Docking stations are like power strips for your laptop. They have a variety of ports and are usually designed to allow your laptop to sit on top of them, essentially docking it to the station. If you connect lots of devices and peripherals to your MacBook Pro, you might need a docking station.

Eight port dual display

StarTech

StarTech's docking station has eight different ports, including Ethernet, USB-A 2.0, microphone, headphones, Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, USB-A 3.0 for fast charging, and HDMI. It is designed specifically to let you connect a 5K display using the Thunderbolt 3 port, or two 4K Ultra HD monitors using the Thunderbolt 3 port and the DisplayPort port.

$269 at Amazon

Security and flexibility

Kensington SD5000T

Kensington's Thunderbolt 3 Dual 4K Docking station gives you security and flexibility. Connect your two 4K monitors to the Thunderbolt 3 and DisplayPort ports for full Ultra HD support. Kensington also adds a bit of extra special security with a lock slot so it doesn't "walk away" from your shared public space.

$210 at Amazon

Mounts to your MacBook

LandingZone Docking Station

LandingZone makes a docking station that actually connects to your MacBook Pro. It has 16 ports, including three USB-C 3.1 ports, two USB-A 3.1 ports, a USB-A charging port, an HDMI port, a mini DisplayPort port, an SD and microSD card slot, and a few more. It doesn't support 5K or dual 4K connections, but it does support multi-display connection if you have a few standard or 1080P monitors.

$300 at Retailer

Powerful but portable

OWC

This powerful port extender is one of my favorites. It's small enough to fit in your backpack if you need to take your hub on the go but is definitely powerful enough to be a stationary docking station. The DisplayPort supports a single 5K display at 60Hz or you can connect two 4K displays (one via DisplayPort and one via USB-C) up to 60Hz. It also has a hybrid 3.5mm microphone/headphone jack, so you can connect your podcasting gear, right to your MacBook Pro.

$255 at Amazon

Docking stations are designed for multi-display use with charging support. Some of them are very similar to hubs — a stand-alone box with a number of ports. Others mount to your MacBook Pro. There are even some docking stations that let you set up your MacBook Pro in clamshell mode. My personal favorite is OWC's dock because of its portability.

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