HP laptop docking station buyer’s guide

The best HP docking station for your needs, and everything you need to know about them

HP laptop docking station
Last Updated:

This HP laptop docking station guide will list all of the best HP docking stations on the market, and explain everything you need to know about what docking stations are, and how they work to help you find the right model for you, and your laptop.

What is a docking station?

A docking station essentially makes using a laptop in an office environment (one in your home or an external place of work) almost as seamless as if you had a desktop already set up. It is a hub to which you connect your laptop, that has numerous connections coming off it to monitors, a keyboard, mouse, printer, and whatever other external peripherals and devices you desire. Some laptops even have their own power supply, meaning you don’t have to plug in your laptop separately. All you have to do is plug in one connection between your laptop and the docking station and you’re good to go – ready to work immediately.

Our Top Picks

01
WePC Awards Best In Class
A premium quality, compact, USB-C compatible HP docking station
02
A 120W powered HP laptop docking station with Thunderbolt support
03
A feather light, portable HP laptop docking station with USB-C connection

Things to consider when buying an HP laptop docking station

Is a docking station necessary?

In short: no, you could in theory just connect your peripherals to your laptop individually, without a docking station. All a docking station really does is give you additional ports and prevent you having to individually reconnect each of your external devices each time you sit down at your desk. How much this is a hassle really depends on your setup and your individual priorities. If you want the most convenient, time-saving experience at work / at home, particularly if you have a lot of peripherals and external devices plugged into your machine, or if your laptop doesn’t come with many ports (as is often the case with smaller, more slimline models) then a docking station could definitely be worth the money (time is money, after all).

 

Different types of docking station

There is no consistent terminology when it comes to HP docking stations, or docking stations from other brands. Many are defined by the type and number of ports they come with and the type of connections they support. In terms of form factor / ergonomics though, the following broad types exist:

 

  • Lock-in / snap down style docking stations: these typically have pins which you align with the bottom of your laptop that fixes them in place and makes the connection between the two devices. They are stationary docks which don’t lend themselves to portability, but tend to have more ports and better power supply (though not always). This design is the older type and is gradually going out of favour for more ergonomically friendly designs. They come in two main sub-types:
    • Horizontal ‘block’ type docking stations: which lay flat on your desk and sit underneath the laptop. You can either use them with your laptop lid closed or open for an additional screen.
    • Vertical ‘book stand’ type docking stations: which stand up the laptop facing the user.
  • Separate plug-in style docking stations: these do not lock in but just connect via a cable, and tend to be smaller and more ergonomically friendly, some (though not all) being portable devices. They come in two main sub-types:
    • Horizontal: these may or may not be portable, and come in an array of sizes.
    • Vertical / tower type: these tend to not be portable.

 

Are HP docks universal?

HP docking stations are usually designed to best compliment the design of HP laptops, however many of them are universal and can be used with laptops from other manufacturers, assuming the laptop has the required ports. Lock-in / snap down style docking stations tend to be the least universal as their locking mechanism is aligned for specific designs. In each of the HP docking station models listed on this page we will state whether or not the device is universal.

 

Are all HP laptops compatible with docking station? / Can all HP laptops use a docking station?

Almost all HP laptops, particularly those produced recently, are compatible with at least some HP docking stations, though whether or not a specific HP laptop can connect to a specific HP docking station depends on whether the ports and cables both use are compatible with each other.

HP laptop docking station list

01
02
03
04
05

In-depth Review

01
A premium quality, compact, USB-C compatible HP docking station
WePC Awards Best In Class

HP USB-C Dock G55TW10AA

HP USB C Dock G55

Type

USB-C plug-in

Ports

1 x powered USB 3.0, 1 x USB-C (power port), USB-C 1 x Audio, 1 x Super speed USB 3.0, 1 x network, 2 x Display/ video - DisplayPort, 1 x Display/ video - HDMI

Power supply

100W

Weight

1.5lb / 0.68kg

Editor's Rating
4.0/5
Pros

comes with its own 100W power supply

compatible with many laptop brands

light & portable

Cons

relatively few USB ports

expensive

This particular HP USB-C dock G5 model is a great option for those after a USB-C connection between their laptop and HP docking station. It has an independent ‘plug-in’ design, is relatively lightweight, and is fairly small, making it great for making best use of desk space, but also allowing it to be transported more easily.

The smaller size does mean that it sacrifices the number of USB ports compared to some of the other models on this page, though there are plenty of connections for monitors (2x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI) and you do get 1x powered USB 3.0 and 1x superspeed USB 3.0, alongside the main USB-C connections for the laptop itself plus audio.

Given the universality of the USB-C connection, it is compatible with all sorts of laptop brands besides HP machines. Assuming the 100W power supply is sufficient to run your device, you also will not need to plug in your laptop separately.

The biggest thing which may put people off this HP docking station is the price, but you do get a quality product for what you pay.

