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I've "recentely" asked this question here for a docking station for laptops that uses Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1 for connections. While I'm still interested in such stations I need an alternative in case no such alternative will be available within a reasonable time-frame.

So I'm hereby asking for a docking station that qualifies with the following points (in order of preference):

  • It connects via USB 3.0 and doesn't require special additional software for Windows (10) besides maybe a driver
  • It has at least 4 USB 3.0 ports (additionally to the connecting port)
  • It has at least 4 other USB (2.0+) ports (so 8 ports in total)
  • It has a gigabit ethernet network port
  • It has a HDMI (1.4+) port for monitor output
  • It has yet another 2 USB (2.0+) ports (so 10 in total)
  • Price should be less than 200€ (in Germany)
  • Fully optional: Smartcard Reader

If you ask yourself: "For what do you need 8 (or more) USB ports for a laptop!?" Here's the list: External USB 3.0 SSD, External 2.5" USB 3.0 HDD, External 3.5" USB 3.0 Backup HDD, High-Speed USB 3.0 USB-Stick, external USB 2.0 sound card, external mechanical USB keyboard, external USB mouse, external blu-ray burner (2x USB 2.0)

Please note: all of these devices are already bought and may not be deconstructed, so a dock with HDD bay or optical drive (bay) doesn't give "bonus points".

  • What about mixing external usb hub and docking station? It'd be pretty easy to find external usb 3.0 hub with 8 slots hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/341/cheap-usb3-0-hub/… – belford Oct 10 '15 at 20:34
  • @belford, I'd prefer not having to use external hubs as well, because this will result in a mess with the power supply cables (the 3.5" needs external power, the dock needs power and the hub would need power as well). I'm asking this to find a solution that doesn't two-level require additional hardware. If there's no such hardware, I guess I just get the recommended hub and the toshiba dock. – SEJPM Oct 10 '15 at 20:41
  • Check this one (or suggestions by amazon) amazon.com/… – belford Oct 10 '15 at 20:52
  • @belford, it meets the most criteria (105€ in Germany atm :) ) (assuming the charger ports also provide a data interface) and it would be an acceptable answer. I guess this could only be beat by an answer with a 10-port dock. – SEJPM Oct 10 '15 at 21:06
  • I was trying to find information about these ports (sometimes the red one has only the charge wires connected). However, you have one external 2.5" hdd support. Would it be useful for you? Check also: superuser.com/questions/70662/… and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB#Colors – belford Oct 10 '15 at 21:12
2

Note: Typical docking station has 2-4 USB ports, sometimes 5-6.

Option 1

Cable Matters® SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station with 6-Port USB Hub

Score:

  1. (✓) Connection:one cable to the USB 3.0/2.0 port of your computer.

  2. (✓) it has 6 USB 3.0 ports (additionally to the connecting port)

  3. (X) it hasn't USB 2.0 ports

  4. (✓) Gigabit Ethernet

  5. (✓) HDMI (resolutions: up to 2048x1152/1920x1200)

  6. (X) the same as 3.

  7. (✓) $89.99 and this item ships to Germany

Optional:

  1. (X) It hasn't Smartcard Reader

Option 2

Woopower WPUL02 has 4 USB 3.0 + 2 USB 2.0 + 2 USB charger port.

Does the red one has only the charge wires connected? Yes, probably. There's no clear statement in the description. What is more...

Based on wikipedia:

USB ports and connectors are often color-coded to distinguish their different functions and USB versions. These colors are not part of the USB specification and can vary between manufacturers; for example, USB 3.0 specification mandates appropriate color-coding while it only recommends blue inserts for standard-A USB 3.0 connectors and plugs

Score:

  1. (✓) Connection:one cable to the USB 3.0/2.0 port of your computer.

  2. (✓) it has 4 USB 3.0 ports (additionally to the connecting port)

  3. (X) it has just 2 USB 2.0 ports

  4. (✓) Gigabit Ethernet

  5. (✓) HDMI (display resolution up to 2048 x 1152)

  6. (X) the same as 3.

  7. (✓) $105€ and this item ships to Germany

Optional:

  1. (X) It hasn't Smartcard Reader
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