As laptops get smaller and smaller, manufacturers leave off more and more ports.  The computers look more svelte, but you are now required to buy adapters or lose functionality. With this OWC dock and one USB-C connection, you’ll be feeling like you are working on a desktop machine with all the ports you probably need. The dock works equally well with PC’s or Mac’s.

While the OWC USB-C dock is not exactly small, the 7.9”x3.5”x1.1” unit is worth its 1 pound in weight for all its capabilities.  You’ll need to power it with the enclosed power brick (another 1.2 pounds); but, if you have a USB-C powered computer like the MacBook, MacBook Pro, Lenovo 910, or current Dell XPS, then you can make up for it by leaving your charger at home.

The unit looks sleek and feels sturdy. It’s available in four colorways: Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold. Each is backed by a two-year warranty.

On the front of the dock, you’ll find one each of the most needed ports:

  • SD Card reader – that accepts SD, SDHC and SDXC cards up to 2TB in capacity, and UHS-1 compatible up to 70MB/s.
  • Combination audio port – 3.5 mm microphone and headphone jack
  • High power USB 3.1 Gen 1 Port – which can also recharge your devices up to 1.5 Amp.
  • Power and function lights – below the dock, you’ll notice a blue glow if the unit has power and a green glow if there is an active data connection made with the computer.

 

In the back, be prepared to be blown away with all the connections conveniently available here.

  • Three USB 3.1 Gen1 Standard-A ports – backward compatible with USB 2.0. One of these is high powered for up to 1.5 A device recharging.
  • One USB 3.1 Gen1 Type – C port for devices using type C connectors. This does NOT work for external monitors. (see Mini DisplayPort below for monitors.)
  • Gigabit Ethernet port – connect here for local wired connectivity to your network.
  • One USB 3.1 Gen1 Type – C port for connectivity with your PC or Mac computer. Works as power and data for compatible computers or as a data-only link for those using the supplied power brick.
  • Mini DisplayPort – enables an external monitor using Mini DisplayPort cable (mDP). Works up to 4K@30Hz.
  • DC In port – where you connect the external power brick if you can’t pull power through the USB-C cable.

In total, the OWC USB-C dock provides up to 80W of power – 60W to your computer and 20 more to your peripherals.  If you’ve been counting, that’s up to 10 items connected through just one USB-C cable.

With no power switch on the dock, the unit will stay on as long as it is powered up with its power cable. If connected to a computer, and the computer goes to sleep, all connected devices will also power off or enter their sleep state. The two high powered USB ports will continue to charge devices even if the computer goes to sleep.

Don’t curse the lack of ports ever again. Get set up with this dock and you’ll be rocking with multiple external drives, monitors, card reader and LAN connection. It’s ideal for my photo editing.  I can plug in my SD card and my XQD cards at the same time and save to any one of three external multiple-TB drives.  Life just got good with the OWC USB-C Dock.

OWC USB-C Dock with three hard drives and two media cards

Disclosure:  OWC provided us with a sample OWC USB-C dock so we could do this review;  but, as always, opinions are strictly our own.


Also published on Medium.