Kensington SD2000P USB-C 4K Nano Dock with PD REVIEW
My main computer is a 13-inch 2016 MacBook Pro. I chose it specifically for its portability as a compact laptop. I also love the power that is encased within the shell of the MacBook Pro. That said, the one issue that Apple laptops are still battling is having a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port-driven computer in a USB-A world. I’m constantly fighting the dongle battle and usually find solace within docking stations. The only issue I really have with docks is their size. I try to keep my workstation as clutter-free as possible and the larger docks don’t really give you that option. So, when I found out about the USB-C Nano Dock from Kensington, I tried one out right away.
The Kensington SD2000P Nano Dock is cross-platform compatible and will work with any laptop equipped with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3. It has Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS support and features plug-n-play technology. The USB-C connection allows users to transfer data, video, and audio with one cable. It will also provide up to 60W of power delivery. This feature eliminates the need to keep a power adapter at your workstation. The SD2000P offers output options for HDMI or DP++ to a single external monitor, TV, or projector. In addition to the PD and display options, this nano dock also has three USB ports available — 2 USB 3.1 Gen1 and 1 USB-C 3.1 Gen1. All three of these ports provide data and PD transfer connectivity. Finally, the nano dock has 1 Gigabit ethernet port for a wired internet connection. Just like most Kensington equipment, the classic Kensington security slot is included so that you can add a cable lock if needed. The bottom of the dock has a soft feel to that keeps it from sliding around a lot. In addition to that, you have the option to mount it to the back of any 75mm or 100mm VESA compatible external display (mounting plate is sold separately).
- Best For: USB-C Laptops & Ultrabooks that support Power Delivery and a Single 4K Monitor
- Connection Technology: USB-C Alt Mode
- USB-C Power Delivery: Supports USB-C PD 3.0 (60W of laptop charging)
- Compatibility: Windows 7 or above, macOS 10.13 or above, Chrome 44 or above
- # of Monitors Supported: 1
- Video Ports: 1 x HDMI v1.4 or 1 x DisplayPort v1.2++
- Maximum Resolution Supported: Single Monitor: 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz
- Plug & Play installation without the need for drivers or downloads
- System Requirements: Host device must support Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alt mode over USB-C
- Warranty: 3 Years
The SD2000P Nano Dock comes in an impressive Kensington branded box. I have been a fan of their packaging for quite some time because it not only includes the product manufacturer’s branding, but it also has a decent amount of information about the product. Even though there is a lot of information included, it’s presented in a clean, stylish layout. One thing I noticed right away was the size of the box in comparison to the size of the product. I don’t like to waste when it comes to packaging and I thought the size of the box — which seems to be the same size as other docks — was excessive.
When I opened the box, I found that the real reason the box was so large was because of the power supply that comes with it. It includes an AC power cable and a large power brick as well as a USB-C cable. This is really the only ‘complaint’ about the dock I have. I feel like the dock should have a smaller, more compact power supply. The dock itself is approximately the same size as an Apple TV. So, it seems like Kensington would be able to find an appropriately sized power cable or adapter and reduce the size of the packaging.
As far as the operation goes, Kensington kept it all very simple. The dock is plug and play. So, you don’t have to have any specialized software or drivers to operate it with your computer. After I connected the power adapter to the dock, I plugged in my laptop using the provided USB-C cable. I heard that familiar ‘ding’ indicating the computer was receiving a charge. After that connection was established, I connected an HDMI cable to the dock and an external monitor. I was impressed by how easily the connection was made initially. And, I’ve not had any issues with the computer connecting to the monitor ever since.
In addition to testing out the connectivity of an external monitor and PD of the dock, I also plugged in a USB Flash Driveand tested its speed using Blackmagic Speed Test. I was impressed by the results as shown in the screenshot below. These results as in line with other testing I’ve run using this same flash drive in the past. I also tested out an SD card reader that was compatible with USB 3.0. It ran as expected, too, although it was quite a bit slower than the USB Flash Drive.
After testing this dock, I don’t know that I’ll go to any other docking option for my desk set-up. I love having a mobile-style workstation and this is the ideal docking option for that type of set-up. One concern I always have with docks is heat collection, but I never noticed a lot of heat collecting on the the SD2000P. I did feel some warmth from the end of the USB Flash Drive when I removed it, but it wasn’t enough to be concerning. I feel like the nano dock is perfect for most situation. It does not include a built-in SD card reader, but the other inputs/outputs are sufficient for most tasks.
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Originally published at macsources.com on February 28, 2019.