" MacBook Pro so the 60W charging takes a little longer but it hasn't been an issue.

The only thing I would recommend would be to buy the next size longer cable. The included one is way too short, at least for my setup.

My OWC dock arrived Friday from Scan (with Euro power connector). Scan have just sent a UK connector (the dock power brick has a cloverleaf power connector so I didn't have a spare) and it's up and running.

So far, very good! Nice that everything works from one cable!
 
Last edited:

thasan

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2007
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1,019
Germany
I second the OWC. Just set mine up a couple of days ago and it's amazing!

I have a 15" MacBook Pro so the 60W charging takes a little longer but it hasn't been an issue.

The only thing I would recommend would be to buy the next size longer cable. The included one is way too short, at least for my setup.
Have you connected two external extended (not mirrored) displays with it?
 

thasan

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2007
1,088
1,019
Germany
Yes, I have a 13" with touch bar, and it charges fine
And how about elgato?
Just found out I have to pick from:
1. Elgato
2. Belkin
3. Kensington
I want to connect two external displays in extended config. Both are not thunderbolt so I will use adaptors.
Is anyone here using elgato or belkin with this config?
 

dipan

macrumors member
Jan 22, 2008
82
20
My OWC came in yesterday replacing a tangled mess on my desktop. It’s working wonderfully with two 5K displays, but does get pretty hot.

Yes, I have to plug the dock in on one side and the second monitor on the other, but totally worth it. It even seems to work with Boot Camp and Windows 10.

My only issue is the consistent function of by USB speakers, which do not seem to work consistently after sleep-wake cycle. I’m going to try the optical input as I suspect it’s a speaker issue rather than a dock problem.
 
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brerlappin

macrumors member
Oct 14, 2012
61
13
I use the MacBook Pro's monitor and two HP Envy 27" 4K monitors (one via USB-C, the other via Mini DisplayPort) all running simultaneously (not mirrored) without any issues.

Have you connected two external extended (not mirrored) displays with it?
[doublepost=1504157336][/doublepost]OWC's site has a driver update that might help with that.

If not, it's supposed to be for iPad charging and for using the Apple SuperDrive.

https://www.owcdigital.com/assets/products/thunderbolt-3-dock/OWC-Thunderbolt-Dock-Driver.dmg.zip


My OWC came in yesterday replacing a tangled mess on my desktop. It’s working wonderfully with two 5K displays, but does get pretty hot.

Yes, I have to plug the dock in on one side and the second monitor on the other, but totally worth it. It even seems to work with Boot Camp and Windows 10.

My only issue is the consistent function of by USB speakers, which do not seem to work consistently after sleep-wake cycle. I’m going to try the optical input as I suspect it’s a speaker issue rather than a dock problem.
 
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