Macs traditionally have too few interfaces, and on some MacBooks the few are blocked by loading. External adapters can help.
When you return to your desk with your MacBook from a trip, it is very practical to reconnect the charger and all the peripherals with one or two cables, such as a dock or hub. These also bring more and above all other interfaces: This ranges from USB-A to Gigabit Ethernet to HDMI, DisplayPort, audio and SD card readers or other USB-C or Thunderbolt ports. Docks or hubs turn one socket on the Mac into up to 11 interfaces.
Thunderbolt offers the highest speed and variety. USB-C is significantly cheaper. Docks with USB graphics help Macs to have more external monitors. USB Power Delivery saves an additional power supply unit. Some devices also provide power to a MacBook, others draw their power from it, and still others take advantage of the notebook’s power supply through pass-through. The price range for the 16 devices tested ranges from 35 to 360 euros, the number of free interfaces from 3 to 11.
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Comparison test: Docks for the Mac
USB graphics for more monitors
Thunderbolt 4 docks
Thunderbolt 3 docks
Docks with USB graphics
Conclusion and test table
Read article in Mac & i 3/2023
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