In this article, you will find out whether or not you need a docking station for your laptop. Having used a docking station for the past 1 year, I experienced clear benefits with a docking station.
A docking station is a necessity if one needs to connect the laptop with many gadgets at one go. Such gadgets could include items such as a usb stick, a second screen and an additional microphone/webcam etc.
To me, the benefits that come with using a docking station is that it increases the efficiency in which I can work with my laptop because of the additional ports it affords me. Allow me to elaborate.
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When efficiency becomes a necessity when working on your laptop, you may need a docking station
As I am using a macbook, it only has 2 USB-C ports. This has caused me inconveniences when I work.
If I want to use my second screen when I work, I would need to plug it in to my screen.
If I wanted to connect a USB stick to my laptop, I would need to first connect another USB hub to my laptop before connecting the USB stick to the USB hub.
This would fully fill up my laptops’ ports and I would have no more space to connect anything else to my laptop.
With a docking station, I only need to manage 1 connection point and then I would be able to connect to both my second screen and a USB stick.
Not to mention, I would still have many ports available for me if I wanted to connect my laptop to anything else.
The cons of having a docking station
Of course, it is not all positives with a docking station, there are some drawbacks that come with it.
The main drawback that I experienced with having a docking station is that it takes up some space on my table can could be used for other things.
I initially wanted a more minimalistic look and feel to my study desk, with the docking station and all the wires that come out of it, it seems like the minimalistic look is not very possible.
Another drawback is the additional financial costs that come with getting a docking station.
A good docking station could cost anywhere from about $150 – $500 or more. You would really have to ask yourself if the additional efficiency you get from buying a docking station justifies the price tag.
In summary, here are the 2 main drawbacks of getting a docking station:
- A docking station takes up additional space on your work desk.
- The initial cost of owning a docking station may be too expensive for some.
Overall, are docking stations worth it?
Having discussed both the benefits and drawbacks of having a docking station, in this section, we will talk about whether having a docking station is worth it.
A docking station is worth its cost if the cost of the docking station justifies the benefits it gives to a person, thus, a docking station may be worth it if one requires the extra ports that it affords frequently.
Let me share more about how to know if the benefits a docking station will bring you justifies its initial cost.
Since a docking station is not meant to be very portable, firstly you would need to determine where you would most frequently be working.
If you intend to place the docking station in your home office, how many days in a week will you be working there?
If you will be working in the office for most of the week with little time spent working in your home office, then a docking station may not be worth it.
Conversely, if you will spend a lot of time working in the place where you intend to place your docking station, then a docking station may be worth it.
Another consideration point when determining if a docking station is worth it is thinking through about how many additional gadgets you need to plug in to your laptop.
For me, I usually require about 3-4 additional connections to my laptop – an additional webcam, a Bluetooth speaker, a second screen and the occasional USB connection.
I would say that it would be worth it to get a docking station if you require 2 or more additional gadgets plugged into your laptop.
Getting a docking station
Now, before you decide to go ahead and buy a docking station, you will need to be aware of the 2 main types of docking station that are available:
- Docking station that supplies power to your laptop
- Docking station that doesn’t supply power to your laptop
While both types of docking station will require you to plug them in with power for them to work, the main differences between them is the convenience factor and cost.
If you choose to get a docking station that supplies power to your laptop, you will only need to worry about plugging in 1 cable to your laptop from now.
If you choose to get a docking station that doesn’t supply power to your laptop, you will need to plug in 2 cables (power and docking station) into your laptop.
The difference between a docking station that has power delivery to laptops as opposed to one that doesn’t is a cost difference of about $60.
If you decide to get a docking station that has power delivery to your laptop, make sure that it can deliver enough power to your laptop – a quick Google search should be able to reveal what is the power rating of your laptop.
In the screenshot shown above, the docking station can deliver power to a laptop for up to 60W.
Docking station recommendation
If you’re thinking of getting a docking station that’s good, I’ve been using a Wavlink branded docking station (affiliate link) for the past 1 year or so without much issues with a Macbook and Windows laptop.