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Best Thunderbolt 3 docks 2022

Thunderbolt 3 offers rapid speeds and versatile connectivity with a maximum 40Gb/s transfer rate, suitable for data traffic or even live video and audio. It uses a USB-C connector, famed for its reversible use, leaving behind the days of blindly flipping your cable around as they never seemed to plug in on the first try. There is plenty of support for a wide range of devices, but if you only have one spare port, you’ll be limited in what you can use.

Docks expand your number of ports and allow you to connect multiple devices, perfect for compact laptops that can restrict your options when traveling with a range of external add-ons. Offering anything from more USB ports to HDMI or DisplayPort video feeds and Ethernet for wired networking, a high-quality Thunderbolt 3 dock is invaluable for keeping you productive. It might not be the latest standard, but support for 4K displays running at 60Hz and external storage devices maintains its relevance, so we’ve rounded up our best picks.

CalDigit TS3 Plus (Image credit: Windows Central)

CalDigit TS3 Plus

Best overall

Reasons to buy

+

15 total ports

+

Durable aluminum build

+

UHS-II SD card reader

+

Handles dual 4K displays at 60Hz

+

Delivers up to 85W of power

Reasons to avoid

Cheaper options are available

No HDMI port

Many modern Ultrabooks include at least one Thunderbolt 3 port. While the standard offers superior performance and supports plenty of devices — you can charge a laptop one minute and send a signal to a display the next — not all your peripherals will use the USB-C-shaped port. Likewise, as laptops get thinner, manufacturers are more likely to include fewer ports. The answer? A Thunderbolt 3 docking station that provides ports for multiple accessories.

The CalDigit TS3 Plus includes five USB-A 3.1, two USB-C 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2, two Thunderbolt 3 (one connecting the host laptop), Ethernet, S/PDIF, an SD card reader, and 3.5mm audio in and out. The dock has a small footprint — it can stand up vertically or sit horizontally — and weighs in at just over 1 pound.

The docking station can deliver up to 85W of power to your laptop, and you can choose from either a 0.7-meter or 2-meter cable for a connection. As long as your laptop has a Thunderbolt 3 port, this dock will eliminate the need for most other adapters and hubs you have lying around unless you hit the road. Set it up on a desk, plug in a single cable, and watch your laptop become a capable workstation. Check out our CalDigit TS3 Plus review for more information.

CalDigit USB-C Pro (Image credit: Windows Central)

CalDigit USB-C Pro Dock

Runner-up

Reasons to buy

+

Up to 85W charging

+

Durable aluminum chassis

+

Excellent port selection and performance

+

Removable host cable

+

Works with USB-A, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 3

Reasons to avoid

Fewer overall ports than our top pick

No downstream Thunderbolt 3

If you often find yourself switching between devices — say a tablet or laptop with USB-C and a laptop using Thunderbolt 3 — and don’t want to worry about compatibility, this dock would make a great choice. It doesn’t have as many ports as the TS3 Plus, but it still offers two DisplayPort 1.2, three USB-A 3.2, USB-C 3.2, a UHS-II SD card reader, Ethernet, and 3.5mm audio.

Connected with Thunderbolt 3, the dock can handle dual 4K displays with up to a 60Hz refresh rate, while a USB-C connection will handle dual FHD displays or a single 4K display at 30Hz. Even if you connect with just USB-A, you’ll still have access to the USB ports, SD card reader, Ethernet, and audio jack on the dock. While connected with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3, you can charge the host device with up to 85W of power. Have a look at our CalDigit USB-C Pro Dock review for further details.

Note that CalDigit now has a second version of the dock available, this time with two HDMI 2.0b ports instead of DisplayPort. This is perfect for anyone who primarily deals with HDMI displays and who doesn’t want to deal with dongles.

Corsair TBT100 (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda | Windows Central)

Corsair TBT100 dock

With HDMI

Reasons to buy

+

Two USB-C ports

+

Two HDMI 2.0 ports

+

Up to 85W charging

+

Full-size SD card reader

+

Elegant design

Reasons to avoid

No Thunderbolt 3 downlink

Just two USB-A

The Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 dock is a slim, horizontal option that’s great if you need to keep HDMI connectivity. It has two HDMI 2.0 ports on the back, flanked by USB-C, Thunderbolt 3 (host), Ethernet, dual USB-A, AC adapter plug, and Kensington lock slot. The dock’s front has another USB-C port, an SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. That’s less connectivity than our top pick, and there’s no Thunderbolt 3 downstream, but it makes the list thanks to those HDMI ports. They can handle dual 4K displays, each with a 60Hz refresh rate.

While connected to your laptop, the Corsair TBT100 will deliver up to 85W of charging power. That’s enough to keep most Ultrabooks charged up, save for some that suck up a lot of power for a discrete GPU. Our Corsair TBT100 review goes much more in-depth if this is the dock you’re interested in.

