The Plugable USB-C 4K dock (opens in new tab) is a fantastic docking station that has numerous ports and does not require Thunderbolt 3, making it our top pick for the Inspiron 15 7000.
Plugable USB-C 4K dock
Who should buy this laptop dock
Unfortunately for Inspiron 15 7000 series owners, the lack of Thunderbolt 3 reduces the number of high-end docking stations you can use. That doesn't mean you should give up the search as there are some excellent alternatives, like this Plugable solution.
Is it a good time to buy this docking station?
This Plugable docking station has been out for a few years now, but that shouldn't be viewed as a drawback since there's clearly nothing wrong with the dock to warrant a successor just yet.
The best part about the Plugable USB-C 4K dock is the omission of Thunderbolt 3 — really! This is a feature that isn't supported by the Inspiron 15 7000, else we would have recommended the even better CalDigit TS3 Plus. Still, this docking station is a solid runner-up.
When you plan to use the Inspiron 15 7000 at a desk for some time, a docking station is the best way to not only provide access to additional ports for hooking up all your accessories and displays but to also provide charge — this Plugable station can supply 60W.
Plugging in this dock to the Inspiron 15 7000 unlocks a total of three USB 3.0 ports, LAN, two HDMI (one supporting 4K), and DVI/VGA for older monitors. It may not sound like much of an improvement, but when taking a laptop to work as a daily machine, this setup allows you to have everything plugged in and ready to go as soon as you get into the office.
Alternatives to the Plugable USB-C 4K dock
Should you need something else that this docking station does not provide, we have a few alternative picks that may be a better match.
Dell Universal Dock D6000
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Dell makes a solid-looking docking station that matches the excellent design of the Inspiron 15 7000, even if it's priced higher than our best pick from Plugable. There are a number of USB ports, multiple DisplayPort and HDMI, LAN, and even a speaker out jack. This station has everything you'll need.
Plugable USB-A 3.0 dock
This USB-A 3.0 option provides support for two external displays (though no 4K), and costs almost $100 less than our top pick. For ports, it has four USB-A 2.0, Ethernet, DVI (60Hz), HDMI (50Hz at 1440p, 60Hz at 1080p) on the back, as well as two USB-A 3.0 ports on the front.
Plugable makes more affordable docking stations, which is why you find two in this collection. While the 4K docking station that uses USB Type-C is best suited for the Inspiron 15 7000, the USB Type-A station is ideal if you use other devices that don't have such a connector.
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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