Genial on PC, but draws on Mac
Driver problems on Mac make an otherwise genius dings a bit difficult.
A single touch from the dock to the dock, and you now have access to the big screen, mouse, keyboard and whatever you use. It’s smart.
Driver issues unfortunately make the Mac experience quite frustrating. Look to get it fixed!
With a laptop as the primary work tool, the space on the keyboard and screen can sometimes be too tight. The time with large desktop workstations may be over, but it is still nice to blow things up in a larger format and gain access to a proper keyboard as well as a good old-fashioned mouse. It is of course possible, and a good solution can be a so-called docking station, where the machine connects to everything with a single contact. Where these types of products were previously primarily found in open office landscapes, they have now also entered the home offices, enabling a smart and minimalist setup without too many cables.
The little dock does not take up much space on the desk. Photo: Targus
USB-C is the king
The primary reason for the minimalist setup is the USB-C port. Not only is it lightning fast, but you can also charge your laptop, so you do not have to move around the power all the time. As far as speed is concerned, USB-C is again a clever “game changer”. Although there are docking stations with USB 3.0 that can pull an image in 4K on an external monitor, they suffer from a serious shortcoming. The bandwidth only keeps a signal of 30 Hz, equivalent to 30 frames per second. That’s mildly, it does not look pleasant to look at. With USB-C, it’s fast enough to produce up to 60 frames per second, so photos are now completely unchecked due to low refresh rate.
Power enough for two 4K screens
The model from Targus is “latest shot on the trunk” and was launched in late 2017. It is a good example of a modern USB-C dock that promises high performance and, not least, high resolution. USB-C docking stations with 4K resolution have been standard for a while, but the smart thing about this is that it can run not only one but all two at the same time. Here, in other words, it’s added to the completely crazy 4K setup with multiple monitors in a row.
The monitors are connected to the dock via either DisplayPort or HDMI. Of course there are two of each. You also get four USB 3.0 ports, one suitable for quick charging, an additional USB-C port, internet access and headset output. What more could one want?
All inputs and outputs you need. Photo: Targus
It almost happens, but there is not much hocus pocus to install a docking station. Plug in the power, USB-C cable from the back and into the laptop and install the drivers on the machine. The dock supports most devices so you can use both PC, Mac, Chromebooks, or Android devices. If you have a machine without USB-C, it comes with an adapter cable for ordinary USB-A in the box. The many USB ports make it easy to connect to all your equipment, and after a restart of the machine you are up and running. The rubber cover on top of the dock makes it a nice place to have the laptop standing and you can still use the display on it if you just want to expand your desktop with the extra monitors.
Problems on Mac
As mentioned, the dock works with a wide range of platforms, of course I have tried the most important. In Windows 10, everything ran like lubrication, and there was no problem tracking. Unfortunately, Mac was not as easy. When I first connected the machine, the image was not properly transferred. The format was completely wrong and I could not get it to fill the screen. A little rotation around the settings did not make the big difference, and only when I looked at the website of the manufacturer of the built-in chipset I became wiser. Like many similar manufacturers, Targus uses a chip set from the company DisplayLink. In other words, they are the primary responsibility for product functionality. Unfortunately, the latest version of Mac and DisplayLink drivers do not speak so well together, which means that the scaling and resolution on the external displays does not work properly with Mac OS. It is mildly said very annoying. DisplayLink strongly advises people to install Mac OS Version 10.13.4 or later. It does not help me so much when I already sat at 10.13.4 when I got the dock in for testing.
Besides the problems with the resolution, I also experience small graphical errors in the signal, which is especially evident in Word, where letters cling together somewhere on the screen. I sincerely hope that DisplayLink will soon solve these issues, as until now, I’m forced to use an extra dock connected to the dock via USB-C to get an HDMI signal. It’s pretty foolish.
The Targus Universal USB-C 4K Docking Station and similar products are a must if you, as the undersigned, have a home office and occasionally need to blow up Excel sheets and Word documents in a larger format. At the same time it can be arranged with a single cable, it is very ingenious, and with USB-C it has now become possible without exceeding the speed. This model is distinguished by being able to drive entire two 4K screens at the same time. Unfortunately, there are problems with the drivers on the Mac, which draws a little down in an otherwise pretty positive impression.
- 2 x DisplayPort (DP 1.2a), 2 x HDMI (HDMI 2.0)
- Supports Dual 4K Ultra HD monitors
- 1 x USB-C-port
- 4 x USB 3.0-porter
- Load of portable (up to 60W)
- Gigabyte Ethernet port
- 3.5 mm combo Audio In/Out
- Integrated lock slot
- Web: targus.com
- Price: $370