There are various ways to have a Mac set-up with two displays. One of the least expensive is the US$129 Plugable USB 3.0 Dual Monitor Horizontal Docking Station. (There’s also a higher-priced, more expansive version; more on that later.)
It’s compatible with Macs running macOS 10.14 and higher (as well as Windows machines). The dock is lightweight and sturdy. There’s lots to like about it, but there are limitations to consider.
Here are the features of the Plugable USB 3.0 Dual Monitor Horizontal Docking Station:
° A single included USB 3.0 or USB-C cable from your laptop to this dock provides dual video outputs, wired Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and four USB 2.0 ports
° Built-in HDMI and DVI outputs each support 1920×1200 resolution @ 60Hz refresh rate. Includes DVI to VGA adapter and DVI to HDMI adapter. HDMI port supports resolutions up to 2560×1440 @ 50Hz with a single HDMI display only.
° The Wired Ethernet supports Gigabit speed.
One slight disadvantage for Mac users compared to Windows uses is that you’ll have to manually install a driver. The Plugable USB 3.0 Dual Monitor Horizontal Docking Station doesn’t just work with Macs out of the box.
And there are other disadvantages. The Plugable dock isn’t recommend for gaming, but is designed for use with web and productivity software. It can’t be mixed with non-DisplayLink USB adapters. The dock doesn’t support HDCP, will not playback encrypted or copy-protected content. Finally, it wont charge your laptop.
You should note that there are two different models of the docking station: US$129 Plugable USB 3.0 Dual Monitor Horizontal Docking Station and the $179 USB 3.0 Dual 4K Display Horizontal Docking Station with DisPlay Port and HDMI.
Pros: Sturdy/lightweight/reasonably priced
Cons: Not good for gaming/can’t be mixed with non-DisplayLink adapters; no HDCP support
The Plugable USB 3.0 Dual Monitor Horizontal Docking Station is fine for those who want a one-stop upgrade for a USB 3.0 laptop — if you can live with its limitations.