review

Juiced Systems ChockDOCK v2 USB-C Laptop Dock With Power Passthrough

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ever since laptops started becoming less like desktop computers, the only way to gain those useful PC connections on new laptops is with a port replicator, USB hub or docking station, all of which serve a similar purpose and contain similar technology, including hub controllers and display protocol converters that allow you to connect multiple peripherals to expand the functionality of your laptop.
If you plan to run a couple of 4K monitors, USB devices and charge your laptop all at the same time, you definitely want a powerful USB-C solution like a Thunderbolt 3 dock, which allows you to daisy chain two 4K monitors, running at 60Hz or one 5K monitor (i.e. LG 27 UltraFine or iMac Retina 5K display), running at 60Hz.
Thunderbolt 3 docks are powerful but expensive. Luckily, there inexpensive USB-C dock alternatives such as the Juiced Systems ChockDOCK v2, which provides a similar functionality to Thunderbolt 3 at a fraction of the cost.
The ChockDOCK v2 USB-C dock is able to deliver data, Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alt mode, all through one cable via the integration of six chips: a VL102 single chip DisplayPort Alternate mode and Power Delivery 3.0 controller, a VL820 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Hub Controller, a VL817 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Hub Controller, a Realtek RTL8153 10/100/1000M Ethernet controller and a Realtek USB 3.0 Card Reader.
There is also a PS176 DisplayPort 1.2a to HDMI 2.0 Protocol Converter integrated, although the ChockDOCK v2 only supports HDMI 1.4 output. The ChockDOCK v2 works with extended, mirrored and primary displays.
Unlike many other docking stations, the Juiced Systems ChockDOCK v2 is specifically designed for a laptops. It has a wedge shape with a TPU rubber finish that allows the laptop to sit on top of it without sliding around. The wedge shape allows you to, literary, wedge the ChockDOCK under the laptop, out of sight, and without taking extra space on your desk.
The other benefit of the ChockDOCK V2's wedge-shape design is that it conveniently raises your laptop at an angle for typing, while keeping the ports easily accessible from the back and left  the side of the ChockDOCK where the second USB 3.0 port is located.
Aside from two USB 3.0 ports, you get an SD 4.0 memory card reader slot, a USB C 3.1 gen 2 port, a 10/100/1000 "Gigabit" port with a maximum speed of 1 Gbps, two USB 3.0 ports with a maximum speed of 5 Gbps each, a USB 3.1 gen 2 port with a maximum speed of 10 Gbps, a HDMI 1.4 output and a USB-C PD port.
The Juiced Systems ChockDOCK v2 works with most USB-C computers but not all. Most first generation computers with USB-C ports don't support data for connecting peripherals, power delivery (PD) for charging up your laptop or DisplayPort Alternate mode (DP Alt) for video output to a monitor.
If your laptop doesn't support all three (data, PD and DP Alt) the ChockDOCK v2 won't work. If your laptop uses a Thunderbolt 3 port, the ChockDOCK v2 dock requires Windows 10 (32-bit or 64-bit), Mac OS X, Chrome OS, or Android 6 and Chrome R51 or higher.
The ChockDOCK v2 USB-C docking station can be bus powered or mains powered via the included 5V 2A wall adapter. When the wall adapter is not connected, the ChockDOCK v2, effectively, acts as bus powered USB hub, drawing power from the laptop, allowing you to run a external hard drive, keyboard or any devices that require less than 900mA of power.
The ChockDOCK v2 can handle high definition resolutions, but it cannot handle true 4k cinema resolution (4096 x 2160 pixels at 60Hz). The highest definition resolution supported by the Juiced Systems ChockDOCK v2 is ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels at 30hz), while the lowest resolution supported is 480p (640 x 480 pixels).
You can only run one 4k UHD display without compromising the bandwidth of the other ports, and if you do, it severely limits the usability of the ChockDOCK v2 dock.
Being a mains powered USB C docking station, the ChockDOCK v2 is able to benefit from USB-C Power Delivery (USB-PD). The maximum output is 60W (20V/3A) so the ChockDOCK v2 can passthrough 60W of power to charge a 60W laptop like the 12-inch MacBook at normal speed. You might be able to charge larger laptops up to 86W but at slower speed. Anything higher than 86W and  the power delivery output won't work.
Dimensions 27cm long, 7cm wide and 2cm thick.

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