What you need to know
- The Plugable TBT3-UDZ docking station with Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C compatibilityplus 100W charging is ideal for expanding laptop connectivity.
- Plugable's USB-C DisplayPort 1.4 MST to dual HDMI 2.0 adapter allows for dual 4K external displays at 60Hz from a single USB-C port.
- The Plugable 2.5Gbps USB Ethernet adapter works with USB-C and USB-A 3.0 or 3.1 ports for fast wired internet speeds.
Plugable has a ton of USB accessories that make laptop life a breeze, and at CES 2020 that selection has grown again with a new Thunderbolt 3 docking station and a couple of adapters for external displays and Ethernet.
|Up to 100W
|Two DisplayPort 1.4
Two HDMI 2.0
SD card reader
microSD card reader
The biggest announcement is no doubt the Plugable TBT3-UDZ docking station, built on the Thunderbolt 3 Titan Ridge chipset. The docking station is compatible with both standard USB-C ports as well as Thunderbolt 3, opening up compatibility for more devices. When connected to the host laptop, the TBT3-UDZ can deliver up to 100W of power to keep your battery charged when you need to hit the road.
The TBT3-UDZ has plenty of ports, including two DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, Ethernet, five USB-A (5Gbps), two USB-A (10Gbps), an SD card reader, a microSD card reader, and 3.5mm audio. When connected to the host laptop with Thunderbolt 3, it will be able to handle dual 4K displays at a 60Hz refresh rate. Connected with USB-C only, the dock will handle dual 4K displays at a 30Hz refresh rate.
The TBT3-UDZ is expected to be released Spring 2020 and should retail for about $299.
Alongside the new docking station, Plugable also unveiled a couple of adapters that take advantage of modern Windows laptop technology.
First, the USB-C DisplayPort 1.4 MST to dual HDMI 2.0 adapter is designed to split a single USB-C port with DisplayPort 1.4 MST — like in the Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X, and Surface Laptop 3 — into dual HDMI outputs with support for 4K resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. The adapter hits speeds up to 25.9Gbps, effectively doubling HDMI 2.0's 18Gbps speed.
The Plugable USB-C DisplayPort 1.4 MST adapter is expected to be released Q2 2020 and should retail for about $40.
The final piece of hardware announced, Plugable's 2.5Gbps USB Ethernet adapter, is designed to allow for improved wired internet speeds on laptops and desktops with USB-A or USB-C 3.0 or 3.1 ports. While most Ethernet ports are Gigabit and deliver up to 1Gbps speeds, this adapter will more than double theoretical speeds and is backward-compatible with earlier networking standards. It's also compatible with full-duplex and half-duplex networks, and it supports auto negotiation.
The 2.5Gbps USB Ethernet adapter is expected to be released Q2 2020 and should retail for about $50.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.