These are the best docking stations for the MacBook Pro in 2021

These are the best docking stations for the MacBook Pro in 2021

For a few years, Apple sold most of its MacBook laptops without any ports aside from Thunderbolt and a headphone jack. While some might have considered that a push forward, it was undeniable that a lot of users still missed the classic ports they were used to. Because of that, using a docking station became almost mandatory for anyone with a MacBook Pro, and thankfully, tons of solutions arose.

With the recently-announced MacBook Pro 2021 models, Apple has finally brought back a decent supply of classic ports. Out of the box, you get HDMI, an SD card reader, and a MagSafe charger that’s going to be much safer than a simple USB Type-C connector. But if you have one of the previous MacBook Pro models, and even if you have a newer one, you might still want a docking station to take the capabilities of the MacBook Pro even further.

Now, docks can simply be powered by a USB Type-C/Thunderbolt port, but one thing that’s been constant with MacBooks is specially designed docks that fit with the whole design of the original chassis. Because we don’t yet have docks designed for the new 2021 MacBook Pros, we’re going to save those kinds of tailor-made docks for the end of this list. For now, let’s take a look at the docking stations you can use with any modern MacBook Pro.

    Anker Apex 12-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Dock

    Versatile Thunderbolt 4 dock

    If you want a powerful dock that looks the part, the Anker Apex is a great choice. With a Thunderbolt 4 connection, it can charge your laptop at up to 90W and it gives you 12 ports including Gigabit Ethernet, multiple USB ports, HDMI outputs, and Thunderbolt daisy chaining.
    Brydge Stone Pro Docking Station

    Powerful and discreet

    The Brydge Stone Pro gives you the power of a Thunderbolt 3 docking station, with 11 ports and 87W charging, in a compact chassis that's very elegant. Plus, you can also use it to raise your laptop to be even more discreet or a more comfortable typing experience.
    LENTION USB-C Docking Station

    Docking station and laptop riser

    This USB Type-C docking station gives you tons of ports to connect peripherals, displays, Ethernet, 100W charging, and SD cards, and it also serves as a riser for your laptop, so you can get better airflow or get a more comfortable angle for typing. It's not Thunderbolt, so it has more limited bandwidth, but it's much more affordable.
    Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma

    Add some flair

    Want a bit of pizzazz in your desk setup? The Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma gives you three USB ports, Ethernet, an SD card reader, and Thunderbolt daisy chaining support in a sleek chassis that features RGB lighting to make your setup more lively.
    Kensington SD5700T Thunderbolt 4 docking station

    Professional Thunderbolt 4 dock

    This Kensington dock gives you similar connection options to the Razer one we just looked at, but comes in a much more professional design and adds a USB Type-A port and includes Kensington lock slots, so you can make sure it doesn't get stolen easily.
    Plugable USB-C Docking Station

    Capable and reasonably priced

    If you prefer a vertical dock, this Plugable USB Type-C docking station adds a ton of ports to your laptop, including multiple USB ports, display outputs, and Ethernet. It's not Thunderbolt, but because of that, it's also more affordable than most.
    Belkin Connect USB-C 11-in-1 Multiport Dock

    Need a lift?

    This is another docking station you can use as a riser for your MacBook Pro, and it's a great one. This gives you a ton of USB ports, an SD card reader, Ethernet, and various display outputs. It's not Thunderbolt, but it's still very versatile and pretty affordable.
    Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Dock

    Sleek Thunderbolt 3 dock

    This Plugable Thunderbolt 3 dock gives you a solid selection of ports, including fast USB Type-A and Type-C ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, GIgabit Ethernet, and 96W charging, all in a compact chassis. It's also one of the more affordable Thunderbolt docks out there, so it's a great option.
    WAVLINK USB-C Hub

    Small and cheap

    If you just need a simple and portable hub for some extra peripherals, this WAVLINK adapter should do the trick. It can charge your laptop at up to 100W and includes HDMI, USB Type-A ports, Ethernet, and SD card readers to cover most basic needs you may have, and it's super affordable.

And those are the docks you can use with just about any MacBook Pro that has a USB Type-C port, which should cover most of the modern models (from around 2016 onward). But for some models, specifically those released since 2016 and before the new 2021 MacBook Pro, you can get some specialty docks that are built around the design of the laptop. These can be interesting options, too, so let’s take a look at a few.

    Tobenone MacBook Pro docking station

    Big and powerful

    This relatively large docking station uses two USB Type-C ports on your MacBook Pro and gives you plenty of ports to connect to, including six USB Type-A ports, USB Type-C, two HDMI ports, and more. It's large, but it's capable and affordable.
    HumanCentric Vertical Stand with USB-C Dock

    Hold your laptop up

    This is a unique docking station that can hold your MacBook Pro up when it's closed so you can use it with a desk setup instead. It uses two USB Type-C ports on your MacBook Pro and gives you USB Type-A, display outputs, Ethernet, and more.
    Anker USB-C Hub for MacBook

    It fits right in

    Unlike most USB hubs out there, this Anker hub is designed to fit right on the side of the MacBook Pro. It uses two USB Type-C ports and it fits right in with the design, so it looks like an extension of the laptop itself. It includes a few ports like USB Type-A, Type-C, HDMI, and an SD card reader.
    Lyare 12-in-1 Docking Station

    Compact and sturdy

    This small docking station looks sturdy and professional, while also giving you way more ports than you'd expect for its size. It uses two USB Type-C ports (it doesn't support Thunderbolt speeds), and it gives you HDMI, USB Type-A, Type-C, Ehternet, and even VGA.
    LandingZone 16-Port Docking Station

    A perfect fit

    This is one of the more unique docking stations yet, as it fits the MacBook Pro 16-inch perfectly on both sides and adds a whopping 16 ports for all kinds of connectivity. There's also a version for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
    Brydge Vertical Docking Station

    Elegant vertical dock

    This vertical Brydge dock perfectly fits the 13-inch MacBook Pro, connecting to the two Thunderbolt ports on the side and passing through the signal to the ports on the base, giving your desk setup a clean and elegant look.

Some of these may actually work with the new 2021 models, because what makes them unique is that they use two USB Type-C ports next to each other. The new MacBook Pro 2021 models still have two Thunderbolt ports side-by-side, but we can’t assure yet that they’re at the same distance from each other to work with these docks. However, we’d recommend looking at the first set of options if you’re not sure. One other thing that’s worth noting with all of these options is that the M1-based MacBook Pro 12-inch will always only support one display output, no matter which dock you get. This isn’t the case for the M1 Pro (which supports two) and M1 Max (which supports up to four).

Looking for other accessories for your MacBook Pro? Check out our list of the best MacBook Pro cases you can buy. And if you’re looking to upgrade, you can buy the new MacBook Pro below – it’s one the best Macs Apple has made in a while.

    MacBook Pro (2021)
    The MacBook Pro 2021 is a powerful laptop thanks to the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets, featuring a high-end CPU and GPU and up to 64GB of unified memory.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Writer at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.