Plugable Ultimate USB-C Universal Docking Station
Plugable Ultimate USB-C Universal Docking Station
Power everything from a single USB-C port. This Plugable dock is the ultimate connectivity solution for your MacBook and more.
Power everything from a single USB-C port. This Plugable dock is the ultimate connectivity solution for your MacBook and more. Read more
About this project
Thanks to all who pledged towards our Kickstarter! While we did not reach our fundraising goal, we're happy to say the product is still moving ahead.
We believe the world needs a universal docking station that delivers on USB-C's promise across the many laptops, tablets, and phones that are coming this year and next.
Visit the dock's product page for more information on pricing, where to buy, or to sign up for our mailing list:
Thanks again for your support!
The Ultimate Docking Station for your 2015 MacBook and other USB-C Laptops or Tablets
We believe USB 3.1 Type-C is set to revolutionize connectivity. And we're designing our Ultimate Universal Docking Station to showcase what this new standard is capable of.
With just a single USB-C connection, our Ultimate Docking Station and its included 60W power adapter can unleash the potential of your computer by providing up to three additional video outputs, gigabit Ethernet, and four additional USB ports to connect your other USB devices. (The dock can also simultaneously power and charge laptops and tablets that comply with the USB-IF Power Delivery specification!)
Plugable knows docking stations. With the popularity of our Plugable UD-3900, UD-3000, and Kickstarter-funded UD-Pro8, we've developed and sold tens of thousands of docking stations (and hundreds of thousands of USB devices) since the company was founded in Seattle, WA by a former USB and Bluetooth engineer at Microsoft.
We've looked at upcoming competing USB-C docking stations and they simply include too many compromises. We think we can do it better.
No two people use their computers the same way. That's why we've designed the Plugable Ultimate Universal Docking Station with flexibility and scalability in mind. More features, less compromise.
The Plugable Ultimate USB-C Universal Docking Station supports:
- 3 - Up to three additional displays on supported systems
- 1 - HDMI (Type-C Alternate Mode) 2K @ 60Hz / 4K @ 30Hz
- 1 - DVI (DisplayLink Based) 2K @ 60Hz
- 1 - HDMI (DisplayLink Based) 2K @ 60Hz
- 1 - Front USB 3.1 USB Type-C (Gen 1) port
- 1 - Front USB 3.0 Type-A port
- 3 - Rear USB 3.0 Type-A ports
- Gigabit Ethernet
- Audio In/Out (3.5mm "headphone" jacks)
- 60W Power Adapter
The 2015 MacBook and Its Single Port
Such a beautiful machine, yet limited in its potential with a single port that can be used for charging, one display output, or connectivity to a single USB device - but not all at once unless you obtain a $79 adapter cable from Apple.
Say goodbye to these limitations and hello to the Plugable Ultimate Docking Station. Type-C enabled Mac systems connected to the Plugable Ultimate Dock will have vastly enhanced functionality and connectivity.
We are striving to provide the best possible experience on USB-C systems including the 2015 12" Retina MacBook and the Google Pixel  2015, along with the coming flood of USB Type-C Windows laptops and tablets.
The dock will power and charge your system using USB's new Power Delivery specification, while providing an additional alternate mode video output up to 4K resolution, gigabit Ethernet, audio input/output, and 4 USB ports.
In addition to the 4K output, two additional DisplayLink-enabled 2K display outputs are functional on OS X, though with some limitations in their present form. DisplayLink currently has a Beta driver available for Mac OS X which works well for most users. By the time the Ultimate Dock is released later this year, we expect the driver to be at release level.
With the Plugable Ultimate Dock, we're combining our docking station know-how with your help to create what we humbly think is the best docking station ever created. (We wouldn't call it the "Ultimate" docking station if we didn't believe it!)
Our vertical design saves space on your desk when compared to horizontal docking stations, while allowing you to position your laptop/tablet in whatever orientation is most comfortable for you. The weighted base ensures that it will stay where you want it even when it's connected to an array of monitors and peripherals.
The Plugable Ultimate Dock Enables up to Three Additional Displays When Other USB-C Docks Only Allow One. How?
The Plugable Ultimate Dock utilizes two unique yet complimentary technologies:
1) USB 3.1 Type-C supports a feature called "VESA Alternate Mode" which works with the built-in graphics processor on supported systems to provide video output at resolutions up to 4K.
2) The other two display outputs in the Ultimate Dock are enabled by the DisplayLink DL-3900 graphics processor, which can support two additional 1080P displays at 60Hz.
Other upcoming USB-C docking stations include no power adapter of any sort. They intend for you to use the power adapter that was included with your system.
We believe that approach is too limiting, which is why the Plugable Ultimate Dock includes its own 60W power adapter to power the dock and your laptop.
Keep your OEM charger in another room, or toss it in your laptop bag and take it with you in case you need a charge on the road.