02
A 120W powered HP laptop docking station with Thunderbolt support

HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W

HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W

Type

Thunderbolt plug-in

Ports

1x Thunderbolt port, 1xUSB-C DisplayPort data and power out port (15 W), 2x DisplayPort ports, 1x VGA port, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x RJ45/Ethernet port, 1x AC adapter connector

Power supply

120W

Weight

3.7lb / 1.68kg

Editor's Rating
4.0/5
Pros

comes with its 120W own power supply

wide connectivity including VGA

Cons

expensive

among the heavier options available

The HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W, as the name suggests, is the only selection on this page which supports Thunderbolt connectivity, and it has the highest power supply of any HP docking station here, supporting devices up to 120W.

Besides Thunderbolt support you also get 1x USB-C socket with DisplayPort/power out functionality, 2x USB 3.0 ports, a RJ45 Ethernet port, and plenty of monitor output sockets by way of 2x dedicated DisplayPort sockets and 1x VGA port.

This rather girthy HP laptop docking station is the heaviest selection on this page, but it does at least have a nice compact form factor which looks good on your desk. It’s not cheap though, but this is often the case for Thunderbolt docking stations.

03
A feather light, portable HP laptop docking station with USB-C connection

HP Genuine Elite USB-C

HP Genuine Elite USB C

Type

USB-C plug-in

Ports

1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Ethernet 1 x USB-C type, 4 x USB 3.0 Ports, 1 x Audio Port, 1 x DC-IN Blue tip 19.5V - 3.33A (65Watt)

Power supply

65W

Weight

0.66lb / 0.30kg

Editor's Rating
3.0/5
Pros

very lightweight & portable

a great number & selection of ports

Cons

connectivity issues reported in some units

expensive at full price

runs hot

The HP Genuine Elite USB-C is the most portable, lightweight docking station HP produces, and yet it comes with a very impressive number of ports and sockets, including 1x USB-C, 4x USB 3.0, and DisplayPort, HDMI, and Ethernet cables.

Unfortunately reports suggest that some units people have bought have had connection issues, though this does not affect all units of this model type.

Still, this machine is not cheap, and for the price you’d like to expect a degree of guaranteed quality. The device also runs hot as well, which will likely not be a problem for most people but it does become noticeable. Still, for a device of this size, weight, and number of ports, if you end up with a good unit, this is a great portable HP laptop docking station.

04

HP UltraSlim Dock D9Y32AA

HP UltraSlim Dock D9Y32AA

Type

Snap down / Lock-in

Ports

4x USB 3.0 ports, 2x DisplayPort, 1x VGA port,1x LAN/Ethernet port, 1 x Line in, 1 x Line out

Power supply

n/a

Weight

1.67lb / 0.76kg

Editor's Rating
3.0/5
Pros

cheap

lots of USB 3.0 ports

lightweight

Cons

no USB-C ports

A cheap and lightweight budget HP laptop docking station, the HP UltraSlim Dock D9Y32AA features a lot of USB.30 ports (four in total), though sadly it does lack a USB-C connection. Besides this though, there isn’t much to criticise about this laptop.

It is a snap down design, so isn’t the most portable, but it is still fairly light so can be more easily moved around your desk or transported if you really need to.

05
A heavier but cheap HP laptop docking station

HP UltraSlim Dock 2013 D9Y32AA ABA

HP UltraSlim Dock D9Y32AA

Type

Snap down / Lock-in

Ports

4X USB 3.0 Ports, Display Port 1.2, VGA Port

Power supply

65W

Weight

2.99lb / 1.32kg

Editor's Rating
2.5/5
Pros

cheap

lots of USB 3.0 ports plus VGA

Cons

no USB-C ports

heavy

This snap down HP docking station is an older design but is cheap, and a good solution for those on a budget.

The main drawback is that it has no USB-C ports at all, for those who prioritise this. It is also a bit on the heavy side, and combined with the ergonomics of its design it’s not a portable docking station at all.

Still, you do get plenty of USB 3.0 ports for your money, as well as a VGA socket. The 65W power supply isn’t much, but will suffice for external peripherals at least.

FAQ

Is a HP laptop compatible with a Dell docking station?

Compatibility depends on the docking station and laptop in question and what ports they come with. Check out our Dell laptop docking station buyer’s guide for more information.

What is HP USB dock?

A HP USB dock is simply a docking station that connects to your laptop using a USB cable / port, enabling your laptop to connect to an array of monitors and peripherals through the docking stations device. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with different amounts of connections and port types.

Final Word

This has been our HP laptop docking station guide. We hope that it has been informative and has helped you come to a decision about which one (if any) is the right product for you. Be sure to check out our other laptop articles across all brands, including laptop how-to articles.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Technology Writer
at
WePC
From halcyon days playing Sonic 2 on the Megadrive, to trying to work out how to make the ‘TOASTY!’ man appear on Mortal Kombat 3, many of Aaron’s fondest childhood memories are associated with gaming. He regrets nothing. First getting into PC gaming through exposure to Drug Lord 2.0 and then the original Half Life, he has been a fiend ever since. If you need to know anything about gaming laptops, he’s your guy.

Independent, transparent, rigorous and authentic, our reviews are the most thorough and honest in PC gaming. Learn about our review process.