Best Chromebook docking stations Android Central 2021
The best Chromebook docking stations can turn your laptop from on-the-go ready to comfortably cozy by plugging in a single USB-C cable. When you're home and want to use a clicky mechanical keyboard, an ergonomic mouse, or add a secondary display, docking stations are here to keep things tidy and organized. While you could maybe get by with some tiny USB-C hub, the cables are usually too short and leave your desk cluttered, while docking stations help keep things connected while staying out of your way. If you need to get your Chromebook connected, these are the best docking stations.
- Keep it tidy: Plugable USB-C Mini Docking Station with 85W Charging
- Tall or flat, your choice: Baseus 16-in-1 USB-C Dock
- Clean look for less: Uni 12-in-1 Docking Station with Detachable Base
- Compact quality: Kensington SD2000P USB-C Docking Station - 135W
- Upgrade pick: Dell UltraSharp 27 USB-C Hub Monitor (U2722DE)
- Easy to hide: Anker PowerExpand 9-in-1 USB-C PD Dock
Keep it tidy: Plugable USB-C Mini Docking Station with 85W ChargingStaff Pick
This compact docking station won't take up much desk space, but it still has enough space for four USB-A peripherals, an HDMI monitor, Ethernet, and an audio jack for some speakers. It can also charge your Chromebook at full speed.
Tall or flat, your choice: Baseus 16-in-1 USB-C Dock
Some folks prefer a standing dock that will take up less desk space, while others prefer a lower-profile dock that can sit under their monitor. Baseus lets you use its overstuffed dock either way, and it has just about every port you could think of.
Clean look for less: Uni 12-in-1 Docking Station with Detachable Base
I adored Uni's USB-C hubs as miniature docking stations, but now it has a bona fide docking station that looks much more refined on your desk. You get a nice variety of ports here for far less than Anker, Kensington, and others.
Compact quality: Kensington SD2000P USB-C Docking Station - 135W
Kensington makes some of the most durable, long-lasting computer accessories on the market, and its docks are no exception. This model has both HDMI and DisplayPort video options and two USB-A, one USB-C, a 3.5mm jack, and micro/SD card readers.
Upgrade pick: Dell UltraSharp 27 USB-C Hub Monitor (U2722DE)
If you're going to plug into a monitor anyway, why not combine the hub and monitor into one for a cleaner look at your desk? I've been using this monitor for months with my Chromebooks, plugging in three USB-A peripherals, Ethernet, and more.
Easy to hide: Anker PowerExpand 9-in-1 USB-C PD Dock
Anker makes a wide variety of docking stations, and this new nine-port model looks perfect for Chromebooks. You get three USB-A ports, HDMI and DisplayPort options, an audio combo jack, Ethernet, and 60W Power Delivery charging for your Chromebook
The best Chromebook docking stations balance ports and portability
USB-C docking stations come in all shapes and sizes — especially once we get into the wonderful world of Thunderbolt docks meant for Macs — but unfortunately, since most docking stations are built for Mac/PC, Chromebook compatibility can be hit or miss. I've tried to test as many of these selections myself, but it's impossible to get to every docking station on the market, and I've tested more than one dock that didn't work and needed to be stricken from this list.
In spring 2021, Google announced a Works with Chromebook accessories certification which docking stations can be labeled and marketed with to take out this guesswork. However, the first three models from Acer, Belkin, and Hyper are supposed to go on sale any week now, but since they're not available for purchase (or testing) yet, I can't include them in our collection yet. Trust me. I'm anxiously awaiting the day when I can.
When deciding how many ports a Chromebook docking station needs, keep in mind that you don't need to go overboard with the ports — most docking stations can only output one Chromebook screen and most Chromebooks have built-in card readers. Instead, focus on the spacing between ports, the number of USB ports, and the price. For these reasons, the Plugable USB Mini Docking Station is a great hub because it covers the basic port bases without overcomplicating things or cluttering your desk with an oversized eyesore.
If you have USB-C flash drives, keyboards, or other accessories you want to use with a Chromebook docking station, you'll need to step up to the Baseus 16-in-1 USB-C Dock or the Kensington SD2000P. Both come with ports for USB-C peripherals and a charge-only USB-C port for topping off your phone or power bank. Kensington also includes DisplayPort in addition to its HDMI port.
Then again, if all of these seem like overkill because you just wanted a dock to plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, consider downsizing to a compact USB-C hub instead. Anker, Aukey, and Uni make good hubs, and Uni even has one with a four-foot cord so you can keep it further from your Chromebook.
A note about Chromebooks and headphone jacks
When you plug in anything to your Chromebook with a 3.5mm jack — either a headphone jack or an audio combo jack — Chrome OS will automatically route audio to that port regardless of if headphones or speakers are plugged into that port. So if you're going to be plugging and unplugging your Chromebook from your dock regularly, consider investing in some speakers, so you don't have to set the audio back to the internal speaker every time.
If you don't want to do that, consider using a USB-C hub instead. I would say, "use a docking station without a headphone jack," but practically every docking station on the market today has an audio combo jack. It allows users to plug-in speakers, and it's an easy way to boost a listing's port total.
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