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Kensington SD2500T hybrid nano docking station review – small powerhouse of a docking station

REVIEW – The Kensington hybrid nano docking station enters a crowded marketplace of docking stations and hubs.  What units it with the exception of the a large number of different choices?  My solution could be: it’s each a Thunderbolt™ 3 and USB-C dock, it takes up little or no table area in comparison to maximum, and Kensington has a popularity for high quality that the numerous new manufacturers arising once a year can’t compete with.

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What is it?

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It’s a docking station!  You plug monitors, mice, keyboards, USB espresso heaters, and so forth. into the docking station, then you’ll use a unmarried plug to glue the entire issues on your laptop computer.

What’s within the field?

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In the field is the Kensington SD2500T hybrid nano docking station, a fairly non-compact energy provide (extra on that later), a Thunderbolt™ 3/USB-C cable, and documentation.

Hardware specifications

  • Systems supported: All Laptops with Thunderbolt™ 3 or USB-C “alt-mode” ports
  • Operating Systems supported: Windows 10 / macOS 11 (Big Sur) or above)
  • Plug and Play: sure
  • Software required: For Windows, wish to allow Intel® Thunderbolt™ 3 instrument
  • System necessities: Intel Core i5 sixth technology or above, 8 GB reminiscence or above, Intel® HD Graphics 620 or above
  • USB-C Power Delivery: 60 W, 5V/9V/15V/20V @ 3A
  • USB interface: USB-C 3,2 Gen1/Gen2/Thunderbolt™ 3
  • USB connections: 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps), 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps)
  • Card readers: 1 x SD 4.0 card reader (UHS-II), 1 x Micro SD 4.0 card reader (UHS-II)
  • Network Connector: RJ45, 10/100/1000 Mbps (gigabit)
  • Host docking connector: 1 x Thunderbolt™ 3 upstream port
  • Audio connector: 1 x 3.5mm Audio Combo Jack (stereo)
  • Max Resolution (Thunderbolt™ 3): Single 8k @ 30Hz or Dual [email protected]
  • Max Resolution (USB 3.0): Single [email protected] or Dual [email protected]

Design and lines

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The Kensington SD2500T hybrid nano docking station is fairly small, clocking in at below 6 inches extensive, about 3 inches deep, and about 0.7 inches tall.  On the entrance is a full-size SD card reader, a Micro SD card reader, 3.5 mm audio output, USB-C 3.2 Gen2 (10Gbps), and 2 USB-A 3.2 Gen2 ports.

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On the again we now have Power-in, Thunderbolt™ 3/USB-C cable and tool supply port (this one is going on your laptop computer/tool), two Display Ports, gigabit ethernet port, and every other USB-A 3.2 Gen2 port.  Many of the opposite docks I’ve attempted have had fewer ports and/or slower and older USB 2.0 ports.  None of that right here!

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The aluminum end and constructed high quality are fairly great, I noticed no flaws or problems.  Solid as anticipated at this worth level.

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The underside has rubber strips so it doesn’t slide round which labored smartly in my trying out.

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The energy brick.  Where do I even get started?  When you get a “compact” dock, I don’t assume you are expecting a full-sized laptop-style energy brick.  This factor is rated for 120 Watts, which permits for as much as 60 watts of energy supply to the laptop computer hooked up plus additional for the quite a lot of different ports, nevertheless it’s fairly massive when in comparison to one thing just like the Macbook Pro’s energy adaptor.  I believe like they might have long past smaller at this worth level.  If you’ve gotten cable garage below a table or at the back of decorations, this shall be a non-issue, however it’s one thing you will have to remember of since one of the explanations to make use of a dock like that is to do away with cable litter.

Installation and setup

I plugged within the considered necessary cords, and easily began the usage of the screens and units.  This used to be true on each macOS, Windows 10, or even more recent Samsung Android units (examined on Note 20 Ultra telephone and Tab S7+ pill).  The simplest surroundings I needed to trade (which has been true of each docking station or hub I’ve examined to this point) used to be to regulate the display screen refresh charges – maximum units appear to default to 60 Hz even supposing your display screen is succesful of upper.

I examined with a 2k gaming observe at 144Hz (more or less the similar show bandwidth as [email protected]) and it labored as anticipated.  Adding a 2d observe (similar answer and refresh fee) additionally labored completely, so the “as much as twin [email protected] on Thunderbolt™” turns out possible.  I’ve had hubs/docking stations that couldn’t meet the quoted resolutions up to now so I used to be happy to look the whole thing operating as anticipated right here.  On USB-C (much less bandwidth), I used to be in a position to pressure a unmarried [email protected] with out a problems in any respect.  When the second display screen used to be hooked up, I needed to decrease the refresh fee on each to 60 Hz.

I hooked up my Android telephone and pill simply to look what took place and used to be pleasantly shocked to have Samsung Dex fireplace proper up (desktop working gadget the place you’re given an interface very similar to Windows/Mac).  The simplest factor that didn’t paintings on this state of affairs used to be the audio output, I had to make a choice the tool audio or use observe audio fairly than the 3.5mm jack.  The proven fact that Kensington made their UBS-C hub capability common and driverless is very good.

I attempted each the total length and micro SD card readers, and each learn and wrote recordsdata as fast as my playing cards supported (I don’t have the newest and largest, so the playing cards themselves had been the bottleneck right here).  One of my micro-SD playing cards had a arduous time liberating although, which it hasn’t had in some other card readers.  I needed to wiggle and push for a bit to get it out, one thing to be careful for.

The USB ports all appear to be very fast.  I examined exterior drives, webcams, microphones, or even USB-C hubs. I really like that Kensington has put small battery icons subsequent to the ports that let for essentially the most energy output so that you’re no longer looking to fee one thing on a slow-charging USB port.

The Ethernet port offers me my complete gigabit web (1000 Mbps velocity assessments), and I by no means had any problems with the community whilst trying out it.

Displayports additionally permit the utmost settings my twin screens beef up (similar bandwidth to dual-4k on Thunderbolt™)and are even rated for 8k monitors, so that they will have to be moderately futureproof.

When you’re the usage of each port, there may be a lot of wires popping out of each the back and front of this factor.  I stopped up zip-tying it below my table so the litter is out of sight.

What I really like

  • Plug and play – no drivers required
  • USB and Thunderbolt compatibility
  • Lots of ports, particularly 4 x USB

What I’d trade

  • If it used to be conceivable to stay it small and transfer maximum/all of the ports to one aspect, that may assist with cable control
  • Smaller energy brick!
  • Price turns out a bit prime, however you pay a top rate for high quality and length

Final ideas

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Overall, the whole thing merely labored and labored smartly.  I really like having the ability to stroll as much as my table and plug in a unmarried wire and get started operating/taking part in.  My simplest criticism right here will be the massive energy brick.  For many of us that received’t be a subject matter since they may be able to conceal the brick someplace nevertheless it appears like an oversight for a tool advertised as a compact hub.  Everything used to be rock-solid all over the review length, one thing that hasn’t at all times been true of off-name hubs and docking stations I’ve examined up to now.  Even pricey Dell docking stations have failed on me prior to, however Kensington has a popularity for high quality and reliability.  For this multi-week review, I had 0 problems and would hope that this might be true for a very long time.

Price: $199.99
Where to shop for: (*10*)Kensington or (*12*)Amazon
Source: The pattern for this review used to be equipped by means of (*13*)Kensington

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