The CalDigit TS3 Plus (opens in new tab) is capable of delivering up to 85W to connected devices and houses 15 ports for hooking everything up. All of this makes it our top pick for the Alienware m15.
CalDigit TS3 Plus
Who should buy this laptop dock?
The Alienware m15 has a Thunderbolt 3 port, which can be connected to a dock such as this fine example from CalDigit. Any owner looking to connect more devices to the laptop than its own port configuration can effectively handle should pick up this dock. The added bonus is charging and support for displays, making it ideal for desks.
Is it a good time to buy this dock?
You shouldn't expect to see a price drop for some time since the CalDigit TS3 Plus is still relatively new, making this a good time to pick one up as these docks tend to hold value well.
Compact dock for your gaming laptop
Since Dell decided to include Thunderbolt 3 support in the Alienware m15 gaming laptop, it's possible to take advantage of more capable docks like the CalDigit TS3 Plus. Because we're talking about Thunderbolt 3, you're able to charge a laptop and send a signal to displays, all while connecting numerous devices to the hub. When you simply run out of ports with the Alienware m15, the TS3 Plus can takeover.
Available ports include five USB-A 3.1, two USB-C 3.1, DisplayPort 1.2, two Thunderbolt 3 (one connecting to the Alienware m15), Ethernet, S/PDIF, an SD card reader, and 3.5mm audio in and out. While you'll want to use this dock on a desk, it's possible to position it vertically or allow the hub to lay horizontally. There's lifetime support and a one-year warranty in case something goes wrong.
The docking station can deliver up to 85W of power to your laptop, and you have the choice of either a 0.7-meter or 2-meter cable. Set it up on a desk, plug in a single cable, and watch your Alienware m15 become a capable workstation. The only downside is the requirement of an external source of power to function properly.
Alternatives to the CalDigit TS3 Plus
CalDigit created an outstanding dock, but it's not always available or it might not be quite what you're looking for. In that case, there are some quality alternatives.
Plugable Thunderbolt 3 dock
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
While this dock doesn't offer quite as much as the CalDigit TS3 Plus, you're still saving a considerable amount of money in the process. Here you get a dock that can power a multi-monitor setup and deliver up to 60W of power to your devices. For ports, it has five USB-A 3.0, Ethernet, two Thunderbolt 3 (one for the Alienware m15), DisplayPort, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
StarTech Thunderbolt 3 mini dock
While you won't get the same charging performance here as you get with our other picks that require a power supply to function, this dock from StarTech offers up one USB-A 3.0, RJ45 Ethernet, and two DisplayPorts that can be easily carried around in your laptop bag. It can handle two 4K displays at 60Hz, and it comes with a 3-year warranty should anything fail.
The CalDigit TS3 Plus (opens in new tab) is our top pick for the excellent Alienware m15. You'll be able to enjoy outstanding performance, solid port selection, and great charging capabilities.
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
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