Price (RRP): $239
The Aten 13-port USB-C dock is one dock to rule them all. Although it only has a USB-C 3.1/2 Gen 1, 5Gbps interface it can support an enormous range of devices. It is the answer to any USB-C laptop expansion need.
We will test all the Aten 13-port USB-C dock features, but I have yet to find any other brand of dock with as much flexibility.
Aten 13-port USB-C Dock with PD 3.0 85W power passthrough (UH3237)
- Website here
- Price: $239 from mwave and other computer electronics suppliers
- Warranty: 2 years
What are those 13 ports?
- VGA 15-pin D-sub [email protected] for older monitors and data projectors
- 2 x HDMI for a single [email protected]/[email protected] (Mac and Windows) or dual [email protected]/60Hz (Windows MST only)
- 2 x USB-A 2.0 480Mbps
- 1 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps with BC 1.2
- 2 x USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps
- 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps – note that all six ports share 5V/10A maximum
- I x USB-C 3.1 for power input of up to 85W (Uses 15W and passes through PD 3.0 5/9/12/20V up to 70W – charger not supplied)
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 3.5mm combo audio port
- USB-C tethered cable to laptop (upstream power and 5Gbps up/down data)
- Micro-SDXC and SDXC slots (maximum 128GB)
All in an attractive 350.3 x 75x 14.8mm x 370g wedge-shaped dock that will fit under or beside any typical laptop. It will also work with an iPad post-2018 or other USB-C devices, including Chrome and Android if they support DP Alt mode. The USB-C tether is on the left side.
Tests using a Microsoft Surface Pro 7 i5 with USB 3.1 Gen 1 port 5Gbps and upstream charging
Also tested on Samsung S6 Android Tablet and HP Specter with Thunderbolt 3 port.
- One [email protected] – PASS using HDMI 1
- 2 x [email protected] – PASS but you need to run one from HDMI1 and one from HDMI2 or VGA2
- Power pass through – tested with 65/85/100W – maximum passthrough is 5V, 9V, 12V, 15V and 20V (total 85W is 100-15 for the device) – PASS and there was no undue resistance added to the circuit. We did not test with higher wattage chargers.
- Thunderbolt 3 compatibility – PASS but it still works at 5Gbps
- USB-A. The six ports share 5V/10A. We were able to draw up to 2A on single USB-A ports – PASS
- Data transfer over full-duplex USB-C – PASS we achieved 400MB/s to a USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 SSD
- Data transfer over USB-A 3.1 Gen 1, 5Gbps – PASS but achieved 200Mbps using the same SSD as its half-duplex
- Gigabit Ethernet – PASS
- USB-A BC 1.2 provides 5V/1.5A – PASS
- Micro-SDXC and SDXC depend on the card speed and can both be seen at the same time although the data bus is shared – PASS
- Stereo 4-pole mic/speakers – PASS with adequate volume
GadgetGuy’s take – Aten 13-port USB-C Dock is a perfect USB-C compromise
If all you have is USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, 5Gbps device there is no better dock to share that limited resource as well as supply up to 85W USB-C PD power passthrough.
It passed all tests easily, which is what I expect from the Aten products. We have also reviewed its little brother – the UH3234 with 60W power pass through and fewer ports.
But you need to know the limits. We loaded it with dual monitors, two SSDs, two SD cards, and filled every port. It is only then that you see a very slight speed deterioration – for example, copying from one SSD to the other and back slowed to 300MBps.
And, the left exit of the USB-C cable (obviously designed for Mac) is not always convenient for the Surface Pro, HP Specter or the Samsung tablet – you could not place it under any with rigth side USB-C ports.
In a world of USB-C docks ranging from a few dollars to over $300 (when Thunderbolt 3 takes over), Aten stands out for good quality and reliability.