Kensington SD4600P USB-C Universal Docking Station Review
Bohs Hansen / 2 years ago
So you just bought a new laptop, ultrabook, or similar that only comes with a USB Type-C connector, but none of your current peripherals and other devices have this type of connector. This could mean that you either need to purchase completely new peripherals or you could simplify it all and get a docking station that connects to this type of connector and also adds a lot more functionality to your portable unit. While mobile devices feature all sort of wireless connections from network to Bluetooth, those kinds of connections aren’t always optimal. Kensington is without a doubt one of the leaders in this field and their SD4600P USB-C Universal Dock with Power could be a really great choice. Today I’m taking a closer look at this universal docking station and will put it through the paces in my test lab.
The dock works with Windows, Mac OS, and Chrome OS devices which makes it compatible with pretty much any portable device out there. It allows you to plug in a single cable to your laptop and in return it delivers 4K video, charges your laptop and offers high-speed data transfer. Plus, you get instant access to all your peripheral desktop accessories with older connections. Best of all, it is also Thunderbolt 3 compatible, so you aren’t even limited to devices with USB 3.1 Type-C connectors. A truly universal docking station for the latest generation of portable computers.
The Kensington SD4600P isn’t your everyday docking station, it comes with the latest connections, making sure that you can connect all your modern and high-end equipment to your portable computer too. Through its single connection, it can deliver 4K Ultra HD resolution (4096×2160) to single monitor at 60Hz via HDMI or DisplayPort, or should you prefer more display area then it also supports the use of both ports at the same time for a dual monitors setup, although that will limit each monitor to 30Hz. Three USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gbps) type-A ports provide plenty of connectivity for your peripherals and other default USB devices while the USB Type-C port allows for normal usage as well as charging. It can provide up to 2.1A for fast charging of your smartphone or tablet too.
But USB and video aren’t all that this cool docking station can do, it also provides Gigabit Ethernet LAN connectivity and 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks for your headset. Overall, a complete solution that’s rounded off with a Kensington security slot that offers a convenient way to attach a cable lock from the industry leader in physical security.
One of the big advantages of USB is that it plug and play, at least in 90% of the cases and this is one of them. There is no need to manually install drivers or downloads with the Kensington SD4600P docking station. Well, that’s almost true at least. Mac OS users need a one-time ethernet driver download for the LAN port, but that’s it.
The included USB-C cable isn’t the longest you’ll find and that’s a bonus when it comes to a device like this. You don’t want a meter or two of rolled up cable lieing next to your laptop that you’ll never need. It is also a very sturdy and thick cable as you can see in the picture below.
The bottom of the unit features four small rubber feet to make sure that it stays where you place it, that is if you want it standing at all. You might notice the two screw holes in the middle of the unit and that is for its zero-footprint function.
Zero Footprint mounting makes it ideal for workstations with limited space (mount sold separately)
The Zero-footprint allows the docking station to be mounting on the back of a VESA-compatible monitor with the optional dock mounting bracket (K33959WW), but that is however sold separately. When Kensington contacted me and asked if I would like to review this unit, I also asked for the bracket to show this feature and they naturally were as eager to provide it as I was to test it. But more on that on the next page.
- USB-C connectivity provides up to 60 watts of power delivery to charge a laptop, 4K video and data transfer in a single cable
- Plug & Play installation without need for drivers or downloads (Mac OS requires one-time Ethernet driver download)
- Zero Footprint mounting allows the dock to be placed on the back of a VESA-compatible monitor (Dock Mount K33959WW sold separately)
- 4K Ultra HD resolution (4096×2160) to single monitor at 60Hz via HDMI or DisplayPort, or dual monitors at 30Hz
- Three USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports and one USB-C port to connect up to 4 accessories
- One of front USB 3.1 ports can also be used as a 2.1A fast charge port to power up a tablet or smartphone
- Gigabit Ethernet port for wired network connectivity
- Kensington Security Slot™ offers convenient way to attach a cable lock from the industry leader in physical security
- 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks
- Thunderbolt™ 3 compatible
- Compatible with Windows® 10, 8.1; Mac OS® X 10.10 or later; Chrome OS®
Package and Accessories
The SD4600P comes in the simplest of packages possible, a plain white cardboard box with a sticker on the top that shows what’s inside. I like this because why more. It saves costs and you’ll most likely never give it a second look after you unpacked your new docking station and placed it where you need it.
Inside the box, you’ll find a power adapter brick that can deliver 20V 4.5A which should equal to 90 watts, plenty for a device like this with something to spare. It also comes with both US, UK, and EU power connectors, so it doesn’t matter where you’re from, you can connect it without adapters.
There’s of course also a high-quality USB Type-C connection cable that you’ll need to connect the docking station to your portable system.
Naturally, there’s also a warranty guide and quick start guide included in case you should need either one, but I doubt many will need these. It’s so easy to set up by nature.