With so many laptops, including some of the best Macs, dropping the number of available ports, Thunderbolt 4 and Thunderbolt 3 docks have become essential. These handy devices address the aforementioned flaw by adding more port types to your computer. This enables you to pair accessories and add-ons with all sorts of different connectors, without having to worry about the port types initially offered by your PC. All you need to expand your setup is a computer with a compatible port and one of the excellent Thunderbolt 4 or 3 docks we've listed below.
Our favorite Thunderbolt 4 and 3 docks
Kensington SD5780T Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station
A bit of everything
The Kensington SD5780T Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station is a powerful high-end docking station. It has a total of 11 ports, including downstream Thunderbolt, HDMI, and multiple USB Type-A ports for all your needs.
- Solid quality
- Compact build
- No HDMI or DisplayPort
Kensington is known for its device security solutions, but the company also makes docks and hubs. Their latest offering is the SD5780T Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station. The dock offers a total of 11 ports including an SD card reader, three Thunderbolt 4 ports (one being the connection to the host), four USB-A ports (one 5V/1.5A charging port on the front, and three Gen2 10Gbps ports on the rear), HDMI, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm audio combo jack. The dock also supports 90W power delivery which means you can charge any Thunderbolt 4 or Thunderbolt 3-enabled Windows or Mac-based notebook. You need to note there are no DisplayPort or HDMI ports on this dock, so you can only connect a monitor that supports USB-C, or you will have to add another adapter.
Plugable 16-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Dock
The Plugable 16-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 docking station comes with a ton of ports, and it's one of the few docks that support a total of four 4K displays through HDMI and DisplayPort. It also has plenty of USB Type-A ports, 2.5Gbps Ethernet, SD card readers, and more.
- Plenty of USB ports for peripherals
- Four display outputs with support for four 4K 60Hz monitors
- Super-fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet
- microSD card slot can be finicky
- No downstream Thunderbolt
Plugable may not be as popular of a name as Kensington, but the company has been making some fantastic docking solutions in recent years, and the Plugable 16-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station is the pinnacle of those efforts.
With a total of 16 ports, it already has plenty of sheer connectivity, but it gets even better when you consider it has four display outputs, and it can actually drive four 4K displays at the same time if you have a laptop that supports the full suite of Thunderbolt 4 features. It also has a ton of USB Type-A ports and a super-fast 2.5Gbps Ethernet port if you want wired internet, giving it an edge over many other docks. The only downsides with this one are the lack of a downstream Thunderbolt 4 port and the fact that the microSD card slot can sometimes get cards stuck, as we noted in our review. Otherwise, this is a fantastic alternative to our top pick.
CalDigital Element Thunderbolt 4 Dock
Average price, average offerings
If you don't need a ton of ports, the CalDigit Element Hub gives you four USB Type-A connections and three Thunderbolt downstream ports, which can still connect lots of accessories. Plus, it's very compact and more affordable than most Thunderbolt docks.
- Excellent build
- Universal compatibility
- Modern design
- Limited port variety
The CalDigit Element Hub is one of the few Thunderbolt 4 docks available today that helps in expanding the number of Thunderbolt and USB Type-A ports on your laptop, Mac, or desktop PC. It's backward compatible with Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and USB 4, and it offers support for dual-4K or a single 8K monitor and power delivery of 60W to charge various devices, including laptops, smartphones, and more. It's fairly compact and suitable for users who primarily need multiple fast USB ports.
CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt 4 Dock
The ultimate Thunderbolt 4 dock
Thunderbolt docks don't get a lot better than the CalDigit TS4. With a total of 18 ports, including Thunderbolt downstream ports, DisplayPort, USB-C, USB-A, and super-fast 2.5Gb Ethernet, this one is something else. It also has a solid metal build that helps it feel premium and durable.
- Wide variety of ports
- Durable exterior
- Very pricey
This Thunderbolt 4 dock from CalDigit has 18 ports that will help you make the most out of your laptop. These include a built-in DisplayPort 1.4 connector, eight USB ports with full 10Gb/s performance, SD and microSD 4.0 UHS-II card readers, three Thunderbolt 4 (40Gb/s) ports, three audio ports, 2.5GbE, and a security slot. And thanks to 98W power delivery support, you will be able to quickly charge your compatible laptop.
Anker PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock
Small size, large impact
This is a fairly compact Thunderbolt 4 dock from Anker that offers up to 85W Power Delivery, up to 15W charging for phones, and support for an 8K 30Hz or dual 4K 60Hz display.
- Fast charging and data transfer speeds
- Supported on macOS and Windows
- Limited port number
Anker is a well-known and reliable brand when it comes to charging accessories and USB hubs, and that also includes Thunderbolt docks. The company offers the PowerExpand 5-in-1 Thunderbolt 4 Mini Dock, which, as the name suggests, is a small Thunderbolt 4 dock capable of expanding your connectivity. It features an 85W Thunderbolt 4 upstream port, three Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports, and one USB-A port. The Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports support 15W Power Delivery and a single 8K monitor at 30Hz, or dual monitors up to 4K at 60Hz.
