Review: StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops

Rating: 4/5

Posted in Accessories, Mac, Reviews on 06/01/2017 by Chris Hauk

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If there’s one thing you have a tendency to run out of on a MacBook Pro, it’s available ports. Even on a pre-2016 MacBook Pro like I have. Two Thunderbolt 2 ports, 2 USB ports, and an HDMI port don’t really make it for you if you have more than one monitor, or a number of USB devices. Plus, all of the stuff you do hook up to the MacBook has to be disconnected and reconnected every time you go anywhere with your Mac! Enter the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops.

Review: StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops

Overview

The Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops is a docking station created for Windows or MacBook laptops that are equipped with a Thunderbolt 2 port.

The dock offers the following ports and connectors:

  • 2 – Thunderbolt™ 2 (20 pin) Female
  • 2 – DisplayPort (20 pin) Female
  • 1 – USB 3.0 A (Fast-Charge, 9 pin, SuperSpeed) Female
  • 1 – Toslink (SPDIF, Optical) Female
  • 3 – USB Type-A (9 pin) USB 3.0 Female
  • 1 – 3.5 mm Mini-Jack (4 Position) Female
  • 1 – eSATA (7 pin, Data) Female
  • 1 – 3.5 mm Mini-Jack (3 Position) Female
  • 1 – RJ-45 Female

The Docking Station arrives with everything you need to hook it up to your MacBook, including a variety of AC plugs for various outlets, as well as a Thunderbolt 2 cable. (Some docks require purchasing a Thunderbolt 2 cable separately, so that is a welcome sight.) You will need to purchase DisplayPort cables, as they are not included.

Review: StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops

The Docking Station supports either two displays, at 2560 x 1600p max resolution on each display, or a single 4K (3840 x 2160p) monitor, or a DisplayPort and a Thunderbolt display with 4K resolution on the DisplayPort monitor. It offers 20Gbps throughput to allow connecting up to 12 peripherals to the dock. (I merely had two USB 3.0 drives, a USB flash drive, and a 1080p monitor hooked up to it at one time.)

Installation of the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops is a total plug it and go setup. I hooked the docking station up to my MacBook Pro via the supplied Thunderbolt 2 cable, plugged in the dock, and began plugging in drives and my secondary monitor.

Everything worked great from the word go. My MacBook Pro recognized all of the connected equipment, as you’d expect, and I began using my Mac as usual, only with a lot more storage options, and an additional monitor to work on.

Everything I connected to the StarTech dock worked perfectly. I never experienced any type of data loss or video issues. My only regret is that I do not have a 4K monitor available to try it out with. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one in the near future to give it a try. When I do, I’ll be sure to update this review with my experiences.

Review: StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops

Verdict

I used the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station for Laptops for a few months and enjoyed the experience. I had no connection issues or monitor issues. The dock worked as advertised. I only wish I had another monitor or a 4K monitor available to really put the dock through its paces. As mentioned above, I hope to get my hands on a 4K monitor for an update.

The docking station connected and worked with no issues, and I was able to hit the ground running. The price of the dock is well in line with other’s of this type that I have seen, and it includes a Thunderbolt 2 cable, which other docks do not. The build quality looks to be of high-quality.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced dock to use with your Thunderbolt 2 equipped Mac or PC laptop, I highly recommend taking a look at the StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station.

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Price: $347.99, available at the StarTech website. Also available at Amazon for $277.99 with Prime shipping available. Also available at a number of other third-party resellers.

 

Disclosure: I was provided with a StarTech Thunderbolt 2 Dual-Monitor Docking Station at no cost for review. I was not compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Author

Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine, and the Internet.

Don't forget to check out Chris at his own personal tech blog at chrishauk.com and Answers.com