Acer D501 is a pricey Works-With-Chromebook-certified USB-C dock

When a device or accessory is certified as "Works With Chromebook," it means that it will, well... work with Chromebooks. In other words, it is a promise or guarantee that the product is compatible with a computer running Google's Linux-based Chrome OS. With that said, many devices that aren't officially certified will work fine with Chromebooks as well. In fact, you may pay a premium for the "Works With Chromebook" certification when you really don't need to -- it is often nothing more than marketing nonsense.

Today, Acer unveils a Works-With-Chromebook-certified USB-C Dock, and the certification might actually be more than marketing-speak. Called "D501," it looks like your typical USB-C dock, and that is because it pretty much is. What makes it interesting -- other than its compatibility guarantee -- is upgradeable firmware. Yes, you can update the dock itself from within Chrome OS, and that is pretty darn cool. The dock can actually improve over time as Acer puts out updates for it.

Unfortunately, the cool-factor probably doesn't make the D501 worth the steep $300 asking price -- that seems like a lot to ask for a USB-C dock when there are other good options at a fraction of the price. With that said, it does appear to be an exceptional dock, offering triple-display (1080p) support. It has two DisplayPort and two HDMI ports on the back for that purpose. The rear is also home to Gigabit Ethernet and dual USB-A. Not to mention, the front has two more USB-A ports, one USB-C, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Very nice.

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Acer's D501 USB-C Dock and its fancy "Works With Chromebook" certification will be available for purchase at some point next month (November). In addition to Chrome OS, the dock is likely to work just fine with Windows 11, macOS, and most modern desktop Linux-based operating systems too, such as Ubuntu. You can learn more about the USB-C dock here.

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