review

StarTech USB C Dock with 95W Power Delivery

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Built like a tank, the StarTech USB C dock (pictured) is not your run-of-the-mill plastic USB hub. If high quality construction is what you are after, the StarTech USB C dock won't disappoint because of its solid all-metal aluminium construction and black anodized coating on top and bottom, which nicely compliments the grey anodized finish around the perimeter of the dock. Total weight is 164 grams.
The StarTech USB C dock is a useful bit of kit that helps you work more productively by being able to power two monitor displays via VGA and 4K HDMI output from the USB-C port of a Windows computer, Thunderbolt 3 laptop or Windows tablet such as the Windows Surface Pro.
There is no cables included with the StarTech USB C dock so, in order to power a VGA and/or 4K TV monitor, you will need a VGA cable and a High-Speed HDMI cable. A standard HDMI cable won't work because it only supports up to 720p, while a High-Speed HDMI cable supports up to 4K resolution (including 1080p) at 30Hz. A High-Speed HDMI cable is capable of 10.2Gbps bandwidth.
 
There is also Premium High Speed HDMI (18Gbps) cables available, which are needed for 4K gaming at 60fps and watching HDR content. That said, this StarTech USB C dock doesn't support 4K at 60Hz like the StarTech DK30C2HAGPD HDMI version, which also supports DP Alt mode, a very useful feature to have if you want to connect a monitor via DisplayPort connection.
If you plan to hook the StarTech USB C dock to a tablet like the Windows Surface Pro, you will also need a mini displayport adapter cable directly plugged into the tablet so, you can connect the display.
The StarTech USB C dock is plug and play so, it doesn't require installing any drivers. That said, if you have an old Windows computer that is several years old, you will have to manually update the DisplayLink driver; otherwise the Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports will not work on the StarTech USB travel dock.
Speaking of peripherals, you will be fairly limited since the StarTech USB travel dock only has one USB-A (5Gbps) port for either a keyboard, mouse, USB headphones, external hard drive or keyboard.
There is also a gigabit Ethernet port for adding an Ethernet connection to the laptop or computer and a USB-C Power Delivery port. There is no 3.5mm audio out like on the StarTech Thunderbolt 3 dock, which also features a 3.5mm microphone input. If you require plenty of ports and still want a solid metal USB hub, you should look to the StarTech 7-port USB hub. If you also want SD card support, check out the StarTech USB-C multiport adapter model DKT3CHSD4GPD
If you have an up to date Mac computer, the DisplayLink driver will be already enabled. However, if you have a Mac computer, running macOS 10.15 Catalina or macOS Mojave and you don't want to update the Mac version, you will need to manually install the DisplayLink driver.
The StarTech USB C Dock provides a lot of functionality while retaining a compact footprint for travel and work at the same time without losing the ability for charging, thanks to 95W power delivery pass through. In order to get 95W power delivery though, you will need at least a 100W power supply, which is not included.
The longest part of the dock measures 109mm long and 59mm across with a 17mm thickness. The USB-c cable connector measures 9cm long and stows away neatly on the side of the adapter and remains securely in place, thanks to the magnet integrated inside the plug of the connector. You can buy the StarTech DKT30CHVGPD USB-C dock on amazon.

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