So, after interviewing Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy (Women in Tech Interview), CEO of Plugable, we discussed the products, specifically one of the docking stations that she was using.
I have a box full of dongles that I use, but for some reason, I’ve never invested in an all-in-one docking station. My reasoning was something to do with mobility and performance issues.
Lynn suggested that I try the docking station and sent one for me to review, so I did.
I plugged it into the wall and connected all of my devices to the dock. Then I plugged it into a single port on my computer. I left my power charger plugged directly into the computer. I still had 2 open ports left on the computer.
To my surprise, everything actually worked perfectly.
Over the years, I have been through many dongles. I lost a few. Some did not work. Some got extremely hot. Could one docking station be the solution to dongle hell?
Soon, I discovered that I did not need my power charger as I can simply charge off of the dock. Now that I only charge from the docking station, I got rid of one more cable. Today, I only use one of my 4 ports with 5 devices plugged in!
The docking station’s model number is TBT3-UDZ, and it costs between $339 and $474.99.
Here are the company’s specifications:
- 100W MAX POWER—up to 100W (96W certified), while also safely charging laptops needing 85W or less. Maximize compatibility with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C systems
- 14-IN-1 EXPANSION—Thunderbolt 3 dock expands to 2x HDMI or DisplayPort monitors, 1x USB-C (10Gbps), 1x USB-A (10Gbps), 5x USB 3.0 (5Gbps), Gigabit Ethernet, Audio In/Out, SD/microSD all through a single 2.6ft Thunderbolt 3 cable (40Gbps)
- VERSATILE DUAL 4K DISPLAYS—This laptop docking station’s dual monitor design is the first Thunderbolt dock to offer a choice between dual HDMI and DisplayPort displays. Drive up to two 4k 60Hz displays via Thunderbolt 3 or two 1080p 60Hz displays via USB-C
- MAC AND WINDOWS—Compatible with Intel CPU Thunderbolt 3 Macs like the MacBook Pro 16″ and Windows systems with Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C like the Surface Pro 7, Surface Laptop 3, Lenovo Yoga, HP Spectre, Dell XPS (USB-C and Apple M1 systems will operate at reduced functionality)
- 2 YEAR WARRANTY—We love our Plugable products, and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support
- Up to 100W Power Delivery to host (96W Certified)
- 2x DisplayPort and 2x HDMI ports (for a total of two displays)
- 7x USB ports: 1x USB-C 10Gbps port, 1x USB 10Gbps port, 5x USB 5Gbps ports
- 1x SD card slot
- 1x MicroSD card slot
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet port
- 1x Combination audio input/output jack
So, what’s my final take?
This product looks durable and well-designed. After a few months in use, it’s still working perfectly. Depending on the available space, you can have it upright or horizontal.
It was extremely simple to set up right out of the box. Simply plug and play. So far, I have not noticed any performance issues and my desktop’s clutter has been significantly reduced.
Here is my score card breakdown:
- 100 % for user-friendliness
- 100 % for performance
- 100 % for footprint size
- 90% for value for money (especially when you add up the cost of getting several individual dongles)
- 100% for quality (so far, so good in terms of quality (3 months in)
- 50% for packaging (it was good for the product’s size and weight, however, it did not appear to be particularly eco-friendly, so perhaps they should focus on that next)
- 100% for built-in power charger (especially if you lost your charger)
This is a BUY NOW item in my opinion. I’m hoping it stands the test of time. I’ll keep you updated.
I had never heard of this company before. When I went to their website, I was surprised at how many different accessories they have. I can’t comment on these other products because I’ve never used them.
I don’t have a discount code for you, but you can check them out at https://plugable.com/. You could try telling them Julian from eChannelNEWS referred you, and they might give you a discount (good luck with that).
MSPs and Channel Partners, I know you prefer to sell managed services, but these types of products will have a significant impact on your customers’ user experience. Today, any reseller can set up a webstore to sell products (If you need assistance setting up a webstore, visit https://www.whscorp.com/home/). It appears that both Ingram Micro and Synnex already carry the brand, allowing you to fulfil orders directly from them in real-time).
There is no reason why the channel cannot sell these products. If I were an MSP, I would make sure that every laptop comes with a set of solid (tested) accessories, including a docking station. If you do this, you might be surprised at how much more money you make than if you just sold the computer plus the improvement in customer satisfaction.