Turn your laptop into a powerhouse workstation with this dock.

For a long time now, docking stations have been an essential part of my workspace. In 2016, I made the transition to a brand new MacBook Pro. That model year was the one that made the move over to Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports as the only user interface options on the machine. Therefore, I’ve had to use a lot of docks and dongles to connect to external devices. When I’m working remotely I tend to work with a portable USB-C Hub, but when I’m at my desk, I prefer a more robust option like the Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock. 

DETAILS

The SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock provides data transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, which lets users download a 4K movie in 30 seconds. There are 10 ports included on the dock in total including video (Single 5K or Dual 4K via included USB-C to HDMI adapter), 5 USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, 1 Thunderbolt 3 port, 1 Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD 3.0 card reader, and a combo audio jack. The dock provides 60W of power delivery to charge compatible Thunderbolt 3 laptops and one of the ports on the front is capable of 2.1A of USB power for quick charging devices. The dock is compatible with macOS 10.14 and higher and Windows 10 laptops that support Thunderbolt 3 functionality. 

Connection Technology
Thunderbolt 3
Ports
USB-A (5) (2 x USB 3.1 Gen1 (front) with one supporting 5V/2.1A fast-charging & 3 x USB 3.1 Gen1 (back) supporting 5V/0.9A)
Thunderbolt 3/USB-C (2)
3.5mm Combo Audio/Mic Port (1)
HDMI (1)
SD 3.0 UHS-I (1)
Ethernet 10/100/1000 (1)
Resolution
Single Monitor: 5K (5120 x 2880 @ 60Hz), Dual Monitors: 4K (4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz)
Data Transfer Speeds
Up to 40Gbps
Compatible Operating System(s)
macOS 10.14+
Windows 10+
Power Delivery
Supports USB-C PD 3.0 (60W of laptop charging)
Mounting Option
VESA Mount Compatible: Mounting plate (K33959WW) for 75mm or 100mm VESA layouts sold separately
Driverless
Plug & Play installation without need for drivers or downloads
System Requirements
Only compatible with laptops equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports; not backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2. For Windows-based devices, ensure your laptop supports Power Delivery.
Security
Kensington Security Slot, Kensington Nano Security Slot
Warranty
3 years

USER EXPERIENCE

Kensington made the set-up process really simple with this dock. The box contains the dock, one (1) Thunderbolt 3 cable, one (1) USB-C to HDMI adapter, and one (1) power supply with cord. Kensington also includes a card with a website and QR Code included that directs users to a walkthrough video, product diagram, installation guide, live chat, FAQs, and more. Aside from that information card, there are a few other documents including warranty information and a card that outlines the contents, primary specs, and optional accessories of the dock.

It’s nice that Kensington provides this background material, but when it comes down to the actual set-up, this dock is plug-n-play. It’s suggested that you first connect the dock to power and then connect your devices. My dock currently has an HDMI monitor connected, my 2016 MacBook Pro, a Bluetooth receiver for my wireless keyboard, and one for my wireless mouse (both Logitech), a small rechargeable fan is charging from one of the front USB-A ports, and my keyboard is charging from the other. While this is my current set-up, I did have a two-monitor set-up not too long ago where I was connecting one monitor using the USB-C to HDMI adapter that is provided with the dock. It worked quite well. The only reason I changed up my set-up was that the two monitors I was using were not identical. Now, I have a 34-inch Ultrawide monitor by Viotek that is connected using HDMI. It has a much smaller footprint on my desk than the two mismatched monitors and it’s connected quite well through the SD5300T. 

I’ve become quite attached to this dock. It’s made it very easy for me to connect to external devices and it blends in nicely with my desk. The dock has a sleek, slender design. I’ve seen some other reviews refer to it as ‘fairly large,’ but in my opinion, it seems to be pretty average as far as size vs. features go. The dock does have the optional VESA mounting kit that users can add on (sold separately). The top of the dock has a brushed metal finish and the sides are a glossy black plastic. I love that two USB-A ports and the SD card slot are located on the front of the dock for easy access. I use all three ports frequently. 

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In doing research on this dock, I saw several mentions of overheating. I did not notice this being a problem at all. I’ve already mentioned what I have connected to the dock and I don’t typically shut the dock down. So, it’s running 24/7 and even though the laptop and monitor aren’t always active during that time, I’ve not noticed the dock getting above 94º F. To me that isn’t too hot at all. That’s a normal operating temperature. It’s important to note – even though it’s mentioned in the specs – that the dock only provides up to 60W of PD to charge a laptop. My 2016 MacBook Pro comes with a 61W power adapter from Apple and this dock has had no issues with charging it. 

CONCLUSION

The Kensington SD5300T is a really great option for users looking to take their set-up to the next level. It provides a lot of connectivity options for external devices and with it’s sleek, slim design, it can be easily hidden within a desk set-up. I really like that the dock provides users with a visual power and connection indicator with the inclusion of the dual LED lights. I also love that Kensington had the Thunderbolt 3 user in mind when designing this dock. 

For more information, visit kensington.com, Facebook, and Twitter.