IOGear Dock Professional 6-in-1 4K Dock Stand evaluation: dependable ports and unconventional stand fitted to smaller laptops

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IOGear’s Dock Professional 6-in-1 4K Dock Stand provides six helpful ports with a USB-C connection alongside an elevation stand so as to add utility to any trendy Mac pocket book.

Whereas many merchandise provide USB-C port enlargement performance or the ergonomics of propping up the pocket book with a bodily stand, it’s uncommon to see each mixed into one product. IOGear makes an attempt to bridge each common product varieties right into a single product for the final word comfort.

The port hub is comparatively simple, with the anticipated HDMI, USB-C, and USB-A ports. A Gigabit Ethernet port is much less frequent on such merchandise, so it is a welcome addition right here.

One notable omission was an SD card slot alongside a Micro SD card reader. Nonetheless, tradeoffs have been minimal.

Specs of the IOGear 4K Dock Stand

A complete of six totally different ports are featured on this docking stand.

The primary three are information ports. Two USB-A ports are constructed to the USB 3.2 customary, which permits each to help as much as speeds of 5 Gbps. Supporting the identical information switch pace is a separate USB-C information connector.

A fourth connector, utilizing the identical type-C interface, is a Energy Supply port that helps as much as 100W enter to the dock. The stand itself consumes 12W, leaving 88W to energy the related laptop computer.

There’s a Gigabit Ethernet port that helps as much as 1 Gbps in wired Web connections.

Lastly, a standard HDMI 1.4 port permits the person to connect with an exterior 3840 x 2160-resolution 4K show at 30Hz.

The large shock was the inclusion of a 100W passthrough Energy Supply USB-C port in a hub that makes use of a single cable within the 4K Dock Stand. We have seen hubs that take up each USB-C ports on one aspect of a MacBook characteristic Energy Supply know-how, as occupying all of what are the one charging-capable ports would necessitate.

Utilizing the IOGear 4K Dock Stand

To check the 4K Dock Stand, we used a 2021 MacBook Professional 16-inch mannequin with an M1 Professional chip.

Preliminary setup

With its width overlaying solely round a 3rd of the width of the 16-inch machine, the preliminary setup of the stand required some delicate positioning.

The compact, transportable steel body unfolded right into a flat-footed stand with steel helps slanting the laptop computer in direction of the person. There are 5 units of channels on both aspect to permit the person to select their most popular angle of the keyboard and trackpad.

The rods needed to be slotted into one of many 5 notch units etched into the steel to create a steady stand. As soon as the stand has been appropriately set, the laptop computer could be positioned on high.

Although the 4K Dock Stand is made primarily out of what seems to be anodized aluminum, it did not scratch the laptop computer. The factors of contact on the stand featured rubber padding, so the MacBook Professional by no means has to contact the naked steel.

The cable to the included hub was plugged in to the MacBook on the stand to finish the setup. The connector was retrieved earlier from its cable administration system on the backside of the stand earlier than meeting.

Instantly, we took subject with port positions on the 4K Dock Stand. Because of its design, the connectors are located straight beneath the interior third of the system, beneath the left Command key.

This place meant we needed to attain beneath the system to plug something in and required us to uncomfortably crane our necks to search for the correct ports.

Maybe the worst positioning was the Energy Supply port, which was proper subsequent to the hub cable on the base of the left foot of the stand. We discovered ourselves having to take away the laptop computer to plug in an influence cable in any respect.

It is rather inconvenient to make use of and an oversight in a design meant to be a semi-permanent dock setup.

The ports

The ports themselves on the 4K Dock Stand functioned as marketed. In our testing, we may hook up with exterior shows with no subject at a close-by library.

The 4K show within the multimedia room we used for testing appeared to obtain a sign that matched its {hardware} decision.

We’ve got additionally used a dual-connector flash drive to check each the USB-A and USB-C information ports, and so they labored superb. Lastly, a 100W adapter was related to a USB-C-to-USB-C cable to check Energy Supply performance, and it was capable of cost the MacBook.

