The Best Thunderbolt 3 Docks

Table of Contents

We live in an increasingly digital world, as more and more devices are becoming a part of our daily routines — this is complicated further by the fact that many people are bringing their digital work devices home with them, cluttering up their desks with devices and wires. A Thunderbolt 3 dock can be a great way to organize your wires with a single unit, and can allow you to connect devices that would otherwise be troublesome because your laptop doesn’t have the right (or enough) ports —we’re looking at you MacBook users!

We’ve put together this list of some of the most useful and feature-packed Thunderbolt 3 hubs you can find on the market right now that will help you organize your wires and condense your dongles, with a variety of price points and uses in mind. Don’t worry if you’re having some trouble figuring out which Thunderbolt 3 dock you should get; we’ve also gathered some additional information for you at the end of the article, to help you learn more about the features you should be looking for.

1. Editor’s Pick: CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock

1. Editor’s Pick: CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock
  • Large array of ports available
  • Powered unit that can charge your devices
  • Audio ports that can connect to your speakers
  • Great for connecting displays that use DisplayPort or Thunderbolt instead of HDMI
  • Mac OS and Windows compatible
  • Expensive

Key Specs

Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort 1.2, 5x USB-A, 1x USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, 1x USB-C 3.1 Gen 2, 1x Ethernet, 1x SD card slot, 1x optical audio, 1x 3.5mm stereo audio in and out
Operating System Compatibility: Mac OS, Windows
Data Transfer Speed: Up to 40Gbps
Power: 85W
Dimensions: 17.5 x 13.6 x 12.5 cm

The CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock is our top choice that we think you should buy, because it has a large array of ports that you can utilize, and it’s able to reliably charge all of your electronics and quickly send data between your devices. This is probably the most dependable Thunderbolt 3 docks available right now because of its sturdy design, ease of use, and it has pretty much every port available that you’ll need with our current technology — including an optical audio slot, so that you can connect it directly to your amplifiers, speakers, or home theatre system.

We love this unit for anyone who uses an SD card in their workflow, like photographers transferring images between devices, because it’s very easy to do quickly with this unit. It’s also very easy to place in your setup because it can be positioned either horizontally or vertically, which can be a huge bonus if you’re tight on space.

2. Runner Up: OWC 14-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock with Cable

2. Runner Up: OWC 14-Port Thunderbolt 3 Dock with Cable
  • Powered unit that can charge your devices
  • Large number of ports available, including a MicroSD slot
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Thunderbolt 3 cable included
  • Low number of USB-C ports available
  • Expensive

Key Specs

Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, Mini DisplayPort, 5x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2, 1x Ethernet, 1x SD card slot, 1x MicroSD card slot, 1x optical audio out, 1x analog audio in and out
Operating System Compatibility: Mac OS, Windows
Data Transfer Speed: Up to 40Gbps
Power: 85W
Dimensions: 23 x 8.9 x 2.5 cm

Not to be outdone, our runner up has almost as many different ports available, and comes in at a slightly lower price point than our top pick — if you need a MicroSD card slot, this is the unit for you.

It’s easy to organize your wires and eliminate clutter with this sleekly designed unit. You can connect up to two additional displays using this dock, which can help you maximize your screen space if the work you’re doing requires lots of room. We’re also loving the quick dock ejector feature, which ensures the last data is written and then safely disconnects all of your devices at once, so you can take it on the go.

3. Also Consider: Anker Docking Station

3. Also Consider: Anker Docking Station
  • Built with an HDMI port
  • Can support up to three external monitors
  • Powered unit that can quickly charge your devices
  • Speedy file transfers
  • Linux compatibility
  • Some users noted that the unit gets very hot while charging your devices

Key Specs

Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB-C, 4x USB-A, HDMI, 1x Ethernet, 1x SD card slot, 1x MicroSD card slot, 1x 3.5 mm AUX
Operating System Compatibility: Mac OS, Windows, Linux
Data Transfer Speed: up to 40Gbps
Power: 85W
Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.9 x 4.2 cm

While all Thunderbolt 3 docks can be a little pricey, the Anker Docking Station is the lowest priced option on this list, without sacrificing any essential features like a plethora of ports and the ability to charge your devices.

Being the only dock on this list with an HDMI port, this is a great unit for connecting an HDMI monitor to your laptop or computer that doesn’t have an HDMI port, and it has many other ports available to help you reduce wire clutter around your workspace.

