A unique way to connect video displays to your computer.
Accessories are a very important part of a healthy laptop ecosystem. It may sound strange, but the truth is adapters, cables, and docks make a portable computer more productive. When I decided several years ago to make a laptop my primary computer — instead of a desktop tower — I knew I would be gaining portability, but sacrificing a true desk set-up without a lot of rigging. Since that time, I’ve amassed many different types of plugs, ports, and docks that help me stay functional with my 2016 MacBook Pro. I recently discovered a somewhat unique dock in the USB-C Display Dock from LMP.
The USB-C Display Dock is designed specifically for connecting your MacBook Pro or USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 enabled computer with two or more free ports to a video source. The dock provides dual 4K monitor support and features a Gigabit Ethernet connection. According to LMP’s website, this is the only USB-C dock that supports 4K@60 Hz video output through HDMI. It’s also mentioned that this dock costs less than half of Thunderbolt docks. This dock is supposed to be ideal for professional users, movie fans, and avid gamers. An additional benefit of this dock of others is that it features power delivery, which is really nice since it takes up two USB-C ports.
- 1x HDMI
- 1x Mini-DP
- 1x DP
- 1x DVI
- 1x VGA
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet (up to 1000 Mbps)
- 2x USB 3.0 (with 1x 1.5A power output)
- 1x Audio out (3.5 mm jack)
- 1x USB-C (Power Delivery and data transfer)
The LMP USB-C Display Dock comes in a nicely branded box. There is an image of the product on the front and some details outlined including illustrations of the different ports available on the dock. The dock was resting inside some formed plastic and a manual was situated below that in the box. The manual really just outlines some of the features of the dock. As far as instructions go, it is considered ‘plug and play’ and there isn’t any set-up you have to do other than run cables.
My standard desk set-up includes my MacBook Pro, a Thunderbolt 3 dock, a 32-inch curved display, and a Bluetooth mouse. In order to test the LMP Dock out, I disconnected my MBP from my standard dock and reconnected it to the LMP dock. I connected it to the side of my computer that faces my monitor. I plug my monitor in using HDMI so it was easily compatible with the dock. I also plugged in a USB cable for a mechanical keyboard I was working with. Even though I was able to tuck the dock behind my laptop, I didn’t like all the cables that were sticking out as a result of the dock’s design.
I was impressed that LMP thought to include a DVI and VGA option for connectivity. Those are kind of a rare find on most USB-C docks I’ve seen. I’m not a particular fan of the overall design of the dock. Since it has 10 ports on it, they line three sides of the dock with the remaining side holding the two USB-C cables that connect to your computer. As a result, the connected cables sprawl out around the dock. This creates a lot of desk clutter and I’m not a fan of that. Now, if you plan on using this as a traveling dock, then it’s got a much better purpose. It’s lightweight and compact so it would pack away nicely. I just don’t feel like it’s design lends itself as a permanent installation product.
Another thing I wanted to draw attention to was the amount of heat the dock generates. During one of my tests, I did not have power connected and only had HDMI and one USB cable connected. After 20 minutes, the dock reached 103ºF. The manufacturer did note that it was safe up to 148º, but I think that’s a bit high for such a short period of time.
I think the LMP USB-C Display Dock is an interesting concept. I am not a big fan of the design because if you have multiple cables plugged in, the layout gets messy on a desktop. It’s not a bad idea for travel, but I’m not sure that I would recommend as a permanent installation item. At the time of publishing this post, the Display Dock is retailing for approximately $150 USD. It is not currently being offered on Amazon, but LMP does provide a list of retailers that sell their products.