The best MacBook docking station round-up

Get more out of your MacBook by pairing it with a docking station for extra screens, additional ports, Ethernet and more.

Best MacBook dock overall
CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt Dock - hero card
CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt Dock
From
$669.95
Connectivity
Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C
Ports
16
Power delivery
98W
Best cheap MacBook dock
Plugable USBC-7IN1E - product card
Plugable USBC-7IN1E
From
$58
Connectivity
Thunderbolt 3, USB-C
Ports
7
Power delivery
87W
Best USB-C MacBook dock
Logitech UC Logi Dock All-In-One Multiport Docking Station
Logi Dock
From
$599
Connectivity
USB-C
Ports
8
Power delivery
100W
Best Thunderbolt MacBook dock
Plugable TBT4-UD5 - product card
Plugable TBT4-UD5
From
$299
Connectivity
Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C
Ports
13
Power delivery
100W
Best portable MacBook dock
Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini - hero card
Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini
From
$240.48
Connectivity
Thunderbolt 3, USB-C
Ports
5
Power delivery
None
Nathan Lawrence
Feb 22, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

Buying a laptop docking station is a lot more straightforward than a MacBook alternative. On one hand, a lot of docks are cross-compatible between Windows and Mac operating systems. On the other, the age of the MacBook and the kind of processing chip it uses may ultimately determine whether you can access the full functionality of a docking station.

In terms of costs, expect to pay under $100 for a cheap docking station. But if you want a Thunderbolt 4 MacBook dock, expect to pay around the $300 mark. For all the bells and whistles of a high-end MacBook dock, you can pay up to around $700. Scroll on for our favourite MacBook docking station picks for Australia.

Compare our best MacBook docking station picks

Best for
MacBook dock
Price
View more
Connectivity
Ports
Power delivery
Icon Star Full  LightBest MacBook docking station overall
From
$669.95
Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C1898W
Icon Star Full  LightBest cheap MacBook docking station
From
$58
Thunderbolt 3, USB-C787W
Icon Star Full  LightBest USB-C MacBook docking station
From
$599
USB-C8100W
Icon Star Full  LightBest Thunderbolt MacBook docking station
From
$299
Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C13100W
Icon Star Full  LightBest portable MacBook docking station
From
$240.48
Thunderbolt 3, USB-C5None

CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt Dock

Best MacBook docking station overall

Connectivity
Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3
Ports
18
Power delivery
98W
Starts at
$669.95
pro
Pros
pro Thunderbolt 4 speeds
pro Heaps of ports
pro Plenty of PD juice
con
Cons
con Very expensive
con Not as widely available as alternatives
con Chunky power supply

One of the best MacBook docking stations in Australia is the trickiest to find. Your best bet for nabbing the CalDigit TS4 Thunderbolt Dock is the official Apple Store, Amazon or select online retailers. But what you get is an impressive MacBook dock with lots of pros. There are 18 ports, split practically across the front and back of the docking station, which can be stood up or laid flat. Our favourite inclusion is the speedy 2.5Gbps Ethernet port for faster local transfers between compatible devices. For a single external display, the TS4 supports up to an 8K external monitor. Alternatively, connect two 6K external monitors (or lower resolutions). The 98 Watts of power delivery (PD) is enough to keep your MacBook juiced up.

For alternatives, check out the cheaper Plugable TBT4-UD5 below, the OWC Thunderbolt Hub or the Corsair TBT200.

Plugable USBC-7IN1E

Best cheap MacBook docking station

Connectivity
Thunderbolt 3, USB-C
Ports
7
Power delivery
87W
Starts at
$58
pro
Pros
pro Great dock price
pro Compact design
pro Easy to use
con
Cons
con Short connection cable
con Heats up when using PD
con Light weight may make it less stable

The Plugable USBC-7IN1E is a great place to start if you have an older MacBook or are keen to dip your toe in the docking station waters without spending hundreds of dollars. While that cheaper price does come with compromises, notably a comparatively low seven ports, there’s a lot to like about this Plugable dock beyond its cheap asking price. For starters, the 87W power delivery is enough to charge everything except the most powerful newer-model MacBooks. The selection of ports includes HDMI for an external monitor, USB 3.0- ports, Ethernet as well as an SD and MicroSD card reader. We also like that the USBC-7IN1E is compact enough to be practically portable.

Alternatively, consider the pricier DockCase Visual Smart USB-C 7-in-1 Hub, Mokin ‎MUC503-3301 or Selore UC0513.

Logi Dock

Best USB-C MacBook docking station

Connectivity
USB-C
Ports
8
Power delivery
100W
Starts at
$599
pro
Pros
pro More than just a dock
pro Sturdy build
pro Anti-dock design
con
Cons
con Pricey for a USB-C dock
con Thunderbolt 4 version, please
con Could do with more ports

If you’re in a home with a mix of Windows laptops and MacBooks, a USB-C docking station is a great choice to support multiple platforms. While there are cheaper options, the Logitech Logi Dock is an impressive product because it’s more than just a typical MacBook docking station. As a dock, you get seven ports on the back, including an impressive 100W of power delivery, which is plenty of juice. But the Logi Dock is also cleverly a speaker and microphone with an eye-catching design. That means better audio playback and clearer comms when you’re in video calls, plus the extra heft should help keep the Logi Dock firmly in place on your desk.

