Kensington LD5400T Thunderbolt 3 Dock with K-Fob smart lock uses Kensington’s proven Thunderbolt
3 technology and throws in physical security especially useful for hot-deskers.
The Kensington LD5400T Thunderbolt 3 Dock with K-Fob smart
lock is a slightly different dock. It is made for ultra-books and laptops and
incorporates two security features that would be useful for hot desking
First, is the Kensington lock cable that ties
the dock to the desk. It also has a Kensington Slot as well.
Second is the fob operated retractable arms (claws)
that secure the ultra-book or laptop in place while you are using it.
Add to that a 170W charger brick (85W power delivery), 5K
video support and a range of USB-A ports, and
it is a hot desking winner.
More Windows laptops, MacBooks and monitors support Thunderbolt 3 (or USB-C Gen 3.1) for expansion and charging. Intel has given Thunderbolt 3 to the world for free – it is now the communication standard moving forward.
Simply put a single Thunderbolt
3 passive cable (a .5m USB-C to USB-C cable) can transmit data up to 40Gbps
(that is 5000MBps). It can also transmit up to 5K DisplayPort over USB-C (or
convert to HDMI), upstream (charging the laptop) and downstream (power devices
like portable hard disks) via USB-A 3.0 gen 3.1.
This dock is not compatible with standard USB-C docks that
support 5Gbps (625MBps).
Kensington’s SD5200DT Thunderbolt 3 dock (review here) was awarded GadgetGuy’s ‘Best for Windows’. It’s great
for Mac too, but the OWC Dock (review here)
took that gong due to it having a legacy FireWire 800 port (used for older
All that aside we got to know what makes a great dock and
what does not. And Kensington makes a great dock both in design and quality.
We assume that the Thunderbolt performance of the LD5400T dock
is the same as the SD5200T. We could not find any performance differences to
Review: Kensington LD5400T Thunderbolt 3 dock with K-Fob
20V/8.5A (170W) power brick and three cables for
AU, EU and UK outlets.
.5m USB-C/Thunderbolt cable (note that 40Gb/s is
the maximum speed on a .5M passive cable)
Kensington Lock cable
Heavy (1.5kg), solid,
silver, well-made but what are the two K-Fobs for?
The best way to describe it is a typical dock at the back
with a front rest for an 11-15-inch notebook and arms either side to secure it.
Try as I may these would not open these manually. Ah, perhaps that what the K-Fobs
are for. Voila, the arms magically
The idea is that hot deskers can have their own K-Fob to
access an empty dock or sysadmins can
securely lock the notebooks down. Either way,
you register the K-Fob number for free cloud-based key fob management and replacement.
Apart from the Kensington lock cable, you can screw the dock to a desk.
The brick provides 20V/8.5W or 170W to the dock.
The dock can upstream 85W (USB-C PD 2.0 5-20V/4.25A) that
means it supports 15-inch MacBooks and 15/15.6-inch Windows 10 laptops. It can
downstream data and power to devices – we are not sure if it supports 85W – but
we suspect so.
The four rear USB-A 3.0 – ports support 5V/.9A each – not
fast charge. Two of these have sleep charging. These are fine for most external
backup to flash, SSD or HDD.
You can connect up to five daisy-chained devices to the downstream
Thunderbolt 3 (one device to the next).
Notebooks – all welcome
By chance, I had the one notebook that does not work well with the LD5400T – a Huawei MateBook X Pro with almost no bottom bezel.
You see the security arms partially obscure the bottom taskbar where most laptops have a bezel. It is
not a big issue.
It allowed the full-screen tilt back to 135°. We tried a Lenovo Yoga 920 360° hinge, and it could go to about 160°. We tried with a MacBook 15 and it was fine.
The laptops sat nicely with no keyboard platform tilt.
DisplayPort 1.2 supports a 5K (5120 x 2880 @ 60Hz) or a 4K
(4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz) with a second 4K via DisplayPort over USB-C.
We tested with a range of 32 to 42-inch 4K monitors, and it was perfect firing up the second monitor
as soon as the laptop work up – that does not always happen with cheaper docks.
There is also a 3.5mm combo audio and a 1 Gigabit Ethernet
port (See DockWorks for added functionality)