Plugable leads our list of the easiest Thunderbolt docks for your laptop laptop precisely since the company specializes in crucial factor: the pronounce connectivity, with two 4K shows. But at CES, the company has upped its game: now there’s three!
The $219 Plugable UD-6950PDZ contains toughen for 3 4K screens, now not inviting two. And within the spirit of Plugable docks, the company doesn’t produce you gain out between DisplayPort and HDMI connections: the UD-6950PDZ contains three of both.
The dock works with a extinct USB-C connector on your laptop laptop, however you’ll need an available Thunderbolt port (with Thunderbolt 4 hottest) to enable the rotund advantages. Sadly, the dock’s specifications cloak a pair of gotchas, and acknowledge the ask of of whether a Thunderbolt dock can accommodate three 4K shows. The acknowledge? Lunge, form of.
Specifically, the UD-6950PDZ incorporates a pair of DisplayPort 1.2/HDMI 2.0 ports on the rear, which would maybe output 3840×2160 video at 60Hz—the 4K60 output that’s expected of Thunderbolt docks. But the third port is HDMI 1.4/DisplayPort 2.0, and is limited to 3840×2160 resolution at 30Hz, as an alternate. To be inviting, 30Hz is suitable for a secondary pronounce aged for static advise savor electronic mail or messaging apps, however staring at a 30Hz pronounce for a continual period can stress your eyes.
But there’s one other gotcha, too. Neither of the 60Hz DisplayPort/HDMI ports helps HDCP, which permits safe advise (a Blu-ray disc, or Netflix, or Amazon High) to surely pronounce on the display camouflage. HDCP is listed as “host dependent” on the 30Hz port, as an alternate. Merely build, you’re trading off a 3rd pronounce for limits on its physique fee and an total restriction on HDCP playback. (To be inviting, you’ll nearly actually be ready to play support safe advise on the laptop laptop itself.)
Otherwise, though, there’s loads to savor with the UDZ-6950PDZ. The Thunderbolt connection support to the host can toughen 60W of energy, retaining a gigantic replacement of mainstream and skinny-and-light devices. The dock also helps six USB-A ports (all at 5Gbps, with two to the front and four on the rear). If there’s any diversified weakness, it’s that there’s no USB-C output of any form, so that you just gained’t be ready so that you just would maybe add a USB-C dongle if you occur to need an SD card slot, for instance.
Plugable will ship the dock later this quarter, Plugable acknowledged.
As PCWorld’s senior editor, Trace specializes in Microsoft information and chip technology, among diversified beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.