REVIEW | Targus 171 Universal Docking Station

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Targus has become well know for accessories and other computer related gadgets. One lesser known product in their range is their Universal docking stations.

As our lives become more and more mobile, the laptop has become the go-to computer for most of us. The challenge comes when we are at the office or home and want to plug our laptops into multiple screens and a host of other peripherals such as printers and keyboards. Targus now has a solution to this challenge.

Steven Ambrose docks his laptop and his screens and clears the cable clutter from his desk.

Laptops are super convenient and are getting thinner and lighter all the time. The main issue is that many lightweight laptops lack ports for many devices notably external monitors. The simple solution is a range of dongles and adaptors, which quickly use up the available ports and make a mess of cable and dongles on your desk.

Hardware

Targus has an elegant and useful solution with their USB 3.0 Docking station. The Targus 171 Universal dock is a sleek solution to dongle madness. The Targus Universal dock is a rubber topped box with 4 USB3.0 ports and a single USB C port along with HDMI and DVI video ports. A network connector and a power output socket round out its external connections.

The Dock comes with some cables, and lifting the lid on the actual Dock reveals some power plug adaptors which will work with the majority of laptops on the market.

Setting up the Targus Dock is simple, plug in a single large power supply which will power both the Dock and the attached laptop. The power cable for charging your laptop comes with a universal connector which in conjunction with one of the adaptors included with the dock will plug into and charge laptops from Dell, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, HP, and many more.

The ability to charge your laptop directly from your dock means that you can leave your standard charger at work or home or in your bag, for when you travel. You need to connect one other USB cable to your laptop which will then allow all the ports on the computer to work via the doc.

I attached two monitors to the dock as well as an external mouse and a keyboard. Adding a wired internet cable also improved my network speed over WiFi. The Targus Docking station can connect up to two 4K monitors should you need to. I found my two monitors, one a 24” full HD and the other a Dell 2k 27” ran flawlessly.

The ability to connect the power cable and the docking station cable made hooking up my laptop straightforward. The lack of masses of wires, adaptors, and dongles was a pleasure.

I did use a USB C to USB A adaptor with a MacBook Pro, and this worked reasonably well. The Targus 171 universal Dock is far better suited to standard Windows Laptops than to Macs. Other models work better with a new generation USB C based MacBook Pros.

The angled top of the Targus 171 Dock and the rubber covering makes it possible to place your laptop on top of the Universal Dock which angles the keyboard well for extended desktop use, though a decent external keyboard and mouse makes all the difference to your comfort and productivity.

Software

The Targus Universal Dock does not come with any software, plug in your computer running Windows 10 or Mac OS will initiate a full download of all the relevant drivers, this took only a few minutes to set up. Once downloaded all the ports and outputs works exactly as you would expect them to with no further configuration or intervention needed.

Conclusion

The Targus USB3.0 Universal Dock is an elegant solution to using multiple external monitors and peripherals with your laptop. Many good laptops are more than adequately powerful for home and business use and can replace the big bulky desktops of old for most tasks.

Having the ability to seamlessly and quickly add all your peripherals makes using your laptop as your only computer simple. The Targus Universal dock only requires two cables to work with a range of notebooks. Setup is easy and quick, and there is a great benefit of a large screen and external keyboard when working on projects at home or in the office.


The Targus USB 3.0 Universal dock is available from retailers and online for around R2,995.00

For more information | www.targus.co.za |


 

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