If you have a 12-inch MacBook and find it frustrating that it only packs one USB-C port, consider adding the $99.95 IOGEAR Compact USB-C Docking Station with PD Pass-Thru to your Christmas wish list.
It’s also useful for expanding the connectivity options on the latest MacBook Pros as well. Through a single USB-C connection, it lets you connect monitors, a full-sized keyboard and mouse, external hard drives, printers, webcams, and more. Easy to set up, the all-in-one dock serves up a total of 10 ports. The docking station is equipped with memory card readers for SD/MicroSD memory cards for quick access to your data. With two USB 3.0 (Type-A) ports, you can connect an array of USB Type-A peripherals.
With the included Gigabit Ethernet power, you can connect to your LAN for robust data bandwidth and increased security. On top of all this connectivity, this docking station also offers the flexibility of three video connectivity options: HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and VGA. You can also connect a headset or microphone to complete your multimedia workstation setup.
Your Mac laptop can charge while its connected to the docking station — again, very convenient for 12-inch MacBook users. Connect your manufacturer's USB-C AC power adapter directly to the IOGEAR gadget, and you can power your laptop while you work. Another nice touch: the bus-powered docking station doesn’t need a power supply to connect your devices when you’re on the move.
The IOGEAR docking station supports 4K. Its dual video monitor functionality allows you to extend your MacBook or USB-C Apple laptop to one additional monitor in single, mirror, or extend mode.
But Windows users can extend their USB-C laptop to two additional monitors. That was my sole disappointment with this solution. Otherwise, there is a lot to admire. With the IOGEAR station you can conveniently connect and disconnect from your Mac laptop via a single high speed cable. And, while connected, the IOGEAR USB-C Docking Station will charge your laptop through the USB-C power delivery functionality (an AC power adapter is included).
The IOGEAR dock is made from aluminum, so it’s a good aesthetic match with the MacBook Pro or MacBook. Since it’s well-balanced and includes anti-slip grips, it doesn’t slide all over your desk.
If you only need a specific type of dongle (or two) to make up for missing legacy devices on a new MB Pro or 12-inch MacBook, the IOGEAR docking station will be overkill. However, if you need multiple dongles or connectors, buying the USB-C Docking Station with Power Delivery makes fiscal sense — plus, it’s more practical to deal with one laptop accessory than a half dozen or more.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★