If your main computer is a laptop, then you’ve probably run into the issue of not having enough ports or having a lack of ports to begin with. For instance, while the new Macbook Pro has 4 USB-C ports, the regular Macbook only has one. There are some Windows laptops that have only have one or two ports as well so if you want to add more devices and use them all at once, you’re going to have to buy a dock. While I’ve been fortunate enough to have most of the ports I need on my Dell XPS 13, it never hurts to have more. That’s why when I saw the OWC USB-C Dock, I had to check it out. This thing will add a total of 10 ports to any laptop that has a USB-C port.
The OWC USB-C Dock has more ports on it then you’ll probably ever really need, though like I said above, I think it’s better to have too many ports than not enough ports. So what ports does it come with? It comes with the following:
- SD Card Slot
- Combo Audio Port
- 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Ports
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-S Port
- Gigabit Ethernet Port
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C Computer Link Port
- HDMI and 4K port
What having all these ports means is that you can connect things like an external monitor, a mouse, a keyboard, speakers, and a flash drive, and still have some ports left over for other things you may think of. This is great for those who want to sit at their desk and plug their laptops in for that desktop computer feel and again, has pretty much every port you’ll ever need.
Now, I mentioned desk because this isn’t a travel dock. It’s a fairly large unit and requires its own power supply so this isn’t something you want to lug around. That’s okay though because the OWC USB-C Dock looks more at home on the desk with its gorgeous aluminum body and gloss black accents. It has that “Macbook” feel and is the perfect compliment to it.
Now while the OWC USB-C Dock looks good, the question is do all the ports actually work? From my tests so far, all the additional ports work. If your laptop has a USB-C port on it that can be used for charging, it’ll even charge your laptop without need for you to use your included laptop charger. I can’t test the other USB-C port though because I don’t have any devices that make use of it.
Now, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine though with this thing. While you can use the dock to charge your smartphone for instance, not all of them will charge correctly. The iPhone seems to charge fine as do Android phones with regular micro-USB ports, but I tried charging an HTC 10 and an LG V20 with it and it will not charge them correctly. The charge icon on both phones blink on and off constantly and won’t charge. If you decide to use the USB-C Computer Link port thinking it might charge, it won’t either and instead will draw power from your smartphones to charge the dock even though it doesn’t require charging. On the LG V20, it just blinks on and off again.
With that said, the OWC USB-C dock does some things well, and others not so well. It’s great for things like adding external harddrives, thumb drives, and hardware like keyboards and mice, but if you’re trying charge a USB-C smartphone, you can forget about that. If you own an iPhone or micro-USB charging smartphone, then you’re okay for now. Is it worth getting? If you have a laptop with most of these ports already, probably not. However if you own a Macbook for instance that only has one USB-C port, then yes, it is extremely useful even if it does have some shortcomings. The added ports alone are worth it.