For additional info on why we made this choice, please see the corresponding FAQ item at the bottom of the page.
While we're excited for the potential of USB 3.1, we realize that USB-C enabled systems are just starting to be introduced. As such, we've designed the Ultimate Dock to be an excellent addition to existing systems as well. The dock is backwards compatible with USB 3.0 systems using a Type-C to Type-A adapter cable.
When connected to a USB 3.0 Windows system, you'll still have the ability to use two DisplayLink-based additional displays, gigabit Ethernet, audio input/output, and 4 additional USB ports for connectivity.
Since USB 3.0 does not support power delivery or alternate mode video, when the dock is connected to a USB 3.0 laptop or tablet it will not provide power or charge the system (you'll still need to connect the power cable from your system manufacturer), and you'll be limited to two additional video outputs rather than three.
Chromebook Pixel  2015 & Linux Support
The docking station is compatible with the Pixel and Ubuntu Linux. On these Type-C systems, alternate mode video output, Ethernet, audio in/out, and all of the USB ports will be functional.
However, only a single extra display output will be available on Chrome OS and Ubuntu systems, as the two DisplayLink video outputs are not supported in Chrome OS or Ubuntu.
There is a lot of technology in play here. How about a visual aid?
- DisplayLink based video outputs require a Windows or Mac system. Linux and Chrome OS do not support DisplayLink video outputs, these systems will be limited to the USB Type-C Alternate Mode output only.
- Additional USB Type-C port is for USB accessories only. This port will not charge Type-C hosts/devices and will not pass-through USB Type-C alternate mode for additional USB Type-C to video adapters.
- The DisplayLink DL-3900 chipset can output to two 2K displays.
- The Ultimate Type-C dock can be used with a legacy USB Type-A system (data only, no charging) such as the Microsoft Surface 3 by using a male USB Type-A to male USB Type-C cable (not included).
Risks and challenges
Currently our biggest challenge is meeting our estimated shipment date. We do not anticipate any delays but with any electronic product involving complex engineering, unforeseen issues can arise during production. We will do our best to keep our supporters updated along the way.
With how new USB Type-C is, there are few systems already on the market to test compatibility of all docking station features.
Plugable is a member of the USB-IF (the USB standards body) and we are designing Ultimate Dock to comply with the USB-IF standards to ensure compatibility with future systems equipped with USB Type-C, but functionality is reliant upon system manufacturers producing standards-compliant hardware as well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Competing docking station designs have chosen to implement a horizontal orientation which is indented to prop up your laptop and keep the docking station out of the way. This sounds nice in theory, but we've heard from many users who feel otherwise after attempting to use a horizontal docking station in this fashion.
Excessive wrist strain, a wobbly system, and heat issues are some of the most common complaints we've heard from users who have used designs of this sort. And if you get fed-up with the drawbacks of trying to rest your system on a horizontal dock and wish to set it off to the side, it takes up substantially more desk space than our preferred vertical implementation.
Why does the Plugable Ultimate dock include an 60W power adapter instead of utilizing the lower-power USB-C charger provided by my system manufacturer?
Let's look at the specifications of the beautiful new 2015 Retina MacBook and the Apple charger to help explain why.
The new MacBook includes a 29W power adapter, and when charging it will pull all 29W to replenish the battery as quickly as possible. The USB 3.1 specification states that up to 10W can be delivered to attached peripherals (which then leaves 19W for your MacBook to charge, albeit at a slower rate).
This means that when using other docking stations which rely on Apple's power supply, the docking station itself and everything else attached to the various ports are intended to consume no more than 10W of power. 10W is only marginally enough to power the internal components of a docking station while charging a single modern smartphone!
What, then, will happen when multiple USB devices are attached to this competing docking stations that rely upon your 29W OEM charger? Likely one of three scenarios:
1) As power draw ramps up, voltage drop will occur and some ports and attached peripherals could malfunction and/or not charge.
2) Necessary voltage could be provided to the ports and devices by pulling from remaining 19W being reserved by the MacBook, causing the MacBook to charge slowly or not at all.
3) The MacBook will still attempt to charge, and the power adapter will overdraw beyond specification. Probably goes without saying that this could be very bad.
Yes! Although without a USC-C/Alt Mode enabled system, there will be a maximum of two additional video outputs via the DisplayLink DL-3900 chipset. Ethernet, audio, and USB ports will also be functional on legacy USB 3.0 systems.
Also, since USB 3.0 doesn't support power-delivery, you'll still need your original power adapter to charge your device.
No it does not. We've chosen to focus on implementing USB-IF power delivery with this docking station. Our UD-Pro8 dock is still the best choice for the Venue 8 Pro and similar tablets which charge via USB OTG.
You say (several times) that a USB A-C adapter cable is not included; any chance you might provide an option to add one?
We're looking into adding rewards for this.
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