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Best USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 docks, stands for Apple MacBook, Pro, Air

Plug your MacBook in and out of a multi-port dock to swiftly add devices and external displays to your laptop. We tested a bunch to find the best USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 docks available to owners of the latest MacBook, MacBook Air (2018) and MacBook Pro.

If you use your laptop as your principal computer, you would do well to consider attaching at least one larger display to create a hybrid desktop/laptop setup. You can turn that 13in laptop screen into an iMac-sized 27in or even larger monitor by adding an extra display – or add two large screens to extend your screen across your whole desk.

Using a larger display is better for your eyes, and likely will help you improve your posture while working, playing or viewing. With today’s TV streaming services, you can transform your laptop into a 4K television.

One problem with using a MacBook as your main PC is its lack of ports. The 12in MacBook has just one USB-C port, the new MacBook Air boasts two USB-C (actually the superior but visually identical Thunderbolt 3 standard) ports, and the latest MacBook Pro models feature either two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

You need one port for charging (albeit not all the time), and maybe at least another to attach further devices (memory sticks, hard drives, an adapter for Ethernet, external display).

There are many adapters that let you add devices to a USB-C MacBook (see our roundup of the best USB-C adapters), but for maximum flexibility check out these docks that take care of all your extra port requirements, and allow you to simply attach it to your laptop with just one cable when you get to the office or come home.

It makes it much easier to use your laptop in two locations, as it can easily be connected into and out of the dock – although you might need a dock at each end for similar setups.

We’ve also included some MacBook-friendly stands that lack all the extra ports but keep your MacBook/Air/Pro upright and out of the way: saving valuable desk space, reducing clutter, keeping your laptop cool, and saving it from spills.

Note that when in closed (clamshell) mode on a stand the MacBook’s camera is covered – and while the internal microphone (and speakers) are still active it is prone to pick up vibration from the laptop itself. You can use an external microphone and webcam for video conferencing.

We have tested products to match Apple’s MacBook design and colours. You can mix and match the docks and stands – or indeed use one or the other depending on your needs. For example, I have a setup in my office that uses the CalDigit TS3 Plus connected to the Henge Vertical Dock.

Henge Docks Stone Docking Station

Henge Docks Stone Docking Station

CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3 Plus (TS3 Plus)

CalDigit Thunderbolt Station 3 Plus (TS3 Plus)

Targus Dock410 USB-C Docking Station

Targus Dock410 USB-C Docking Station

Henge Vertical Dock

Henge Vertical Dock

Twelve South BookArc for MacBook

Twelve South BookArc for MacBook

Rain Design mTower MacBook Stand

Rain Design mTower MacBook Stand

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