Anyone that uses a MacBook or notebook on a daily basis knows there are times when it would be nice to put your computer down on the desk and plug into a couple large displays, maybe a keyboard and mouse, and get some work done. Fortunately, the product we are looking at today has those capabilities and even a little more.
The Universal USB 3.0 docking station is one of the latest products to come from TRENDnet. This solution allows consumers the option to dock their notebook, ultrabook or MacBook quickly and easily via USB 3.0 enabling users to connect to two independent 1080p displays, along with a gigabit Ethernet port and two USB 3.0 ports. Maximum resolution for the HDMI port is reported at 2048 x 1536, while the DVI port is capable of 2048 x 1152. Compatibility of the TU3-DS2 extends to modern Windows operating systems, along with OS X 10.9.
MSRP of the TRENDnet Universal USB 3.0 Dock is set at $149.99 with a two-year warranty.
Packaging for the TRENDnet device houses the dock and power adapter in a plastic shell.
Scope of delivery for the TU3-DS2 includes a USB 3.0 cable, power adapter, along with reading materials.
As you can see, the Universal Docking Station carries a slim form factor housing two USB 3.0 ports on the front, along with microphone and headset ports.
The back of the unit houses four USB 2.0 ports at the top, followed by a gigabit Ethernet port, DVI port and HDMI.
To test the USB 3.0 capability, we used a SanDisk Extreme PRO 1TB SSD via USB 3.0. Rather surprisingly, the TRENDnet TU3-DS2 allowed full USB 3.0 throughput.
Moving on, we ran the gigabit Ethernet port through our network testing and found the adapter capable of 840 Mbps.
For users that want the ability to dock their notebook, the TRENDnet Universal Docking Station is one of the best I have seen to date. The build quality of the unit is rather superb, and setup is quite simple. In addition, the ability to connect to dual displays with each being capable of 1080p resolution can aide in increasing productivity greatly.
Performance, especially over USB 3.0, was quite surprising. We were nearly able to max out our native ports on our Intel Z97 platform with speeds upwards of 434 MB/s read and 424 MB/s write. The gigabit Ethernet port, while not reaching the full potential of gigabit, did offer nearly 840 Mbps of throughput and makes a great addition to the dock.
Over the past few months, we have seen quite a few DisplayLink adapters come through the lab. While some had additional connectivity options like gigabit Ethernet, none have been as complete of a solution as the TRENDnet TU3-DS2.
PRICING: You can find the TRENDnet Universal USB 3.0 Docking Station, TU3-DS2 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||80%|
The Bottom Line: TRENDnet's USB 3.0 Universal Dock is a great solution for notebook or MacBook users wanting to increase productivity with a simple and easy to setup solution.
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