It's important to buy one of the best docking stations for MacBook Pro if you want to turn your Apple laptop into a truly great workplace powerhouse.
MacBook Pros may have more ports than they used to have, but they still don't have many. Even the best MacBooks could do with more options for hooking up accessories. If you need to plug in loads at once, like screens, hard drives, or keyboards, you need a docking station to get the most from your setup. A MacBook docking station removes the strain from the MacBook itself. You only use one plug while gaining multiple inputs and outputs. Whether you need to add more Thunderbolt 4 ports, or you need old favorites like full-size USB-A ports, a docking station can take the hassle out of juggling connections.
Below, we've curated the best MacBook Pro docking stations you can buy right now. Each will make it easier to connect lots of devices and peripherals including those that need high-speed data transfer.
Upgrade your workspace with the best docking stations
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18 ports – including Thunderbolt 4!
The CalDigit TS4 dock has it all. Overall, it has a massive 18 ports and that includes three Thunderbolt 4 ports, three 10Gb/s USB-C ports, five 10Gb/s USB-A ports, a DisplayPort 1.4 port, a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port, two UHS-II card slots (in both full size and microSD sizes), along with 3.5mm audio in and audio out, and a 3.5mm combo audio in one out on the front. Besides the vast amount of ports, you also have a Kensington lock for keeping your dock safe, along with support for up to two 6K / 60Hz screens. it's a pricey docking station but as we explained in our CalDigit TS4 review, it's worth every cent.
Designed specifically with MacBook Pros in mind, the Tobenone has plenty of ports. It has two 4K@30Hz | 60Hz HDMI ports, four USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C PD 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 for wireless keyboard and mouse ports, along with 3.5mm audio/mic port, SD/TF reader, and an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port. Through it, you have the option of adding two external monitors via HDMI. You can also charge your laptop with 87W by connecting your MacBook Pro's power adapter to the USB-C PD port.
Great for HDMI displays
Targeted perfectly for anyone keen to get the most out of their 4K HDMI displays, the Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock is a great option for extra screen space. It can power two such displays with its included HDMI ports. Both displays can be 4K @60Hz, giving you lots of screen real estate. Alongside that, there's an SD card reader, plenty of USB ports, and a Gigabit Ethernet port, so you have plenty of connection options. It even suits your setup thanks to a Apple-style look with its silvery sides.
Plugable's reliable docking station provides 96 watts of charging power with six USB-A ports and one USB-C port. Besides those essentials, it also has a Thunderbolt 3 port for fast data transfer and 4K display support. A Gigabit Ethernet port adds to your practical options. Its base adapter means you can set the dock in a vertical or horizontal position, ensuring it fits on your desktop perfectly. Great USB transfer speeds are given here, plus you can hook up an extra display with the Thunderbolt port too.
If you don't want to spend a lot, but you still want more port options, the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini is a great choice. It might lack all the ports that some more extensive (and pricier) options provide, but the essentials are there. With two HDMI ports that can support 4K monitors running at 60Hz, it also has a USB 3.0 Type-A port, a USB 2.0 port, and a Gigabit Ethernet jack. You'll get a lot out of it compared to your existing port choices.
This dock from Anker helps you save your precious desk space by combining 12 ports into one compact box. It features two HDMI ports that support 4K and 8K, as well as 90W of power delivery. Alongside that is a Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB-A ports, an SD card slot, and one Thunderbolt 4 port. It's particularly useful when traveling around, as you can pop it in your laptop bag without any issues.
Best for older MacBook Pros
The iVanky 12-in-2 docking station supports dual external monitors for older MacBook Pros (2017-2021). MacBook Pros with the M1/M2 chip only support one external monitor which is why this docking station is so useful for older setups. All the ports on the dock share a maximum power supply of 180W. It has two HDMI 2.0 ports, dual USB-C and four USB-A 3.0 ports, 5Gbps data transfer, SD, and microSD slots, one 3.5mm audio port, and one Gigabit Ethernet port. Just bear in mind that it will take up two USB ports rather than the usual one seen with other docks.
What a bargain
If you just need a simple USB-C hub that allows you to plug in four USB-A devices, there's no need to spend a lot of money. Note that charging is not supported; this is just a hub, not a true docking station.
If you need a compact hub that you can easily pop into your bag on the go, this might be your best pick, depending on what exactly you need to connect. This hub gives you an ultra HD 4K HDMI port, a high-speed ethernet port for stable connection speeds of up to 1 Gbps, and three USB-A ports. Again, this one really isn't a docking station, it's just a simple hub, and it doesn't support charging.
Which MacBook docking station should you choose?
The best MacBook Pro docking stations enable multi-display use with charging support, and that's why they typically use Thunderbolt instead of just USB-C. They differ from the best USB-C hubs as Thunderbolt docks usually have a power supply that can charge your laptop and mobile devices. That's all while providing fast data transfer and 4K, 5K, or 8K display support.
If you want to get the most from your shiny new MacBook, such as if you've just bought the latest 15-inch MacBook Air with M2, then the CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt 4 dock is a must have. Outside of HDMI ports, it offers multiple sockets for every conceivable physical connection to your MacBook Pro or Mac (and even your iPad), while also providing fast charging at 98W. It's expensive but it's the ultimate docking station for most people.
If portability or price is a concern, then you may wish to consider Belkin's Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini instead. It has two HDMI and two USB-A ports, along with Gigabit Ethernet, all while being tiny and almost half the price of more expensive docks. It also has a built-in cable so you can unplug the dock and easily toss it in your bag before traveling.
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Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 14 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system.
Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.