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Docking stations provide an easy way to expand the ports of your ultraportable laptop. However, most docks occupy much desk space, and you have to deal with cable clutter all over the workstation.
Most users may be okay with the regular docking stations; however, if space is an issue to you and would like to work in a neat and professional workspace, a vertical docking station is the way to go.The significant advantages of vertical docking stations over the regular docks are better cable management and reduced desktop footprint.
Vertical docks, just like the regular ones, extend the ports of your MacBook or Windows laptop while providing charging and dual monitor displays for USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 users. With this, you can quickly turn your notebook into a desktop with multiple screens, access to more USB-C and legacy ports, and enjoy more flexibility in the workplace or at home.
It is worth to know that not all vertical docks ship with the same features. In this article, we review the best USB-C docking stations, highlighting their differences, pros, and cons, to help you identify the ideal dock for your laptop.
Benefits of Vertical Docking Stations
If you’re using the latest MacBook, you must be disappointed with the number of ports available. While Thunderbolt 3 and the USB Type C have undoubtedly brought more benefits in terms of connectivity and transfer speeds, the two come at a cost.
Most laptop manufacturers are going for thinner notebooks reducing the number of ports in each model. The new MacBook Pro has only Thunderbolt 3 ports, meaning you have to spend on adapters to connect other USB devices, Ethernet, or video inputs such as HDMI.
A vertical docking station instantly extend the number of ports to save you the hassle of spending on dongles and adapters. On top of that, you get two significant benefits that you won’t find in any regular dock:
Save More Desk Space
Vertical docking stations have the least desk footprint than any other docks. A vertical dock can help you open up more space in a cluttered desk, leaving your workstation neat and professional. Horizontal docking stations have more desk footprint, and you also have to find space for your laptop. For users with dual or more monitors, this will require a lot of desk real estate.
Better Cable Management
While docking stations provide more benefits in your workstation, it can be a disaster when there are cables all over your desk. A vertical dock manages the flow of connections from the docking station to different devices preventing cable clutter in your office. Spend less time deciding on which cable goes to which device and concentrate on your productivity tasks.
Best Vertical Docking Station
Now that you know why you need a vertical dock, here are reviews of the top picks to help you select the ones fit for your needs. We will continuously update the list as more options enter the market.
1. Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station – Best Thunderbolt 3 Vertical Dock for MacBook
Henge Dock is the best vertical docking station for Mac featuring the unique Apple-esque design, efficient desk space use, and excellent cable management.
Henge docking stations are vertical docks, specially made for MacBook. There is a specific docking station for each Mac model; make sure to identify your model and size before buying a Henge Vertical Docking Station. Overall this vertical dock makes a design statement and leaves your workstation very neat and beautiful.
The Henge versatile docking station features a sleek and elegant design. It has an aluminum unibody with a space grey finish giving it an Apple-esque look. The dock holds your MacBook vertically, saving up more space on your desk. It has an exact alignment that matches your notebook, making it easy to dock and undock the laptop using one hand.
One of the selling points of the Henge docking station is the unique cable setup. It provides a controlled flow of cables coming from your Mac to external devices such as displays. The docking station in this review is for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. Therefore, there are only two Thunderbolt 3 cables from the dock to your monitor or other TB3 devices. Slide the notebook in the dock and instantly power your monitors to start working.
The Henge Vertical Docking station supports dual Thunderbolt 3 4K displays. With two TB3 cables coming out of the dock, you can utilize both to connect dual monitors or use a single port with daisy-chaining. The disadvantage is that you will still require dongles to connect monitors with HDMI or other video connectors.
Ports and Charging
The model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The Henge Docks only replicate the ports of your Mac notebook. Therefore, don’t expect to find extra ports that are not in your Mac, such as USB or Ethernet jack. The dock only includes the ports that available in the specific Mac notebook.
- Stunning and elegant Apple-esque design
- Better cable management
- Vertical orientation allows efficient heat management
- Saves desk space
- No extra ports
- Does not charge your notebook
2. ITD ITANDA Vertical Docking Station – Best USB-C Vertical Docking Station for Windows Laptops
The ITANDA Vertical Docking station provides eight ports to expand your Windows connectivity slots instantly.