With this unit it seems that there’s some particular system requirements that it’ll work with, like USB-C laptops needing their port to support DisplayPort Alt Mode and power delivery, so double check that your specific device will be compatible in the product description before you purchase this dock to avoid any issues down the road. On the bright side, it works with Linux!

4. Sleeper Pick: Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini HD

4. Sleeper Pick: Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini HD
  • Small and portable
  • Has most of the ports you’ll likely need
  • Dual monitor support
  • Quick data transfer rate
  • Compatible with both Mac OS and Windows
  • Doesn’t have as many port options as other pricier and larger units
  • Can’t charge your devices

Key Specs

Ports: 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 2x HDMI, 1x Gigabit Ethernet
Operating System Compatibility: Mac OS, Windows
Data Transfer Speed: 40Gbps
Dimensions: 7.87 x 12.95 x 2.03 cm
Weight: 176.9g

Okay, so this one’s more affordably priced than our list pick, but there’s a catch. The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini HD doesn’t come with any power to charge your devices and thus is smaller, making it more compact and portable than a traditional Thunderbolt 3 dock, and it’s the best if you’re looking to take it on the go.

This is a great unit to take around with you, especially if you need to bring a dock between home and work consistently. It’s compatible with both Windows and Mac OS, and even though it’s a smaller unit it still supports a dual monitor connection, so you can create the most highly efficient workstation wherever you may be. Just keep in mind that this unit won’t be able to charge your devices for you, so you’ll still need to keep a charging cable around for your phone or computing devices.

5. Best Budget Pick: Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro

5. Best Budget Pick: Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro
  • Wide array of ports available
  • Dual monitor support
  • Supports UHS II SD cards
  • Powered, so it can charge your devices
  • Comes with a Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • Some users had trouble connecting a second monitor, while others didn’t

Key Specs

Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB-A 3.1, 1x USB-C 3.1, 4x USB-A 3.0, 1x DisplayPort, 1x SD card slot, 3.5mm audio in and out, 1x Gigabit Ethernet
Operating System Compatibility: Mac OS, Windows
Data Transfer Speed: 40Gbps
Power: 85W
Dimensions: 24.77 x 13 x 2.01 cm

The Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro is another all around great dock you should consider purchasing — it’s beautiful and sleek, has a large array of ports, and can support a dual monitor connection.

We love this model because it’s more affordable than some other options, looks beautiful and will declutter your space, and still has a wide array of ports available so you’ll be able to connect many devices — including dual monitors, if that’s something you’re looking for. This is another great option for anyone who works with SD cards, like photographers or videographers, because this unit supports quick data transfers onto your devices, especially if you’re using a UHS II (ultra-high speed) SD card, which can be up to three times faster than an older SD card with UHS I.

Features to Look for in a Thunderbolt 3 Dock

There are quite a few technical factors you’ll need to consider before purchasing a Thunderbolt 3 dock; we’ve put together this quick guide for you to help explain some of these technical aspects, so you’ll know for sure you’re picking up the right dock.

Ports: Since these units are all about increasing connectivity between devices with different ports, the first thing you should make sure of is that the dock you pick has the right ports you want. If you’re looking to transfer information between a Thunderbolt device and a USB-A device, for example, check that the unit has the right number of ports available. If you’re looking to connect external displays through the dock, make sure that it can support that — some of the docks listed here can only connect one external display, while others can connect more.

Operating System Compatibility: Like most electronic devices, Thunderbolt 3 docks aren’t necessarily compatible with every operating system; we’ve tried our best to include options that at the very least are both Mac OS and Windows compatible, but any Linux users should pay special attention to this and make sure that their dock will work with their computer. Some of the docks listed here are also only compatible with certain Mac OS and Windows models; in those cases, be sure to read the product description and make sure that your device is on the list.

Data Transfer Speed: You’ll find this number listed in Gigabits per second (Gbps) and it’ll tell you how fast data can be transferred through the cables. Generally, Thunderbolt 3 cables will give you the fastest data transfer speed because they’re a newer technology, and the other kinds of cables you’ll connect will have a lower speed. Another thing to note is that some USB ports will be listed as “gen 2”, which means that they’re a newer technology and have a faster data transfer rate than their gen-1 counterparts.

Power: A useful feature with many of these docks is that they are powered, and thus they’re capable of charging up your devices for you. This can be a super handy feature if you’re taking it on the go and don’t want to bring any extra cables around – or even if you’re just trying to reduce the amount of wires around your work space.

Leave a Comment

We're always looking for more feedback! If you've purchased one of the docks on this list and would like to share your experience, please comment below and let us know what you think about our picks.

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