Kensington LD5400T (Image credit: Windows Central)

Kensington LD5400T docking station

Robust security

Reasons to buy

+

High-quality construction

+

Up to 85W charging

+

Plenty of ports

+

Keeps your laptop secure

+

Budget pricing

Reasons to avoid

No HDMI port or SD card reader

The Kensington LD5400T Thunderbolt 3 dock might come at a relatively steep price, but it offers robust security features that the other docks lack. Instead of merely sitting on a corner of your desk, you place your laptop into the retractable clutches of the dock to secure it in place. The dock itself can either be screwed into the desk, it can be locked up with a standard Kensington lock cable, or it can be tethered down with an included 6-foot cable to keep it in place when you’re not around.

Two fobs are included for easy unlocking if you want to take your laptop with you, and the entire thing is built strong to resist tampering. Although there’s no HDMI or SD card reader included, you do get four USB-A 3.0, two Thunderbolt 3 (one for the host cable), DisplayPort 1.2, RJ45 Ethernet, and 3.5mm audio. As for connecting external displays, it can handle dual 4K at a 60Hz refresh rate or a single 5K at the same 60Hz refresh rate. When connected back to your laptop, you’ll get up to 85W of charging power to keep it topped up.

The price dropped significantly from launch, making this option a lot more attractive. As always, have a look at our Kensington LD5400T Thunderbolt 3 dock review for much more information.

HP Thunderbolt Dock G2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

HP Thunderbolt Dock G2

Best modular design

Reasons to buy

+

Includes a modular speaker

+

100W of charging power

+

Plenty of ports

+

Compact design

+

Supports Wake-on-LAN, PXE boot

Reasons to avoid

Speaker module adds cost

Host cable does not detach

Alongside three USB-C, three USB-A 3.0, Thunderbolt 3, two DisplayPort, VGA, RJ45 Ethernet, and a 3.5mm audio jack, the HP G2 docking station has a detachable speaker that can be used for clear conference calls and more. While most other docks look like boxes, the G2 has a much more attractive rounded cube design that takes up minimal room on your desk.

You get up to 100W of charging back to your laptop through the Thunderbolt 3 host cable, and the dock has support for Wake-on-LAN, PXE boot, and MAC address passthrough for simple remote management. If you’re working with external displays, know that the dock will handle dual 4K displays at a 60Hz refresh rate. The only downside here is that the host cable is hard-wired into the device, so if it stops working, you will likely have to replace the entire dock.

Seagate FireCuda (Image credit: Windows Central)

Seagate FireCuda dock

Gamer’s pick

Reasons to buy

+

Tons of ports

+

Built-in 4TB HDD

+

M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD expansion slot

+

Bathed in RGB

+

Nice design

Reasons to avoid

HDD and fan add noise

PC gamers always need more storage space, but adding more sometimes isn’t possible if your case or laptop is already full of hardware. If your PC happens to have a Thunderbolt 3 port, you can add something like the Seagate FireCuda. Not only does it add a 4TB 7,200RPM hard-disk drive (HDD), it also adds 10 ports, including two Thunderbolt 3 (one for host), DisplayPort 1.4, five USB-A 3.1, Ethernet, and two 3.5mm jacks for audio in and out.

The HDD isn’t the fastest, but there is room inside the dock for an M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) of your choosing. The entire package is well built, and it has its own RGB lighting to add to your setup. A downside here, as noted in our Seagate FireCuda gaming dock review, is that the HDD and built-in cooling fan will add some noise to your office or gaming room.

OWC Thunderbolt 3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock

Port variety

Reasons to buy

+

Downstream Thunderbolt 3

+

Dual 4K@60Hz display support

+

UHS-II SD and microSD card readers

+

85W charging power

+

13 total ports

Reasons to avoid

Uses Mini DisplayPort

One SD card at a time

Not as many ports as top picks

OWC’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock is a high-end option for anyone who needs downstream Thunderbolt 3, readers for removable SD storage, and dual display support at 4K resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. The UHS-II SD and microSD card readers don’t work simultaneously, but they are quite convenient for photographers and videographers.

Two Mini DisplayPorts handle video out, and there are a further five USB-A, USB-C, 3.5mm audio, Ethernet, and S/PDIF connections. When connected to your laptop, the dock manages to deliver up to 85W of power to keep the battery topped up.

This is a great dock if you need the extra USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, as well as two Mini DisplayPort hookups. Our OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock review has much more information.

Bottom line

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Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your laptop’s Thunderbolt 3 connection — whether you love the high-speed connectivity or the versatility it provides with just one cable — then any of these best Thunderbolt 3 docks will make a great option. They can add multiple ports to your setup, which expands what you can do with a laptop, which nowadays is limited in port selection.

CalDigit’s TS3 Plus is our top pick for Thunderbolt 3 docking station thanks to outstanding performance, more port selection, and excellent charging capabilities. Its aluminum construction is durable and compact, and most ports are located along the back for easy cable management.

Don’t have a device with Thunderbolt 3? There are plenty of other best laptop docking stations that work with the best Windows laptop options available today. 

And be sure to check out our collection of the best Thunderbolt 4 hubs and docking stations for the next-gen version of Thunderbolt 4 connectivity.

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