The Best Thunderbolt 3 Docks

The Best Thunderbolt 3 Docks

Our pick

CalDigit TS3 Plus

CalDigit TS3 Plus

The best Thunderbolt 3 dock

This dock has the most USB-A ports, plus USB-C ports and an SD card slot, and it can charge a 15-inch MacBook Pro at full speed or a 16-inch model at close to that.

Buying Options

$250 from Apple
$250 $210 from B&H

You save $40 (16%)

The CalDigit TS3 Plus has the most useful array of connections we found, starting with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, five USB-A ports, and two USB-C ports (one USB 3.2 Gen 1, one USB 3.2 Gen 2).1 It also has an SD card slot, a DisplayPort connector (which works with HDMI via an inexpensive adapter), Gigabit Ethernet, audio-in and -out jacks, and an S/PDIF jack for digital optical audio—the last one a rarity in these devices. And while most docks have a horizontal orientation, you can also position the TS3 Plus vertically to minimize its footprint. All current Apple laptops and desktops have Thunderbolt 3 ports, as do a lot of newer PCs, such as our top ultrabook picks; check your computer’s manual. If a cheaper USB-C hub or dock can’t meet your needs and you need the extra bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3, this CalDigit model has the best combination of ports, size, and shape we’ve yet found.

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Budget pick

CalDigit USB-C Pro Dock

CalDigit USB-C Pro Dock

Compatible with more computers

The USB-C Pro Dock doesn’t have a second Thunderbolt port like the TS3 Plus, and it includes fewer USB ports, but it works with both Thunderbolt 3– and USB-C–equipped computers.

Buying Options

$200 from Amazon

CalDigit’s USB-C Pro Dock is less expensive than the TS3 Plus but has most of the same features. It’s also designed to be compatible with computers that have USB-C but not Thunderbolt 3, making it a good fit if you need a dock that can work with lots of different kinds of computers. This dock has three fewer USB ports (three are USB-A, and one is USB-C), an SD card slot, two DisplayPort outputs, Ethernet, and audio, and it supports the same 85-watt power output. But it doesn’t have a spare Thunderbolt 3 port, so you can’t daisy-chain Thunderbolt devices. The USB-C Pro Dock is also larger than the TS3 Plus, but for the price, we think this model’s sacrifices are forgivable.

Also great

HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2

HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2

More modern ports, diminutive size

Two USB-C ports and a second DisplayPort output make this less expensive model worth considering if you don’t need a card reader or as many USB-A ports.

Buying Options

$250 from HP
$200 from Amazon

In addition to a middle-of-the-road three USB-A ports, the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 offers a second USB-C port, making this dock more useful if you have more modern accessories and don’t need access to as many older devices at once. It also includes two DisplayPort connectors, so you can attach two displays at the same time without taking up your Thunderbolt 3 port. We like its small cube shape and its low price.

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Our pick

CalDigit TS3 Plus

CalDigit TS3 Plus

The best Thunderbolt 3 dock

This dock has the most USB-A ports, plus USB-C ports and an SD card slot, and it can charge a 15-inch MacBook Pro at full speed or a 16-inch model at close to that.

Buying Options

$250 from Apple
$250 $210 from B&H

You save $40 (16%)

Budget pick

CalDigit USB-C Pro Dock

CalDigit USB-C Pro Dock

Compatible with more computers

The USB-C Pro Dock doesn’t have a second Thunderbolt port like the TS3 Plus, and it includes fewer USB ports, but it works with both Thunderbolt 3– and USB-C–equipped computers.

Buying Options

$200 from Amazon

Also great

HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2

HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2

More modern ports, diminutive size

Two USB-C ports and a second DisplayPort output make this less expensive model worth considering if you don’t need a card reader or as many USB-A ports.

Buying Options

$250 from HP
$200 from Amazon

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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