Recently, many of us have grown accustomed to working from home with occasional visits to the office. It’s not a way of working that will suit everyone, but it has advantages. At home, you can have all your tech set up just the way you like with any multiple screens you need and the peripherals that make working easier, such as keyboards, mice, label printers and external storage. But what do you do when you need to go back to the office? How do you plug into everything you need without taking your home office with you?
Fortunately, USB-C laptops have made connectivity so much easier. With USB-C you can access peripherals, monitors, power and network connections through a single cable. Plugging into multiple monitors isn’t a hassle if your employer provides a hotdesking space with a hub or docking station and maybe a couple of monitors.
The CA Essential Universal Docking Station is the ideal USB-C docking station for large corporate offices where employees need a wide range of connectivity for a laptop at a sensible price. The compact and versatile CA Essential Universal Docking Station is built to take the knocks of office life. It has almost every connectivity option anyone could want from a single USB-C cable. The docking station works with Windows and macOS computers with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 and 4 ports.
The CA docking station can drive three 4K external displays using DisplayLink technology. The docking station has three HDMI ports that work with Windows 10, 11 or macOS. In addition, there are four USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports for devices like keyboards, mice, storage, etc. There are a couple of USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports for newer USB devices.
For connecting to the corporate network, there’s an RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port. So that the docking station doesn’t leave the office with an employee, there’s an integrated security Kensington slot that can keep it tethered to the hotdesk.
The CA docking station comes with a 60cm hardwired USB-C cable, so there’s no question of anyone “borrowing” the cable and rendering the hotdesk unusable. A fixed cable seems like a disadvantage at first glance, but for corporate hotdesking use, it’s perfect and complements the Kensington anti-theft slot. This fully functioning dock can be secured against theft or having its data cable stolen.
When powered up and connected to a laptop using the tethered USB-C cable, the docking station can provide laptop charging at up to 96W power delivery. The device has a chunky 130W dual-voltage power supply that provides enough juice to power the docking station and charge a hungry laptop simultaneously.
Verdict: The robust and no-frills docking station from CA has all the external connections you need and can support up to three external monitors thanks to DisplayLink technology. The triple 4K monitor feature only works with Thunderbolt 3 and 4 ports, but with a regular USB-C port, it can support up to two 4K external monitors. There are no DisplayPort outputs, but HDMI is universal nowadays and should be ideal for most people. For businesses that need to set up multiple hotdesks for hybrid workers visiting the office, the CA Essential Universal Docking Station offers lots of bang for your corporate buck and represents excellent value for money.
Pricing & Availability: The CA Essential Universal Docking Station is available in the USA now and costs $189.99 / £179.99 / €199.99.
More info: cyberacoustics.com
- Connection: USB-C.
- Max Video Resolution: 2 x HDMI DisplayLink, 1 x HDMI DisplayPort Alt-Mode all at [email protected].
- USB Ports: 4 x USB-A 3.2 / 2 x USB-C 3.2.
- Ethernet: RJ-45 10/100/1000 GbE.
- USB-C cable: Fixed.
- Power delivery: Up to 96W (power adapter included).
- K-Lock: Yes (cable not included).
- Dimensions: 180 x 82.5 x 25.4mm.
- Compatible OS: Windows 10 64-bit, Windows 11 or macOS 10.6 and above.