Android Central Verdict
The 13-in-1 docking station nails the basics: it offers a good variety of USB-C and USB-A ports, and you'll find one of each at the front. It also delivers up to 100W power over the USB PD protocol, and you get a 3.5mm jack and SD card reader. But its best feature is the DisplayPort and dual HDMI and ports at the back, allowing you to connect up to three monitors. Add in a sleek aluminum design and the UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station is a great choice for your desk.
Sleek design with easy portability
100W USB PD power delivery
Good selection of ports
Has both HDMI and DisplayPort
Costly for what you get
DisplayPort connection is finicky to set up
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UGREEN is known for making high-quality chargers and cables, and the brand is now venturing into other accessories like USB-C docking stations. The brand already rolled out a few USB-C hubs, and the 13-in-1 docking station is the first full-fledged docking station aimed at desktop use. As the name suggests, it has 13 ports in total, including USB-C, USB-A, DisplayPort, and HDMI ports.
There are plenty of USB-C hubs and docking stations in the market, and where UGREEN is looking to differentiate itself is the design. There's also the fact that the 13-in-1 docking station has a smaller size than its rivals, and it doesn't need external power — a key consideration for a lot of users. So if you're interested in a docking station for your notebook, here's what you need to know about the UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station.
UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station: Price and availability
UGREEN launched the 13-in-1 docking station in June 2022, and it is now available from the brand's website for $329. You can also pick it up at Amazon for $299, and you get a standard one-year warranty.
The package comes with a bundled USB-C cable that works with the 100W USB PD protocol, and in what feels like a quaint addition, an installation disc for the requisite Windows drivers.
UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station: What you'll love
Most docking stations are large and unwieldy on account of all the ports, but UGREEN did a great job with the overall design aesthetic of the 13-in-1 docking station. The aluminum chassis makes it durable and adds a bit of elegance to the design, and the diminutive size means you can take it anywhere. There's a power button located at the top, and a tiny LED at the front that serves as the status indicator.
Coming to the ports, there are two USB-A ports at the back, two USB-C ports — with one able to deliver 100W of power — two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and a standard RJ45 connector for Ethernet. You get a decent selection of ports at the front as well, including a 3.5mm jack, SD and MicroSD card readers, USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, and a USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port.
The latter's inclusion at the front makes it that much more convenient to plug in accessories like a mic, and I often found myself using the front USB-A port quite a bit. While the front USB-C port isn't advertised for charging, I was able to use it with the Nothing phone (1) and go up to 20W.
All the ports are clearly labeled, and a standout feature for the 13-in-1 docking station is that it lets you drive an 8K monitor. I used the DisplayPort and HDMI ports to connect it to QHD and 4K monitors, and there were no issues in getting a reliable connection.
In theory, you can drive three external monitors via the dock, but note that if you do connect an 8K monitor, it will be limited to 30Hz. Otherwise, the three ports go up to 4K at 60Hz, and that is adequate for day-to-day use.
The USB-A ports at the back go up to 5Gbps, while the USB-A and USB-C ports located at the front go to the full 10Gbps. Basically, the 13-in-1 docking station has everything you need to extend the ports on your notebook.
I used it with my Windows gaming rig — a Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Master paired to an Intel Core i9-11900K and an overclocked RTX 3080 — and while the motherboard has 10 ports in total, I always need a few extra for connecting other accessories.
In daily use, I didn't see any issues with any of the USB ports or the HDMI connectors, and the SD card reader delivered a consistent 120MB/s transfer when moving photos to my machine. The docking station was much more useful with a Geekom Mini IT 11 box, with the USB ports and HDMI connectors making a real difference.
UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station: What needs work
The UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station gets a lot right, but there are a few foibles. First up is the fact that the DisplayPort connector doesn't work out of the box; you need to install software to use the port. This isn't a limitation with the dock, but the DisplayPort standard itself, and I was able to install the requisite software without too much of an issue.
The power button is located in an inconvenient position; I inadvertently pressed the button whenever I was slotting in the SD card into the dock — its small size works to its disadvantage here.
Because the monitor ports are limited to 60Hz, the docking station isn't ideal if you're looking to use it with a gaming monitor with 144Hz or 165Hz refresh. And although the docking station has a design that goes well with the latest-gen MacBooks, it doesn't work with the MacBook Air M2.
But the biggest issue is the fact that the 13-in-1 docking station costs $300. That's a lot of money for a dock that doesn't have Thunderbolt connectivity, and while you get a great design and a good selection of ports here, there are plenty of alternatives that give you a similar set of ports for less.
UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station: The competition
The ideal alternative to the UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station is Plugable's USB-C UD-ULTC4K. This docking station has four USB-A ports at the back, and you get three HDMI and DisplayPort ports at the back. It doesn't do 8K, but you get 4K at 60Hz, and there are two USB-C ports — the one at the back does 100W USB PD, and there's a port at the front that hits 20W charging.
You also get audio in and out, and an SD card reader. The docking station doesn't have as elegant a design as the UGREEN offering, but it is a smidgen more affordable at $279.
UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if:
- You want a docking station with a great selection of ports
- You need a single dock to connect to three external monitors
- You want front-facing USB-A and USB-C ports
- You need a portable design
You shouldn't buy this if:
- You want a docking station on a budget
- You need a dock to use with a gaming monitor
UGREEN nailed the brief with its first docking station, and there is a lot to like here. The 13-in-1 docking station has a good design and the aluminum chassis is built to last, and you'll find all the ports you need. The HDMI and DisplayPort connectors work reliably in daily use, and I didn't have any issues with the USB ports — whether that's connecting the multitude of accessories I use or for charging phones on my desk.
The 100W power potential makes it stand out just that little bit more, particularly considering its small profile. The front-facing USB-A and USB-C ports are also convenient, and in short, the UGREEN 13-in-1 docking station does everything you're looking for.
The elegant design combined with the great selection of ports make it a good overall option to consider, and the only downside here is the cost. You are paying a premium for the design, but if that's not an issue, this is among the best docking stations you'll find today.
UGREEN's docking station has all the ports you need, and you get the ability to connect three external monitors at once — going up to 8K. The sleek design combined with the 100W charging potential here make it one of the best docking stations around.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.