The sad state of USB-C docks
A Macbook Pro 2016 story
I still remember how happy I was when Apple revealed the new Macbook Pro with only USB-C ports.
One port to rule them all I thought. With a simple dock I will get rid of all cables and hubs, the future looked great.
How naive of me!
It’s already been more than 2 months and not a single day has passed without me googling for a proper USB-C dock.
Ironically, all the issues I’m facing, it’s because I’m a professional and I require a specific setup in order to be the most productive.
To be fair, I’m not asking the moon: I need to attach an extenal monitor (and not being limited to 1080p or 30Hz), a couple of USB 3.0 ports and charge the laptop.
At the moment I am satisfied enough with the Dell WD15 dock, despite not being designed to work with the Macbook Pro, it works ok.
It charges the laptop (up to 60w), offers HDMI, displayport and VGA out (only to 1080P), it has 5 USB ports (except, sometimes, I’ve to unplug it and plug it back or the devices are not recognized) and has audio ouput.
According to the online manual, it should be able to offer up to 4k 60Hz via displayport; maybe it does, with certain monitors, with mine it only goes up to 1920x1200.
I probably need to update the dock firmware, they release an update few weeks ago… too bad I need to own a dell laptop in order to do it.
Another dock I’ve tried it’s the J5create JCA374. I returned it the same day.
The HDMI output was able to output up to 4K, too bad the quality was horrible, not being able to read text it’s quite a deal breaker for me.
I’ve had the same issue with the Apple Digital AV adapter and another third party adapter.
I thought it could be my monitor but after trying 4 other different displays and 3 different cables I ruled it out.
Then there is the OWC USB-C dock, too bad the reviews are so bad that I’m not really willing to take another chance.
Hopefully when in March they will release the Thunderbolt 3 dock, everything will work…
There are many other hubs and docks, running a quick search on Amazon, will results in a lot of different brands. Sadly when reading the specs, you realize they are pretty much the same.
I’m honestly disappointed…