Nonetheless, the mere 88W capability is much too low to adequately recharge the brand new 2021 MacBook Professionals, which use adapters rated for 96W and 140W, respectively. The 88W is sufficient to cost the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Professional fashions at full pace whereas providing robust currents for charging bigger MacBook fashions.

All of the ports maintained a correct connection whereas a peripheral was plugged in.

We imagine the addition of an SD card slot, which was much-requested for the MacBook Professionals earlier than their return to the lineup with the 2021 revision, can be invaluable for customers on lower-end fashions who want to stay productive.

Whereas the present crop of 14- and 16-inch MacBook Professionals, together with the mannequin utilized in testing, do characteristic SD card slots, customers of MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Professional will admire the additional comfort.

The stand

In testing, we discovered the adjustable ranges on the 4K Dock Stand awkward for docking for the 16-inch mannequin.

With the 16-inch MacBook Professional, we discovered that it solely works as much as the third-steepest stage, with the steeper notches inserting the laptop computer at far too excessive of an angle for the underside latches to cradle the entrance fringe of the system. This left the system dangerously dangling on the flat bases with out correct help.

Even with the flatter ranges, the latches managed solely to carry onto the underside half of the entrance fringe of the underside chassis, whilst it’s total comparatively steady, even whereas typing.

The ill-fitting bodily design of the 4K Dock Stand led us to imagine that that is higher fitted to a smaller laptop computer, such because the 13- and 14-inch MacBook Professional fashions. Nonetheless, the off-putting positioning of the ports, in addition to the design of the stand latching meeting places that into query.

Do you have to purchase the IOGear 4K Dock Stand?

We appreciated the variety of the port varieties featured on the 4K Dock Stand and imagine it’s well-rounded sufficient to be match for the overwhelming majority of productiveness use instances.

The ports have been dependable, and the inclusion of the Gigabit Ethernet port was very welcome.

Sadly, the oversight within the stand’s design and the positioning of the ports made this quite odd to make use of. For a dock that prided itself on providing a strong stand choice along with enlargement, it did not ship sufficient to reside as much as the guarantees in our testing.

The smaller 88W capability carried by the Energy Supply port, together with a stand design clearly tailor-made to supporting smaller, lighter units, made the dock extra fitted to customers of 13- and 14-inch fashions of the MacBook Air and MacBook Professional traces.

Whereas it should cost all fashions of MacBooks with USB-C ports simply superb, the talked about fashions might be charged barely sooner.

Nonetheless, the omission of an SD card slot that’s frequent on different docks is some extent of be aware for these customers, the place most patrons of this product are typically extra productivity-minded. The built-in SD card slot, which continues to be extensively utilized in images and videography, is just obtainable on the 14- and 16-inch fashions of the 2021 MacBook Professional.

The 4K Dock Stand additionally comes at a excessive worth, particularly contemplating similar-priced enlargement hubs characteristic double the ports of the IOGear product.

IOGear’s Dock Professional 6-in-1 4K Dock Stand execs

  • Large number of ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet included for comfort
  • Port choice complete sufficient for overwhelming majority of productiveness use instances

IOGear’s Dock Professional 6-in-1 4K Dock Stand cons

  • No SD card slot
  • Stand design that solely works with smaller MacBooks
  • Awkward port placements
  • Excessive worth relative to different enlargement options

IOGear’s Dock Professional 6-in-1 4K Dock Stand rating:

The IOGear’s Dock Professional 6-in-1 4K Dock Stand is an honest stand. It will get the job executed, assuming {that a} dock and stand combo is what you are on the lookout for. It is awkward for the bigger Apple transportable sizes, and higher the smaller you go.

However if you happen to’re in that venn diagram overlap of “want a dock with a bunch of ports” and “want the MacBook elevated and angled” that is for you, and a 4 out of 5.

However there are higher choices at this worth level for everyone else.

General rating for many customers: 3 out of 5

The place to purchase the IOGear 4K Dock Stand

The IOGear Dock Professional 6-in-1 4K Dock sells for $69.95 on Amazon, though clippable coupons are sometimes obtainable to low cost the value additional.