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Tuesday, 29 November 2016 07:11

Kensington Dock solves single USB-C port connectivity problems (review)

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USB-C is the new generation of connector combining charge and data in one cable, but it brings with it special issues, with external connectivity while charging being the greatest. Kensingtson SD4600P dock solves this.

For example, I have a Windows 10, Samsung Galaxy TabPro S tablet. It has an amazing 12”, 2160 x 1440, OLED touch screen, heaps of power with an Intel Core M3, and an all-day battery. But it only has one USB-C port for data and charging, and that makes expansion very limited.

I bought the $149 Samsung Multiport Adapter to get over this – it has a single HDMI (4K), and a full-size USB 3.0 port as well as pass through charging – a good mobility solution.

But this article is about using any USB-C device – macOS, Chrome OS, or Windows 10 as notebook replacement with the ability to plug in multiple monitors, USB devices, Thunderbolt 3 compatibility, and charging – all at the same time. Enter the Kensington SD46000P and it is perfect in every way.

The specifications:

  • The single USB-C cable (supplied) connects from the computer to the dock. It provides simultaneous charging up to 60W, 4K video data transfer speeds, and full plug and play compatibility;
  • 1 x USB-C 3.1 Host port with 60W charging (to connect to the computing device);
  • 1 x USB-C 3.1 (5Gbps) Thunderbolt compatible;
  • HDMI and DisplayPort for either a single 4K @ 60Hz or two HD monitors at 30Hz;
  • Gigabit Ethernet port;
  • 1 x USB-A 3.1 full-size with 2.1A fast charging;
  • 2 x USB-A 3.1 full-size with 1A charging;
  • 3.5mm audio out and 3.5mm microphone in;
  • 95 x 217 x 26mm x 300g;
  • One 20V/4.5A power brick that is almost as big as the dock;
  • Three-year warranty;
  • Power LED shows when switched on;
  • Kensington lock compatible; and
  • Firmware upgradable for future updates.

Kensington SD4000P in the box

The device is plug and play apart from Ethernet drivers for Mac (downloadable) and it works almost instantly.

I set the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S up with the dock connected to two HD monitors, an external keyboard and mouse, a WD portable hard disk, Ethernet connection and a USB-C Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge for data/charge. It instantly recognised all devices and I was working on the tablet as if it was a desktop.

Kensington SD400P dual monitor

Samsung TabPro S uses a fast charger that will charge the battery fully from zero in about three hours. The Dock supports USB power delivery standards and using its power supply it took a little under four hours.

Cost and models

The SD4600P costs $349.95. It is the one to buy.

Model SD4500 does not do pass through charging and costs $319.95. Unless your computing device has separate charging — not via USB-C — then go for the SD4600P.

There is also a portable model AD1500 at $129.95 that supports one HDMI (4K) or VGA (HD), a single USB-3 port and is Thunderbolt Compatible. This relies on the computer for power e.g. no pass-through charge.

And if you don’t have a USB-C device but you do have USB-A 3.0 and want similar features look at Kensington's SD4000 dock. iTWire’s review is here. 

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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