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These are the best docking stations for the MacBook Pro in 2022

These are the best docking stations for the MacBook Pro in 2022

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 recent 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.

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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 those are entirely dependent on the design of each laptop, and they’re mostly aimed at older MacBook Pro models, we’ll leave them for last. The ones below will work with just about any MacBook that supports Thunderbolt 3 or 4.

    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.

    Sleek dock

    The Brydge Stone C gives you a total of 12 ports for all the expansion you need. It Includes four USB Type-A ports, up to three display outputs, GIgabit Ethernet, and more, all in a sleek and modern chassis. It's very compact, but very capable, and it even supports power delivery to your laptop.

    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, but it's much more affordable.

    Sleek and modern

    Looking for something that looks extra clean and modern to go with your MacBook Pro? The Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock is the perfect fit, and it has a wide range of ports including USB Type-A, three Thunderbolt downstream connections, Gigabit Ethernet, and more. There's a black version with RGB, too.

    Solid Thunderbolt 4 dock

    This Kensington dock gives you three USB Type-A ports, three Thunderbolt downstream ports, a headphone jack, an SD card reader, and Gigabit Ethernet. It has a sturdy-looking design, and it supports 90W power delivery to keep your laptop charged.

    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.

    Premium Thunderbolt 4 dock

    This is one of the more expensive docks you can buy for your laptop, and it has plenty of ports. That includes four USB-A ports, two HDMI ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and Thunderbolt passthrough so you can connect another Thunderbolt accessory.

    Three 4K displays

    This Plugable dock is special because it's the only one that can support up to three 4K displays on the 13-inch M1 and M2 MacBook Pro models, and you can choose HDMI or DisplayPort for each one. Plus, it has USB Type-A, Ethernet, and other ports.

    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). One thing that’s worth noting with all of these options is that the M1 or M2-based MacBook Pro 13-inch will always only support one display output, unless you get the Plugable USB-C Triple 4K Docking Station, which works around this limitation using DisplayLink drivers. The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips support two and four displays, respectively, so any dock should work for those.

Aside from these docks, there are some docks that are based around using two USB-C ports on the MacBook Pro, and some even are designed to fit the laptop, which means they only work with specific models. Apple has kept two Thunderbolt 4 ports next to each other on just about every model, which means that, as long as these docks don’t wrap around the laptop, you should be fine. The last two options on this list are specifically designed for models prior to the 2021 MacBook Pro, so they won’t work on newer ones.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Elegant vertical dock

    This vertical Brydge dock comes in different sizes for different MacBook Pro models, and it uses the two Thunderbolt ports on the laptop to power the ports on the base, giving your setup a clean and elegant look.

Again, these last two docks will not work for the 2021 models of the MacBook Pro 14-inch or 16-inch because they were significantly redesigned. We should be seeing new docks designed around these new laptops show up over time.

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 one of the latest MacBook Pro models below – they’re some of the best Macs Apple makes.

    The latest 13-inch MacBook Pro is powered by the Apple M2 chip, delivering even more performance than its predecessor while maintaing fantastic battery life.
    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. The 14-inch model starts at $1,999.
    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. The 16-inch model starts at $2,499.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor 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.

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