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If you’ve read our review of the IOGear Quantum Dual Mode Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro, you’ve read our review of the Kensington SD5500T Thunderbolt Dock as well. They’re identical in appearance and functionality, though the Kensington dock is simply slightly more expensive for some reason.
Both are very good for what they are: a compact Thunderbolt 3 dock that provides a very focused number of ports, in a configuration that won’t take up much of your desk. There are really only two things that might turn off a buyer: the somewhat limited 60W of power the dock provides, and its use of a pair of DisplayPort connections, an no HDMI ports.
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IOGear Quantum Dual Mode Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro (GTD737)
There’s also no option to stand the dock vertically, for space-saving. But Kensington does sell a $20 mounting bracket, which can attach the dock to the back of a monitor. We haven’t tried out that option, but it certainly sounds like a novel and useful solution.
The dock is compact (6.6 x 3.1 x 1.1 inches, 2.7 pounds) with small rubber feet to keep it stably planted on your desk. The included Thunderbolt 3 cable measures over two feet, giving you plenty of room to attach the cable to your laptop. It connects to the front of the dock, next to a 10Gbps USB-A port and a headphone jack.
Note: This review is part of our roundup of best Thunderbolt docks. Go there for more information about competing products and our buying recommendations.
Mark Hachman / IDG
On the rear of the dock is a gigabit ethernet port, a pair of 5Gbps USB-A ports for a keyboard and mouse, and two 10Gbps USB-C ports. (Kudos to Kensington, by the way, for using the dedicated 10Gbps USB logo to identify the faster ports.) There are also a pair of older DisplayPort 1.2 ports for a pair of displays; note that the dock powers a pair of 4K displays at 60Hz if connected via Thunderbolt. Otherwise, the dock will power two 1080p displays at 30Hz, according to the manual, if your laptop just has USB-C. (If you do just have a USB-C connection, do not buy this dock and purchase a USB-C dongle instead.)
Some other docks, like the pricier Plugable TBT-UDZ, offer the option of using either DisplayPort or HDMI cables to connect to your display. Kensington’s approach is fine, given that many 4K displays ship with with both HDMI and DisplayPort options. Just make sure you own the right cables. The dock performed as expected, playing back protected content on Netflix and not dropping a single frame while streaming 4K video while connected to ethernet.
While the integrated USB-C and USB-A ports are rated to provide 5V/1.5A per port (for 7.5W charging of smartphones), they supplied 4.8V/1.37A to our USB power tester, for a total of 6.61W. That was enough to charge, but not fast charge, a Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphone. The dock never gets too hot, even under load.
This dock comes with a three-year warranty.
Between IOGear’s dock and this one, we’d choose IOGear: It’s a little cheaper right now at current prices. Otherwise, they’re both solid options for a Thunderbolt dock.