Plugable launches UD-3900Z and UD-6950Z USB docking stations
When people ask me for advice on buying a computer, I usually recommend a laptop. Why? Because a laptop offers more versatility than a desktop, allowing it to be taken from place to place. Unless they are a gamer or enthusiast, a desktop is probably a bad choice. Even if they plan to work from a desk with a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, a docking station can easily transform the laptop into a makeshift desktop. Why limit yourself?
Speaking of docking stations, today, Plugable launches two new models. Called "UD-3900Z" and "UD-6950Z" these vertical space-saving docks use USB rather than Thunderbolt, which should be fine for most consumers. Best of all, they are rather affordable, with a starting price below $100.
"The UD-3900Z and UD-6950Z allow you to connect up to two monitors to your USB-C or USB 3.0 host. The UD-3900Z provides the ability to connect two HDMI displays at resolutions up to 1920x1200 via the dock's two built-in HDMI video outputs. The UD-6950Z provides the ability to connect up to two 3840x2160 (4K) displays (lower resolutions are also supported) via the dock's built-in DisplayPort or HDMI combination video outputs. The 'combination' video outputs on the UD-6950Z provide a choice of either DisplayPort output or HDMI output for either of the two connected displays," says Plugable.
The company further says, "Easily connect all of your peripherals like a keyboard, mouse, thumb drive and more. The UD-3900Z provides six additional USB ports (two USB 3.0 5Gbps ports on the front and four USB 2.0 480Mbps ports on the back) as well as a wired Gigabit Ethernet connection and a combination 3.5mm audio jack. The UD-6950Z also provides six additional 3.0 5Gbps ports (two ports in the front and four ports on the back) as well as a wired Gigabit Ethernet connection and a combination audio jack. Both docking stations do not provide Power Delivery, so you will need your computer's power adapter to charge your laptop."
Both docking stations ship with two data cables in the box -- one is USB-B 3.0 to USB-C and the other is USB-B 3.0 to USB-A. This means you can use both docks with either connection type, which is quite cool. If your current computer only has USB-A, for instance, you can be confident that the dock will not only work with it, but your future USB-C PC too.
The UD-3900Z can be purchased here for $99, while the UD-6950Z is available here for just $40 more. For a limited time, however, you can select the coupon box to get $10 off the former and $20 off the latter. This means that when you factor in the coupon, there is only a $30 price difference between them. If you can swing it, my advice would be to go for the superior UD-6950Z, but they both look quite nice.