The best Chromebook docking stations can conveniently turn your ChromeOS-based laptop from an on-the-go machine to a feature-packed workstation. When you're at home and want to use a clicky mechanical keyboard, an ergonomic mouse, or add a secondary display, the right docking station lets you connect a variety of peripherals and also keep things organized while doing so.
While you could maybe get by with some tiny USB-C hub, the cables are usually too short and leave your desk cluttered. On the other hand, these docking stations help keep things connected while staying out of your way. To make things easier for you, we have rounded up some of the best options available in the market.
Connect everything you want to your Chromebook
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Despite its compact design, Plugable's docking station manages to pack in a whole lot of goodness. It comes with three USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port, and a USB-C port with up to 85W charging support. You can use the included VESA mount to tuck this thing behind your monitor and achieve that minimal look for your workspace. The product is backed by a two-year warranty as well.
If you need a docking station that is lightweight, portable, and reliable, OWC's USB-C Travel Dock has you covered. There's a built-in USB-C cable in it that plugs right into your Chromebook, along with a 100W pass-through USB-C charging port. The dock offers five ports including HDMI and an SD card slot. Backing up the whole thing is a two-year limited warranty.
Tall or flat, set it as you like
While most docking stations are designed to lay flat, there are some that can be set upright. But why choose when this option from Baseus offers you both? The dock comes with two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, two USB-C ports, an Ethernet port, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm audio port, and three USB-A ports. Featuring a premium design, it's a perfect accessory for your workstation.
Sleek and powerful
Acer is well-known for many of the best Chromebooks, but one of the company's most recent releases is this slim yet capable D501 Chromebook dock. It's not only compliant with the 'Works with Chromebook' initiative, but also features a total of 11 ports including DisplayPort, HDMI, and Ethernet. You get support for 60W pass-through charging as well.
CalDigit is well known for offering some of the most impressive docking stations out there, and the TS4 is no exception. Having full support for Chrome OS, it supports up to 98W charging that makes it ideal larger devices too. The dock comes with a total of 18 ports, including everything from 3.5mm audio and Gigabit Ethernet, to dual SD card slots and USB-C.
Anker makes a wide variety of docking stations, and one of the best among them for Chromebooks is the PowerExpand. It has USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, 3.5mm combo audio, Ethernet, and up to 60W Power Delivery charging via USB-C. The versatile and feature-laden docking station is bundled with a 100W power adapter and is backed by an 18-month warranty.
Charge your phone and Chromebook
Despite not having released a Chromebook of its own, Dell has the perfect accessory for one. The HD22Q is surely among the most interesting docking stations out there. As far as ports are concerned, it comes with USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet, and USB-C. However, what really sets it apart is the integrated wireless charging stand that lets you keep your phone juiced up while you're getting some work done.
Old but reliable
While there are a lot of Chromebooks available now that have Thunderbolt support, there are even more that just come with USB-C compatibility. If you happen to have one of those older models, the G4 docking station from HP is a great option that'll let you save some cash. It sports multiple USB (both type-A and type-C) ports, an HDMI port, two DisplayPort ports, an Ethernet port, and even a Kensington lock slot.
The dock that's also a monitor
If you're going to plug in a monitor to your docking hub anyway, why not combine the two and have a cleaner experience? Take a look at Dell's UltraSharp monitor, which comes with a 27-inch QHD panel that works great for both work and play. If we talk about connectivity, the U2722DE packs in Ethernet, HDMI, and USB (both type-A and type-C) ports. There's also 15W output for charging small devices like smartphones.
Get ports and portability both with these best Chromebook docking stations
USB-C docking stations come in all shapes and sizes — especially once we get into the wonderful world of Thunderbolt docks meant for Macs — but unfortunately, since most docking stations are built for Mac/PC, Chromebook compatibility can be hit or miss.
When deciding how many ports a Chromebook docking station needs, keep in mind that you don't need to go overboard with the ports. Most docking stations can only output one Chromebook screen, and most Chromebooks have built-in card readers. Instead, focus on the spacing between ports, the number of USB ports, as well as the price. For these reasons, the Plugable USB Mini Docking Station is a great hub to pair with the best Chromebooks. It covers all the basic ports without overcomplicating things or cluttering up your desk.
If you have USB-C flash drives, keyboards, or other accessories you want to use with a Chromebook docking station, you'll need to step up to the Baseus 16-in-1 USB-C Dock. It comes with ports for USB-C peripherals and also a charge-only USB-C port for topping off your phone or power bank.
Then again, if all of these seem like overkill because you just wanted a dock to plug in a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, consider downsizing to a compact USB-C hub instead. Anker, Aukey, and Uni make good hubs, and Uni even has one with a four-foot cord so you can keep it further from your Chromebook.
A note about Chromebooks and headphone jacks
When you plug in anything to your Chromebook with a 3.5mm jack — either a headphone jack or an audio combo jack — Chrome OS will automatically route audio to it regardless of if the headphones or speakers are plugged into the port. So, if you are going to be plugging and unplugging your Chromebook from your dock regularly, consider investing in some speakers, so you don't have to set the audio back to the internal speaker every time.
If you don't want to do that, consider using a USB-C hub instead. We would say, "Use a docking station without a headphone jack," but practically every docking station in the market today has an audio combo jack. It allows users to plug in speakers and is an easy way to boost a listing's port total.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.