Accell USB 3.0 Full Function Docking Station Reviewed

Unboxed: Today we cover the new Accell USB 3.0 Full Docking Station.  At a retail price of $159 on Accell’s Website, this is not a cheap piece of kit.  Luckily, the quality is excellent and performs well enough to justify the investment.  Think about it this way, for $160 you’re getting a USB graphics card that supports two monitors up to 2048 x 1152, or a single 4K monitor when using the DisplayPort.  Then you get a 3 port USB 3.0 hub, with one being BC 1.2 enabled (fast charging up to 1.5A for portable devices), a gigabit Ethernet NIC, and an all-in-one headphone/microphone jack up front.  These items when purchased individually will add up to a similar cost, but now you have it all in one self-contained unit.

Setup: Setup was simple, as it came with the necessary drivers on a flash drive (which can be attached to a key chain if you travel and need to install it on other devices).  The power adapter cord is long enough to be useful in most situations, and the power brick is in the middle of the wire, meaning you don’t have to worry about an over-sized adapter taking up too much space on the wall jack.  This model is intended for North American use only, as no foreign adapter plugs were included in the box.  Everything from here is plug and play, and will initialize automatically once you’ve connect the single USB 3.0 cable to your laptop or desktop.  Just make sure you install the drivers before you connect the device for the first time.

Performance: The device performed exactly as intended.  We got video output up on two screens immediately.  You can use the DisplayPort to directly connect to a DisplayPort enabled monitor, or use an adapter like Accell’s DisplayPort to HDMI adapter (B086B-011B).  I used the Accell DP to HDMI adapter for one screen, then ran an HDMI from the Docking Station straight to another screen.  They both initialized multiple times with out issue, and dragging contents from screen to screen on Windows 10 worked extremely well.  The sound card functionality worked well, and I was able to control the volume fine within Windows.  The USB 3.0 ports allowed me to write to my USB flash drive at over 60 Mbps, which was the flash drive’s max write speed.  Lastly, the Gigabit NIC lit up as soon as I plugged an Ethernet cable into it, and I was able to confirm a full 1 Gbps connection to my network.

Summary:  The World is full of docking stations from many vendors, and with different features.  I can say that I’ve reviewed many products from Accell and competitors such as Kensington and Belkin.  Accell matches or beats most competitors when it comes to the quality and performance of their adapters, hubs, and cables.  The build quality is excellent and the most important thing to me is how well Accell components hold up over time.  Most people buy adapters because they travel a lot.  Things get thrown in a bag and often get beat up over time.  I’ll gladly spend more money on Accell products than save on a generic brand, because I know I’ll only need to spend the money once.  That means I’m always prepared at my next presentation, because I can rely on Accell to work.  This unit is no different.  The weight of the product is quite hefty, and the port connectivity is extremely solid.  Nothing felt loose, and I think over time this will stay this way.  With that being said, if this device meets the feature set you’re looking for, I strongly recommend it.  It will perform exactly as you expect it to!

From the Vendor

Product Features:

  • DisplayPort output
  • HDMI 1.3 output
  • 3 USB-A 3.0 ports, including 1 port with BC 1.2 (USB-IF Battery Charging Standard)
  • Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) port
  • 3.5mm audio/microphone port
  • Powered by the DisplayLink™ DL-5900 USB video processor

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6in x 3.1in x 1in
  • Weight: 9.7oz (275g)
  • USB-A to USB-B 3.0 cable length: 27.5in (0.7m)
  • DisplayPort single display resolutions up to [email protected] (3840×2160)
  • HDMI 1.3 single display resolutions up to [email protected] (2560×1440)
  • Dual display resolutions up to 2048×[email protected]
  • Supports 10Mbps/100Mbps/1Gbps Ethernet
  • USB-A 3.0 charging output up to 900mA
  • The USB-A port with BC 1.2 supports up to [email protected] of charging ouput

System Requirements:

  • Windows 7 or later (Latest drivers are available here)
  • Mac OS 10.6 through Mac OS 10.11 (Latest drivers are available here)
  • 1 USB-A 3.0 Port
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • Intel HD4000, ATI Radeon HD 5000/AMD Radeon HD 6000, NVIDIA GeForce 400M or better

Package Includes:

  • USB 3.0 Docking Station
  • 2ft USB-A to USB-B 3.0 Cable (Male to Male)
  • USB Flash Drive with Driver Software (Latest drivers are available here)
  • AC Power Adapter
  • User’s Manual

Warranty: 2-Year Replacement

Datasheet: Link

 

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