For USB-C MacBook dock alternatives, consider the cheaper Satechi ST-DDSM, Alogic DX3 or the HP USB-C G5 Dock.

Plugable TBT4-UD5

Best Thunderbolt MacBook docking station

Connectivity
Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C
Ports
13
Power delivery
100W
Starts at
$299
pro
Pros
pro Good value Thunderbolt 4 dock
pro Solid array of ports
pro Platform versatility
con
Cons
con Connector port placement might annoy
con Plastic build
con May shift around on the desk

For our preferred MacBook Thunderbolt dock, scroll to the top of the page. For a cheaper alternative that should be easier to source in Australia, consider the Plugable TBT4-UD5. This docking station comes with up to 100W of power delivery, plus a healthy selection of ports. Connect multiple external monitors for compatible MacBooks, a range of USB ports with different speeds, SD or MicroSD cards, headphones, and a wired Ethernet cable. The flat design ensures the TBT4-UD5 isn’t taking up too much desk space, plus it’s a good docking station for those who want to alternate between a MacBook and Windows PC for work and play.

Alternatively, pay a bit more for the bulkier Kensington SD5700T or the port-stacked vertical Satechi ST-DT4PMM-AU.

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini

Best portable MacBook docking station

Connectivity
Thunderbolt 3, USB-C
Ports
5
Power delivery
None
Starts at
$240.48
pro
Pros
pro Lightweight and sturdy build
pro Works with Mac and Windows
pro Straightforward MacBook expansion
con
Cons
con Pricey for no PD
con Short connection cable
con Light on ports

Budget docking stations are typically smaller and easier to take with you, but that doesn’t mean they were necessarily designed with portability in mind. Cue the entry of the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Mini. The connection cable may be short, but even that’s part of a design that screams mobility. Everything you need is on a smartphone-sized dock you can slip into a bag alongside your MacBook. Connect up to two external monitors, two USB-A devices and a wired Ethernet cable. While it doesn’t have a tonne of ports, this Belkin docking station is clearly built for people who shift their MacBooks between home and work configurations.

Alternatively, save money with the Plugable USBC-7IN1E outlined above or the Wavlink WL-UMD302, or try a pricier option like the Gigimundo LK10.

What to look for in a MacBook docking station


MacBook docking stations have more disclaimers than PC docks, though there is generally at least partial cross-compatibility between the two. It’s important to note that Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C and USB4 ports are identical and relevant devices, including docking stations, should work interchangeably.

But while that’s convenient, it’s not the full story. Thunderbolt 3, Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 ports offer up to 40Gbps of bandwidth. For docking stations, that’s not just data transfer, it also potentially impacts the resolution and frame rates of external monitors. This shouldn’t be anything to worry about if your MacBook offers one of these speedier ports, but it is if you’re only using USB-C to connect. Keep an eye out for a lightning-bolt symbol near the ports or text like ‘T4’ to help separate Thunderbolt ports from USB-C.

The other main disclaimer is that the regular versions of M1, M2 and M3 MacBooks only support one extended-mode external display. If you want more than one external monitor on these MacBooks, you may need to use a software workaround like DisplayLink, particularly on USB-C docking stations. Outside of these considerations, consider what you’ll use the MacBook docking station for in terms of ports and whether it needs to be portable to help choose the right one for you. Whichever dock you have in mind, check its compatibility with your MacBook, read reviews and dig into user comments for any reported issues.

icon-expertise

How we choose the best MacBook docking stations

After our in-depth research for our ‘best laptop docking stations’ article, we did a whole lot more to understand the intricacies of MacBook docks. Some may be cross-compatible, but there are more disclaimers for MacBooks, particularly as it relates to external displays (outlined above).

We went and sourced a range of MacBook docking stations and made sure they were available in Australia. That list of dozens of contenders was culled in terms of user scores and reviews on Amazon, as well as reading tech reviews to check they were compatible with MacBook users.

Popular Google searches around MacBook docks and docking stations were then used as the basis for picking our categories of interest. Where possible, we leant towards MacBook docking stations that offered power delivery, Ethernet and competitive pricing relative to competing products.

MacBook docking station frequently asked questions

Yes, there are many dock options compatible with MacBooks, though functionality will differ based on the MacBook model and whether the dock supports up to Thunderbolt 4. Research the best docking stations for your MacBook model, specifically its processor, to help make the right choice.
Apple products tend to attract premium pricing, and the same can be true of high-end docking stations that are built for MacBooks. For cheaper docks, shop for USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 alternatives.
If your MacBook Pro supports it, you may be able to connect it to two external Thunderbolt monitors. Otherwise, buy a Thunderbolt dock that has inbuilt support for multiple MacBook monitors. Alternatively, use third-party software like DisplayLink or InstantView to support multiple monitors on cheaper USB-C docking stations.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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