Unlike the Henge Dock, this versatile docking station provides a stand for your laptop as well as multiple ports to connect other various devices. With this, you have a regular docking station for your notebook and a stand to minimize desk footprint and clutter.
The ITD ITANDA docking station features a stunning yet handy design. It has an adjustable stand that lets you mount your laptop vertically to save on desk space. Vertical mounting provides maximum airflow to your notebook to prevent overheating problems. The milled aluminum enclosure with a space grey finish blends with most laptops to create a beautiful workstation.
Onboard you get an HDMI port and full-size DisplayPort for video. Both ports support 4K video pass-through at 60Hz refresh rate. You can enjoy dual monitors with high resolution for crystal clear visuals and crispy text. Please note that you need a laptop with dual USB Type-C ports to utilize both the HDMI and DP ports.
Ports and Charging
One of the reasons why the ITD ITANDA is better than the Henge Vertical Docking Station is the number of ports. It provides eight ports to extend the number of slots in your notebook. Onboard, you will get an HDMI port, DisplayPort, USB, SD Card, and RJ45 slot for wired networking. The docking station provides all the ports you need in everyday office work.
It is a USB-C docking station with two USB-C cables on board. One of the USB-C end controls the DP port, while the other controls the rest seven ports. You must plug both cables to your laptop to access all the eight expansion slots. Connecting one USB-C cable will only give you access to the ports that it controls.
Many of the ultraportable laptops have 60W to 85W power adapters. This docking station provides enough power to charge most notebooks, so you can forget about charging and concentrate on your productivity tasks. To determine if this docking station can charge your laptop, check the laptop’s power requirements from our round-up of the best Thunderbolt 3 laptops by manufacturer with Watts.
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x RJ45
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 1 x SD Card slot
- 1 x TF Card slot
- 1 x Power jack
- 100W charging power
- Eight ports to expand your ultraportable laptop
- Vertical design saves on space
- Adjustable width
- You will need at least two USB-C ports for dual monitor setup
3. VAYDEER USB-C Hub – Cheapest USB-C Vertical Docking Station
This USB-C hub from Vaydeer is the cheapest USB-C vertical docking station, with six connectivity slots and 87W power output.
The Vaydeer vertical docking station provides a cool place for your Mac or Windows laptop and transforms a single USB-C port into five more ports. The dock lets you keep space and organize your desk into a more professional and cozier workstation.
The docking station features a robust and sturdy build quality. The anodized aluminum makes the dock durable while the silicon mate protects your laptop from scratches once docked. It has an adjustable width like the other docks and a space grey finish to complement most ultraportables in the market. Vaydeer USB-C Hub supports laptops of thickness ranging from 0.51 to 1.57 inches.
The Vaydeer supports a single screen via HDMI. The HDMI port supports 4K video output at 60Hz refresh rate. Connect your monitor or projector to stream premium 4K content for epic visuals and immersive entertainment. The port also supports other resolutions such as 1080p FHD, 720p, 480p, and 360p.
Ports and Charging
This vertical docking station lets you transform a single USB-C port into six expansion ports. Onboard there is an HDMI port for video, 1Gbps RJ45 jack, and USB 3.0 ports. It has fewer ports than the ITANDA docking stations, but it provides excellent value for a dock on a budget.
- 1 x USB Type C
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x RJ45
- 3 x USB 3.0
- 87W power output
- Six connectivity ports
- Adjustable width
- Affordable price tag
- Does not support multiple displays
- Fewer number of ports
Vertical docking stations provide an efficient way to manage the space on your desk and preventing clutter. If desk real estate is an issue to you, getting a vertical dock should be the top priority. With excellent cable management, your workstation remains cozy and neat all the time.
Like regular docking stations, a vertical dock may include other connectivity slots to extend the limited ports on most ultraportable laptops. The ITD ITANDA dock is the best if looking for a docking station to transform your Windows notebook. You can otherwise go for the Vaydeer if you’re on a budget.
For Mac users, there is no better dock than the Henge Dock right now. While it may not support power delivery or provide extra ports, Henge Dock gives you a stunning office setup with a unified design to complement your Mac. It is the best docking station for space-saving and cable management.
All the vertical docking stations provide excellent value for their price. Choosing the best dock depends on your needs. We’ve covered all the basics from charging, ports, and displays to make the process easy for you. Select the best vertical docking station and see how it can transform your office.