Laptop/dual monitor docking stations

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Hi folks,

hope you’re all good.

I need to set up dual monitors using my laptop and apparently the best way forward is a docking station?

I’ve no idea about docking stations but I’ve a Dell laptop which I’ll need to charge using the station as well as run 2 monitors and a keyboard.

Any advice and reasonably priced docking station recommendations welcomed.

Thanks, Den 

In reply to Denni:

Do you want your laptop screen and another or to close the laptop and have two monitors. If the former I am not sure you need anything but the correct HDMI/Display port/(VGA) adaptor. If you have a newish USB-C laptop you might need no adaptor and many monitors will charge your laptop. HTH ss

In reply to SouthernSteve:

Hi Steve,

thanks for the reply. I need to have 2 pages open on my laptop transferred onto the screens with the laptop closed.

As far as the docking station goes, I was told it was the best option to charge the laptop and have the option to add extra bits, hard drives, cd drives etc.


In reply to SouthernSteve:

Work not buying unfortunately! PC World touted that to me as the best option until I pointed out it wouldn’t charge my laptop….

I reckon I’ll have to bite the bullet and get a decent one. Cheers for your help 👍

 Jamie Wakeham 20 Feb 2022
In reply to Denni:

How many usb-c ports does the laptop have, and does it need one of them to charge?

Anker do a usb-c -> twin hdmi adapter for £30.  But if you've only one usb-c port and it needs to provide power as well then that's not enough.

In reply to Denni:

What you need very much depends on the laptop. USB docks, like the one linked above, are the modern solution to this problem. A recent USB-C dock will charge your laptop over the same USB cable as is carrying the data, if your laptop is compatible.

 DamonRoberts 21 Feb 2022
In reply to Denni:

I had a similar conundrum as I like two proper monitors but my work laptop (HP) only has one HDMI and a USB C.

I went for a Lenovo Hybrid USB C dock new and unused from Ebay (model 40AF0135UK). It works flawlessly with my two monitors, connects my mouse and keyboard and ethernet and an always on USB for my phone or headphones, and charges the laptop. I think I paid around £80. There were a number of cheaper options that might have worked, but these seemed like the most reliable choice. I think the new version is a 40AS0090UK.

Post edited at 08:44
 Ciro 21 Feb 2022
In reply to Denni:

As others have said, it all depends on your hardware.

If your laptop has a Display port 1.2 port, and your monitors support DisplayPort 1.2 MST, you can daisy chain the two monitors with appropriate cables - no docking station required.

A cheap USB hub can then connect all your other peripherals.

Post edited at 10:15
In reply to Denni:

We have Dell laptops and docks here at work - the laptop connects via USB-C, monitor are 1x display port and 1x VGA.  They're reliable and work pretty well. Some guys have Surface tablet/laptops and use them too.

In reply to Denni:

My current laptop and my previous one are dell (for home customers not business - I think this increasingly makes a difference to what you can buy from dell).  With my old laptop I used a dell d3100 dock (which didn't charge the laptop but supported two external monitors and the peripherals I needed).  When I changed my laptop the old dock didn't really work very well and, as my new laptop has a thunderbolt port, I thougth I would also buy a new dock.  Sadly, I then discovered that dell no longer make a dock that works with my new laptop.  So, I bought an Anker Apex docking station, which works.  In theory it will charge usbC laptops but it doesn't provide enough power to charge my dell laptop.  It does charge my work laptop (which is a surface pro). I couldn't really find a dock that had the ports I needed for peripherals and that would charge. I don't really find it a problem to plug the laptop in as well though, to be honest.  I'm not an expert with computers but also not totally illiterate and I found it all to be a bit of a mindfield really.  Before I bought this dock I emailed Anker and told them exactly what system I have to check whether the dock would work and they were very helpful and quick to reply.

While I was investigating all of this and trying to find the best solution I also bought an anker usb hub which also allowed me to connect two monitors using hdmi.  That actually worked pretty well and was much cheaper obviously.  The downside was that it didn't have enough other ports for all of my peripherals so some had to be attached to the usb hub and some to my laptop, which is more faff.  But a much cheaper option.

ETA - I still have my D3100 dock so if you can ascertain that it'll work with your laptop and live with the fact that it won't charge and doesn't have usbc then I can sell it to you if you want.

Post edited at 10:58
 kestrelspl 21 Feb 2022
In reply to Denni:

This? I can't attest to the dual monitor aspect, but I have the smaller one for just the one external monitor, charging, ethernet and some USB peripherals and it works well. 

 tallsteve 21 Feb 2022
In reply to Denni:

If you go to PC World the "best option" is what they have in stock.


Can you screen cast?

If so get a google cast or similar for screen 2 and use the normal laptop screen output for screen one.  You can pick up copy cat google screen cast devices for circa £15 on ebay.  Search for "hdmi miracast dongle" or "hdmi google dongle"


Do you have a USB-C port.

If you have USB-C then get a "3 in 1" or "6 in 1" USB-C hub adapter with HDMI output.  Connect screen 1 to the laptop output (hopefully HDMI) and screen 2 to the USB hub.  The hub will also give spare usb ports for the keyboard and mouse should you need them.  Also pretty cheap.  I have one for the wife's laptop, and we can run two screens.  Search ebay for "usb c 3.0 hdmi hub adapter"

 Sans-Plan 21 Feb 2022
In reply to Toerag:

It does depend on the model of Dell but my dock is Thunderbolt, not USB-C, the OP would need to check that before buying anything but here is loads of options for both.

In reply to Denni:

I have a works laptop and docking station (HP not Dell) that does what you want, but I think they're model specific, as the underside of the laptop has slots that engage with the docking station, and moving the sliding catch shown on the right of the photo clamps the laptop in place and inserts a non- standard connector into the side of the laptop.

Might be worth googling the laptop model number to see if it supports a Dell docking station, otherwise go for a usb one and separate charger.

Post edited at 14:29

 Aigen 23 Feb 2022
In reply to Denni:

Can you tell us what ports you have on your current laptop.

For example my laptop has 

1 x HDMI

1 x VGA

3 x USB (Normal one not USB C)

1 x Headphone 

1 x Microphone

 Brown 23 Feb 2022
In reply to Denni:

Have you thought of going round the problem by buying one really large screen as opposed two two?

I just bought a 30 inch monitor and this is better for doing multi document handling than multiple screens in my opinion.

In reply to Brown:

Did you get a curvy one - they look quite useful for dual monitor replacement?

 Brown 26 Feb 2022
In reply to SouthernSteve:

No flat.

I had a curved one in the office. It took a bit of getting used to but once I did I preferred it two the two monitors it replaced. Was good for anything involving loads of multiple documents and CAD applications.

When I looked at the price of curved monitors I decided I could make do with a flat one when I was spending my own money!

 wbo2 27 Feb 2022
In reply to Brown et al.  - I have a curved 34inch screen at home and it's very nice.  Samsung.  With that and the laptop screen I have enough space for the apps I need to be working with.

At work 2 *32 inch currently thro' a docking station that recommend over dongles, daisy chaining etc.  I don't think it's anything very fancy.  It connects via USB-C - I've previously used one like Ridge suggests but they're a bit computer specific and fiddly for my tasted.

Why won't the one that PC-world recommended power the PC? What powersocket does the PC use?

In reply to Denni:

Hi all,

many apologies for not replying but I’ve clearly missed an informative thread! I thought it would just be a couple of answers and then die a death.

I ended up buying an HP G5 which is compatible with the Dell laptop and got a good deal on dual monitors.

All arrives in the next couple of days so I may be back for some more advice!

Thanks folks

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