OWC USB-C miniDP dock

It’s 2019, USB-C is on almost everything by now. Every major laptop vendor, including apple is shipping devices with USB-C and it’s big brother Thunderbolt-3. Some laptops like the Huwaii Matebook To that end we have a USB-C dock on hand from OWC to take a look at.

Initial overview

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The creatively named USB-C dock comes in fairly standard packaging. A well labeled cardboard carton indicates a diverse section of ports including USB 3.0, Gigabit ethernet, USB-C and Mini Displayport. Although also available in HDMI I’d advise users to pick the displayport model as it’s far more flexible including the option for HDMI 2.0 as opposed to 1.4 if you still adapt to HDMI gaining higher resolution and refresh rate support. The dock is capable of delivering 80w to charge laptops which is more than enough for your typical office PC.

Testing

The OWC dock was primarily tested using a Thinkpad E580. The E580 is equipped with a single USB-C port which is also used for charging. This system was used for full days of work without a hiccup using the dock to provide power and an external 1080p monitor without issue. I did connect it to my Dell P4317q without issue as well. All of the USB ports appear limited to 5Gbps unfortunately although this seems normal for devices like this. Audio and networking perform on par with other USB devices, it isn’t anything special but is sufficient for office work. The SD card reader is an excellent addition for amateur photographers(no doubt a wide part of the target market) I was limited to UHS-I although considering the potential for shared bandwidth on the dock this is unsurprising.

Closing Thoughts

Offering charging, plentiful USB and a monitor out it’s an excellent companion to most modern laptops. I’ve held on to docking connectors as a requirement for any systems I purchase for over a decade. Seeing USB-C as well as Thunderbolt proliferate through vendors offerings as an alternative to proprietary solutions is fantastic. For any users that don’t absolutely require a second panel(it’s single largest limitation) The OWC USB-C dock has made my short list for accessories as we get USB-C systems at work.

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Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is a full time IT administrator at a medium sized private business former FRC coach and technology enthusiast.