Having one device to rule them all is an increasingly realistic dream, especially if that device is a laptop paired with a capable docking station like the IOGEAR GUD3C05. Here’s our take after putting it through the paces.
That one device lifestyle has been a dream of mine for ages—just a laptop that I can drop in and work from a desktop-like setup when I want, but something that’s super easy to grab and take with me, too. That dream is very easy to make a reality these days, as there are tons of great laptop docks floating around out there. I recently got a chance to check out one such dock, the not-so-cleverly named GUD3C05 from IOGEAR. They just call it “USB-C Docking Station with Power Delivery 3.0,” which doesn’t really roll off the tongue (and is honestly really vague). But let’s but aside the lackluster name and look at the hardware itself.
The Details: A Bunch of Ports and PD to Boot
A good dock is only worth what it can do for you, which means the more it can do, the more useful it will be. The IOGEAR USB-C dock is packed with all the useful stuff you’d want for your USB-C equipped laptop—especially at a price of $180 (it’s currently on Amazon for $155).
Here are all the ports:
- USB-C Power Delivery Pass-Through (100 watts)
- Mini DisplayPort
- SD slot
- MicroSD slot
- 3x USB-A ports
- 1x USB-C port
- 3.5mm audio jack
This dock has more ports than any other IOGEAR dock before it, so all in all, it covers pretty much every base out there, all with one little USB-C port. With the included video ports, you can run:
- VGA: 1080p
- HDMI: 4K
- Mini DisplayPort: 4K
- HDMI + Mini DisplayPort: 1080p
IOGEAR claims that the latter option only works on Windows machines, but I’m currently staring at a Pixelbook docked into two 24-inch 1080p displays and it’s working flawlessly. Yeah—a Chromebook is pushing (technically) three displays right now: the internal panel, and two externals using just the IOGEAR dock.
The overall footprint of the dock is decent. It’s not the smallest I’ve seen, but it’s also not meant to be. This isn’t a dock that’s designed to be tossed in your bag and used like a USB hub or SD card reader—it’s meant to stay on your desk with all your junk connected to it.
That said, the non-removable USB-C connector does have a cable and jack garage on the bottom of the unit for clean storage. That’s a nice touch. The dock itself is wedge-shaped, so it’s designed to put your laptop on top of. It has a nice rubber grip across the top to keep everything in place, too.
The only other thing worth mentioning here is that, like most other docking stations, this one doesn’t come with its own power source. It supports up to 100 watts of power delivery, but you’ll need to use your laptop’s USB-C power brick.
Using the Dock: Mostly Solid (With A Couple of Small Issues)
The nice thing about modern laptop docks it that they’re really easy to use—for the most part, they’re just plug-and-play. This one is no different. Plug your stuff up, connect the USB-C cable, and bam—it should all work.
That’s been my experience, anyway. There were some quirks getting the dual displays to play nicely with my Pixelbook, but I fully blame that on the fact that I keep it on the developer channel so things are buggy. Once I got everything running smoothly, it worked like a champ.
There are really only two issues I have with this particular dock—one pretty minor and one much more annoying. The minor issue that the 3.5 mm audio jack is on the side instead of the back, so the cable sticks out just kind of looks ugly. I get why they did it though; if you want to use headphones, it’s more convenient on the side.
Which brings me to my biggest issue with this dock: all the ports are in the back, which really just makes them a pain to get to. If you have your laptop propped up in the way the dock is intended to be used, then you have to move it to access the bevy of ports around the back. If you find yourself constantly needing to connect SD cards or USB devices, it’s just really awkward and annoying.
Otherwise, this is a great little dock. During my time with it, I’ve been very pleased with it and have no real complaints about the functionality outside of the minor niggle mentioned above.
If you’re looking for a good, compact little dock for your laptop, the IOGEAR GUD3C05 is an excellent choice.
Here’s What We Like
- Ports aplenty
- Support for dual monitors over USB-C
- 100 Watts of Power Delivery
And What We Don't
- All the ports are on the back, which can be awkward
- 3.5 mm jack on the side is ugly