Multifunction docking stations are some of the most popular devices currently on the market. Nearly every major vendor is offering a solution with most devices coupling together USB 3.0, gigabit Ethernet and video outputs to some extent. Accell has recently released their very first solution in this category under the UltraAV banner, the Mini DisplayPort Y-Cable Docking Station.
After connecting the Y-Cable docking station to your PC, this solution provides users with two Mini DisplayPort 1.2 capable outputs, dual USB 3.0 and gigabit Ethernet. The connection to your PC is done via a single USB 3.0 lead along with a MiniDP lead. The DisplayPort connections on the dock are DP++ certified and allow dual monitor resolutions up to 2560x1600@60Hz, while a single monitor can go as high as 3840x2160@60Hz.
The Gigabit Ethernet port supports Wake-On-LAN,Crossover Detection and Auto Correction, while the USB 3.0 ports support downstream charging. In addition to these features, the Accell Y-Cable Docking Station is a "Designed for Surface" certified device for all Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and 3 users with OS compatibility for Microsoft Windows 7 and up.
MSRP of the Accell Y Cable Docking Station is listed at $149.99 with a one-year warranty.
Packaging for the UltraAV Docking Station features an image of the device on the front. Down below, you will find the Microsoft "Designed for Surface" logo with additional specifications to the left.
Scope of delivery includes a power adapter rated at 19.5v DC next to this the docking station and reading materials down below.
The front of the dock houses nearly every connection needed. To the far left, we start with the gigabit Ethernet, quickly followed up by three USB 3.0 and two Mini DisplayPort ports.
The back of the dock houses the two input connections, those being the USB 3.0 and MiniDP. Both cables are around 16 inches long offering plenty of flexibility, while at the far right we have the power input.
Above, we had a quick run with CDM to see what kind of performance could be expected from the UltraAV via USB 3.0. Sequential and large block random performance was on par with expectations at 408 MB/s read and 395 MB/s write, while 4K randoms were right where they needed to be as well.
The gigabit Ethernet port on the UltraAV did quite well as you can see in our chart. This solution was able to peak near 950 Mbps, which is just a few off 954 Mbps, the highest we have seen in our charts.
The Accell Y-Cable Docking Station is a great device for those wanting to add additional USB 3.0 ports along with additional display outputs and gigabit Ethernet. I could see it being even more convenient for Surface Pro users where port supply is almost non existent. The build quality seems to be quite good with everything fitting together quite well, while the additional length allows for more freedom when placing the dock, especially considering it requires external power.
The performance appeared to be on par with expectations with USB 3.0 reaching into the 400 MB/s plus range and the Gigabit Ethernet port allowing around 950 Mbps throughput. On the display side of things, it was quite interesting for me to test this as the monitor I currently use is setup as DVI Dual Link only, so it did take a few adapters and additional mucking about to get it working, but alas, the hub was able to bring my Qnix 2710 Evolution to life at its full 2560 x 1440 resolution, which can be quite a feat in itself.
As far as pricing is concerned, this solution carries a hefty MSRP of $149.99 direct from Accell, but looking around for similar solutions will net you just a few devices at much higher prices.
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||80%|
|Value for Money||89%|
The Bottom Line: For those that need the extra capabilities of dual monitors, gigabit ethernet and USB 3.0, the Accell Y-Cable Docking Station is a solid performer on all fronts, plus it offers a small footprint that won't clutter your desk.
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