The Kensington SD1600P USB-C Dock is a no-frills USB-C dock. It is small enough to put in your bag. It provides that much-needed 2 x USB-A 3.0 (with charging), Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and even a DB15 VGA port for a projector!

One word describes it – versatile. It works with USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 equipped Mac or Windows laptops. It uses the laptop’s power supply to pass through USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 (60W). If you need more information on power delivery see GadgetGuy’s article on USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 here

In the box: Kensington SD1600P USB-C Dock

The diminutive Kensington SD1600P USB-C Mobile Dock (Australian website here)

Kensington SD1600P USB-C dockIt is a rounded corner rectangle measuring 130 x 78 x 12mm x 108g. It has a handy 200mm fold-out USB-C cable to connect to your computer.

Monitor support

It supports one external monitor. Either HDMI 1.4a up to 4K, 3840×[email protected] OR VGA 2048×[email protected]

Kensington SD1600P USB-C dock

One monitor is a limitation of USB-C 1.0 data transfer rates. If you need an extra 1080p monitor, you can use USB-A to 4K adaptor. Success depends if your laptop GPU can support two external monitors.

USB-A ports x 2

There are two USB-A 3.0, 5V ports with a total output of 2.4A. That is sufficient to charge an iPad and slow charge an iPhone. Data transfer rate is a total of 5Gb/s suitable for most external hard disks and devices.

Ethernet

We tested the port, and it achieved a full gigabit (1000Mb/s) throughput in full-duplex mode. It is sometimes handy to use cabled Ethernet especially when the Wi-Fi router may be more than say 3 meters away. At this distance, you typically get 200-400MB/s in half-duplex.

Passthrough power

It has a USB-C port which you plug your laptop charger into. A handy fold-out 200mm USB-C cable connects to your laptop.

Kensington SD1600P USB-C DockYou can use this cable as 5V/3A charger for a phone or tablet as well (if not connected to the laptop).

Compatibility

macOS X 10.12 or above, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 or Chrome.

We tested with a wide range of 60W devices including Lenovo, ASUS, Dell, HP, Apple MacBook and Samsung Book.

Depending on your smartphone it may add OTG support, e.g. HDMI and USB-A out.

Price

$179.95 from major retailers

GadgetGuy’s take – take the Kensington SD1600P USB-C Dock on the road

Its designed for the road warrior to have some convenient expansion when travelling. The VGA port is a streak of inspiration as it gives access to data projectors and more that need this connection.

It is not a powered desktop dock. If your needs are mobility and to add a single monitor and gain some  USB ports, then it is ideal.

Pros

  • Small and light
  • Kensington quality
  • Driverless (macOS and Windows 7 need a one-time driver downloaded on connection)
  • Simple to use with USB-C or Thunderbolt
  • 60W will power most MacBook 13 or similar Windows tablets and hybrids

Con

  • Only one monitor at a time – HDMI or VGA

Rating

Rated as a small, pass-through power, mobile dock. It does not perform the same tasks as powered desktop Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C docks.

  • Overall:  4.4 – higher if you can bag a bargain
  • Features: 4 out of 5 – it does what it advertises
  • Value for Money: 4 out of 5 – a tad expensive – shop around
  • Performance: 4 out of 5 – the limitations of 5Gb/s and passthrough power are evident under full load.
  • Ease of Use: 5 out of 5 – easy to install and use
  • Design: 5 out of 5 – small, utilitarian and love the inbuilt cable