Wednesday, 27 October 2021 00:07

Make your laptop a battle station with the Aten USB-C multiport dock with power pass-through


Today's laptops of all makes and models are super-portable devices. Yet, there's a time when you want to use your device, or even a tablet, at a desk with a big monitor, a comfortable keyboard, and all other accessories. The Aten USB-C multiport dock with power pass-through has you covered, supporting up to 13 devices through one USB-C cable.

The Aten USB-C multiport dock with power pass-through (model UH3237) is a stylish and slim aluminium unit that looks right at home next to your MacBook Pro or Surface Tablet or whatever else you have so long as it supports USB-C or thunderbolt. It sits on a non-slip rubber pad to help it remain fixed on your desk while being light and easy to move whenever you want.

The dock connects to your laptop - even your iPad -through a single USB-C cable and brings 13 ports of its own. Unlike many other docks, it supports USB-C power delivery 3.0 for charging up to 85W. Simply plug your existing power adapter in.

It supports 4K or dual full HD 1080p through its 2x HDMI ports, or using HDMI and VGA, with Windows 10 and above USB-C enabled computers with DP Alt Mode. macOS computers do not include MST technology and do not support dual-mode but you can still easily plug in an external monitor and use your laptop panel and the monitor for two independent screens.

The ports are

  • 1x USB-C
  • 2x USB 2
  • 3x USB 3
  • SD
  • microSD
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • HDMI 1
  • HDMI 2 or VGA
  • 4-pole 3.5mm headphone, supporting microphone and sound
  • USB-C power input

20V, 15V, 12V, 9V, and 5V power is supported.

The range of ports on Aten's dock is impressive. Though, It's easy enough to rattle off a list of specs. Seeing the dock in action is something else. iTWire took the dock for a spin and it’s easily been the single most useful device that’s helped endure lockdowns. With endless Microsoft Teams and Zoom meetings, documents, and spreadsheets, my working space went from being hunched over the laptop to a seriously comfortable layout - large monitor, keyboard, mouse, headsets, FIDO2 security key, power, ethernet, and other devices - but all connected through one solitary cable. Unplug it, and I can wander around, but plug it in, and my computer is transformed from a workstation.

Ironically, long gone are the days where we were chained to desktop PCs in a single location and couldn’t work unless we were at that place - but for all the advantages of mobility and portability, the reality is we still spend much of our working life at one place (even if that one place is our home these days) and, importantly, we need to look after our health.

While the Aten UH 3237 dock provides a plethora of connectivity options and looks good doing it, it’s also your enabler to maintaining good posture, to protecting your eyes and wrists, and other positive practices.

If you have an available ethernet socket you can plug it in too, along with USB sticks, cameras, SD cards, external hard drives, printers, scanners, and anything else you can think of. Whatever device you have, the Aten USB-C multiport dock with power pass-through has a space for it.

And when you're ready to go elsewhere, simply unplug one cable and go about your business. Everything stays in place ready for your return where, with one single cable, you’re back to having a powerful workspace again.

The dock itself is also easily transported and the careful design thinking shows, with an underside slot to tuck the USB-C cable into for protection. In fact, you can set your laptop on top of the dock; it doesn’t need to be to the side.

The usefulness and value of a great dock cannot be underestimated and Aten has truly delivered an excellent dock that is sturdy, reliable, fully-featured, yet elegant, stylish and diminutive.


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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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