Today I am going to review a laptop docking system from a company called Plugable which sells different graphic & various adaptor products. The docking system looks very nice keeping your usb connected devices and extra screens you would normally have connected to your laptop feeded though a simple usb plug the dock costs about $129.00 USD and comes with Free shipping so that’s all you will pay. So not bad for the price but how does it perform? That’s what this review intends to show you, so read on….
Product Name: Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station
Price: $129.00 with Free Shipping
The docking station have a few identifying marks on it which is the Plugable logo followed by the USB 3.0 docking station Display Link product name on the product is indeed a must have in my opinion…
The dock comes with UD-3900; 5V 4A power supply; USB 3.0 Type-A male to Type-B male cable (USB 2.0 compatible); DVI-to-VGA adapter; quick-install guide; and drivers CD. Additional cables or adapters may be required for your setup.
This Dock is great as an upgrade for your Windows tablet, laptop, or desktop Connect up to 10 extra accessories and the best part I like about this is its connected all via a single USB cable. If you are getting this to work with a Macbook like I did you might get some trouble but after reading this quick post from Bernie from Plugable I was up and running I found a quick fix to the “wake from sleep” problem by installing Dont Sleep a mac app that is just like caffeine but still looked after with updates unlike caffeine
Now even though Bernie points out that he unfortunately wouldn’t recommend it quite yet, even with DisplayLink’s 2.1 driver. Things are good 95% of the time, but he has seen rendering problems at times on the USB display when he plugs in before logging in (unplug/replug solves). This wasn’t a problem on 10.8.5. And of course, if he adds a 2nd USB display, things just don’t work (and that also was fine on 10.8.5). Unless you’re willing to put up with a bit of weirdness, I’d wait for 10.9.1 or .2 at least. he knows it’s no consolation, but booting the Macbook Air into Windows 8.1 is problem free. they show that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1FKhEd71cI
Performance is best with USB 3.0 data-transfer rates of up to five gigabits per second between computer and dock you are able to play full-motion video in 1080p on the attached monitor. Access your Gigabit Ethernet network through without bottlenecks. Fully USB 2.0 compatible at 480Mbps speeds. The UD-3000’s four-amp power supply provides current for bus-powered devices on the spare USB ports But look away if you want to use the unit for charging hub there will be no functionality for recharging iPads, iPods, other tablets, or smartphones. I would recommend keeping a separate plug or using your Satechi uCharge connected to your Macbook
I used this product for a few weeks and I have to say I really like it I did find a few problems most are fixable but when it came time to plug-in my Apogee MIC it noticed it but when I played back the audio it was like listening to something out of a horror movie the other problem I had been I connected my MEElectronics Air-Fi Venture AF52 Stereo Bluetooth Wireless Headphones I would get some audio some videos on YouTube and sometimes dead nothing I thought maybe it was a creator so I checked with my iPad and then to fix this problem I plugged headphone directly into the Macbook I know it might kill the purpose of having the product but its only one USB and a headphone plug and sometimes when I need the mic I plug that into the Macbook not that much of a hassle and still keeps my desk looking great
So yes the dock is a bit expensive, but is it even worth it? I would say yes if you want to keep your Macbook free from unplugging a bunch of plugs or using sticky plug catchers
So in all it’s not bad for a dock but I think if you want a trouble free dock wait a while just like Bernie said but if this doesn’t bug you then you are sure to enjoy this dock from Plugable
The final score averages out to be a 9 out of 10, but that takes into account everything, but as you can see below it the pros out do the cons by a long shot.
|+Simple to use
+solid and reliable
+able to unplug and go with your laptop
|-Have to plug mic and headphone directly into the Macbook|