Razer Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma
RGB lighting makes it to the dock
The Razer Thunderbolt 4 dock Chroma is a good option if you want to add a touch of RGB to your setup. It also adds a number of ports, including an SD card reader, three Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports, and more.
- Fun RGB lighting
- Pass-through charging support
- Reasonably priced
- Limited port variety
A Thunderbolt dock with RGB? Why not! Razer is known for its high-quality gaming peripherals, and the company has come up with its own Thunderbolt 4 dock. Apart from the swanky RGB lighting, the dock offers an SD card reader, a 3.5mm audio jack, three Thunderbolt 4 downstream ports, a Thunderbolt 4 upstream port, Gigabit Ethernet, and three USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports. It's nearly identical to the Kensington SD5700T; in fact, even the placement of the ports is similar. You'll just get the bonus of RGB lighting to potentially match your setup. Again, there are no DisplayPort or HDMI ports. However, you can plug dual 4K monitors using the additional Thunderbolt ports.
Plugable 14-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 Dock
Wide port variety from a reputable brand
This dock can be the central hub for your desk setup, with multiple display outputs, USB ports, and Ethernet so you can connect more peripherals to your computer. And it also delivers up to 100W of power, offering you everything you need in a compact package.
- Sleek design
- Popular port selection
- Wide compatibility
- No SD card slot
- Thunderbolt 3 not as fast as TB4
If you're looking for a slim Thunderbolt 3 that offers some of the most-used ports, then this is the one to go for. It offers 11 ports in a sleek body, including USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, 100W power delivery, and more. Though, it misses out on an SD card slot, which photographers and creators may need. Nonetheless, it's an excellent package for those who want to expand the port number and variety they can utilize.
CalDigial TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock
USB-C, Ethernet, SD cards, and more
This beast offers 15 ports, including USB-C, Ethernet, SD card, and more. It also supports two external displays, assuming your computer is compatible.
- Wide port variety
- From a reputable company
- 15 ports total
- Thunderbolt 3 isn't as fast as TB4
- Expensive for what it offers
Even though it's older than the other CalDigit on this list, the CalDigit TS3 Plus is a highly recommended Thunderbolt 3 dock, as it offers a wide range of I/O and the ability to connect not one but two laptops at the same time. It comes with two Thunderbolt ports, five USB 3.2 Type-A, a USB 3.2 Type-C, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, DisplayPort 1.2, 3.5mm audio in, 3.5mm audio out, Gigabit Ethernet, optical audio, UHS-II SD card slot, and support for 87W Power Delivery.
Dell Thunderbolt Dock WD19TBS
For your average needs and more
The unique thing about Dell's Thunderbolt 3 dock is that it offers up to 130W of Power Delivery which means you can easily charge a laptop and still have it up and running without any issues.
- Wide port variety
- 130W power delivery
- Supports up to three displays
- Thunderbolt 3 is older
Dell’s very own Thunderbolt dock is great for expanding your connectivity options. The dock notably doesn't come with any audio ports, nor does it have any memory card readers. At the front, there's a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A port, and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port. At the back of the dock, there are two DisplayPort 1.4, one HDMI, a USB-C port with DisplayPort support, two USB Type-A ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and Thunderbolt 3. According to Dell, the dock offers support for up to three displays, including a single 5K and dual 4K monitors, and up to 130W power delivery.
UtechSmart Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station
A bit of everything for a low price
This 12-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 docking station provides a bit of everything to match most (or all) of your port needs on both macOS and Windows machines.
- Budget-friendly price tag
- Wide port variety
- Not the most premium out there
- Thunderbolt 3 only
This 12-in-1 Thunderbolt 3 docking station from UtechSmart includes one 4K HDMI 1, one HDMI 2, one VGA, two USB 2.0, one RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000), one USB-C for charging, one USB-C for data transfers, one SD/TF, and two USB 3.0 ports. It's compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs and has a reasonable price tag.
Our favorite Thunderbolt 4 and 3 docks: The bottom line
Whether your laptop or computer supports Thunderbolt 4 or the older Thunderbolt 3, there are dock options out there for you. You just have to take note of which your device supports. The Kensington SD5780T is the best overall pick for most users. Not only does it offer a rich variety of ports, but it also has a reasonable price. Of course, different users will need different port types and numbers.
Kensington SD5780T Thunderbolt 4 Docking Station
The Kensington SD5780T is a versatile docking station with a total of 11 ports and a sturdy design that looks great anywhere. It has USB Type-A ports, HDMI, Ethernet, and downstream Thunderbolt connections.
However, if I were to choose one, I would go for the CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt 4 Dock. It offers pretty much all port types you would expect from a dock, and it's manufactured by a reputable company. However, The TS4 is overkill for many users.
With more Thunderbolt 4 laptops creeping into the market, we're expecting more brands to come up with docking solutions in the coming months. Make sure you also go through our list of some of the best laptops you should buy, and if you're into gaming, here's our recommendation of the best gaming laptops.