Top 5 Docking Stations for the Remote Worker on the Go (2024 Edition)

Posted on February 16, 2024 in review

As a remote software engineer who travels the world, I rely heavily on my Macbook. But being constantly on the move often means working from different setups, which can be frustrating. A good docking station can transform your temporary workspace into a productive hub. Here's my take on the top 5 Macbook docking stations in 2024, considering both portability and functionality:

1. CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt 4 Dock (Best Overall)

This powerhouse reigns supreme for its sheer number of ports (18!), offering ultimate expandability. It boasts two Thunderbolt 4 ports with 98W charging, perfect for running multiple displays and keeping your Macbook juiced. It even has an SD card reader and Gigabit Ethernet, ideal for photographers and those who need wired connections. While on the pricier side, the TS4 is a future-proof investment for the well-connected professional. However, keep in mind it requires a Thunderbolt 4 compatible Macbook to leverage its full potential.

2. Anker 575 USB-C Docking Station (Best Value)

For those seeking a feature-rich dock without breaking the bank, the Anker 575 is a fantastic choice. It provides a good balance of ports, including dual HDMI for extending your display, an SD card reader, and multiple USB ports for connecting peripherals. The 85W USB-C charging ensures your Macbook stays powered while you work. While it doesn't offer the cutting-edge Thunderbolt connectivity of the TS4, the Anker 575 is a versatile and affordable option for most remote workers.

3. Plugable 4K USB-C Docking Station Triple Monitor with 100w Charging UD-ULTC4K (Best for Multi-Monitor Enthusiasts)

Do you crave a desktop experience with a triple-monitor setup? Look no further than the Plugable UD-ULTC4K. This dock allows you to connect three displays, perfect for programmers, designers, and anyone who thrives on a sprawling workspace. It provides a good selection of additional ports, including USB-A and a dedicated SD card reader. With 100W Power Delivery, it keeps your Macbook charged while powering your displays. However, this dock utilizes DisplayLink technology, which may not be ideal for all users due to potential compatibility issues.

4. Belkin Connect USB-C 6-in-1 Core GaN Dock (Best Compact Option)

For travelers seeking a super-portable dock, the Belkin Connect is a great choice. Its compact design makes it easy to toss in your bag without adding bulk. While it offers fewer ports than some of the other options, it provides the essentials: HDMI for an external monitor, USB-A ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. Additionally, it boasts fast 96W charging thanks to GaN technology. This dock is ideal for those who prioritize portability and a minimalist setup.

5. Satechi Dual Dock Stand (Best with Stand)

This sleek option from Satechi combines a docking station with a vertical stand for your Macbook. This not only saves you desk space but also improves ergonomics. It offers a good selection of ports, including USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, and an SD card reader. While it doesn't have the most ports or the highest charging wattage, the Satechi Dual Dock Stand provides a stylish and space-saving solution for those who prioritize aesthetics and organization.

Choosing the Right Dock for You

The best docking station depends on your individual needs. Consider how many ports you need, what kind of displays you'll be connecting to, and your budget.
If you crave the most power and expandability, the CalDigit TS4 is king. For a balance of features and affordability, the Anker 575 is a solid choice. For those who prioritize portability, the Belkin Connect is a great option. And if you want a stylish space-saving solution, the Satechi Dual Dock Stand is a compelling choice.

Happy travels and productive docking!