Plugable is a peripherals brand I’ve featured quite a bit before and the company makes some of the most popular docking stations on the market for extending the connectivity of both macOS and Windows computers. It produces a wide range of devices for people who need to expand their laptop or desktop so it can drive extra screens or communicate with more peripherals through extra USB ports and other linking options.
The latest docking station from Plugable is the UD-ULTC4K, a perennial favorite from Plugable since 2017. After more than five years of user feedback, the docking station has been redesigned from the ground up, incorporating plenty of new features and improved specs, while still providing three additional 4K displays with compatible laptops. Plugable’s founder and CTO Bernie Thompson told me that this new version of the dock some of the very latest chipsets.
This new USB-C triple 4K display docking station is a quick and simple way of extending a laptop’s screen to three additional high-resolution displays. Originally, the docking station only offered a mix of two DisplayPort ports and one HDMI port. However, Plugable’s customers wanted more and the company obliged with a new design that includes three DisplayPort++ ports and three HDMI ports, enabling consumers the option of standardizing on one display type or use a mix of both. Whichever type they user choose; they can have resolutions up to 4K @ 60Hz on all three displays.
The docking station features an innovative mix of DisplayPort over USB-C Alternate Mode (Alt Mode) and DisplayLink technologies pioneered by Plugable. It allows the benefits of Alt Mode (Native GPU performance) with the flexibility of DisplayLink (Add additional displays, beyond that which the system natively supports). By tapping into the potential provided by DisplayLink Technology, users get 4K resolutions on all three screens no matter what USB-C enabled laptop they are using.
Some of Plugable’s docks like the original UD-ULTC4K had been in short supply due to a major change in the way some chip foundries moved over to a new fabrication process and discontinued many of the older chips used in some of Plugable’s most popular lines. Bernie Thompson explained that this is also one of the reasons why cars are in short supply as major automobile manufacturers were seeking supplies of the new chips which are also used in modern electric vehicles.
The new docking station has a comprehensive collection of ports delivers functionality well beyond extending screens. Featuring an upgrade from 60W to a beefy 100W Power Delivery (96W certified), the UD-ULTC4K has sufficient muscle to charge most laptops, while, for the first time on a Plugable USB-C dock, offering a front-facing USB-C port that delivers 20W charging for smartphones and 10Gbps data transfer for more bandwidth.
With total of 13 ports including four USB 3.0 ports, a newly added SD 4.0 UHS-II Card Reader, a wired Gigabit Ethernet port, plus audio input and output ports. The UD-ULTC4K is a one-stop shop for all peripheral connections that a user might need, all connected through a single USB-C cable back to the laptop.
Compatible with Windows 10, 11, or macOS 11+, 12+ and later, the UD-ULTC4K can handle resolutions up to 4K with a 60Hz refresh rate when paired with compatible host laptops — including M1 Macs and other laptops that natively support only one external display. Although it hasn’t been fully tested yet, Plugable anticipates that similar results will be available when the docking station is used with the new Apple M2-powered Macs. While the UD-ULTC4K is a USB-C docking station, it is also compatible with USB4, Thunderbolt 4, and Thunderbolt 3.
Pricing & Availability: The upgraded Plugable UD-ULTC4K is available now from Amazon.com at a price of $279.00 with a $15 off coupon.
More info: plugable.com