Kensington SD5200T Thunderbolt 3 Dock Reviewed

8.5

Design

10.0/10

Features

7.5/10

Performance and Reliability

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Kensington Security Slot
  • Dual 4K Monitor Support
  • USB-C 85W Power Delivery
  • Gorgeous Design

Cons

  • Low Number of USB Ports
  • No SD Card Reader
  • Inconsistent DisplayPort Performance

Is it a Wolf among Sheep?

The Kensington SD5200T Thunderbolt 3 dock (MSRP $299) slots into the middle of a highly competitive market.  Luckily Kensington has what it takes to make it a great choice among many options.  There is no such thing as one docking station that’s perfect for everyone, so let’s dive in and discuss what this dock has to offer, and where it falls short.

Pros:

  • HDCP Compliant – Allows you to stream and view copyright protected content
  • Dual 4k monitor support (with USB-C to HDMI + DisplayPort)
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 – Allows chaining multiple docks and Thunderbolt 3 devices
  • 85W power delivery through Thunderbolt 3 port – Can charge most new Macbooks and workstations that support charging via Thunderbolt/USB-C
  • Kensington Security Slot – Allows you to attach a Kensington lock to secure dock to workstation area
  • Flat design – Allows you to stack multiple docks, a phone, external hard drive, etc., on top
  • Supports USB quick charge on front USB-A, and rear Thunderbolt 3
  • VESA mountable (using K33959WW mounting plate from Kensington which supports 75mm/100mm)

Cons:

  • Occasional DisplayPort output bugs – External monitors do not always work unless you power cycle the dock, or disconnect and reconnect monitor
  • Limited USB ports – Only two USB-A 3.0 ports, and one USB-C (which is the second TB3 port)
  • Front USB-C will not Quick Charge a phone
  • No SD/Micro-SD card reader

The Kensington Security Slot

It sounds like such a small feature, but in a workspace I can assure you it’s not.  You see, things go missing in the workspace all the time.  It’s difficult to point fingers, but it’s much easier to secure a product in order to prevent it from being stolen.  The Kensington Security Slot allows you to tether this dock to your workspace with a flexible cable.  This secures the dock but allows people to easily interact with it in order to plug in or detach items as they please.  There are very few options on the market with security in mind, so if you are concerned with theft, this is the dock for you.

Final Thoughts

Of all the docks I’ve reviewed, the Kensington dock is one of my favorites.  You can plug in additional devices to the USB ports on your laptop if need be, or utilize a USB 3.0 hub if you need more local ports.  The video output bug is not consistent enough to be a deal breaker and once the external monitor is enabled, the performance is excellent.  The design and aesthetics of this dock makes it the best looking one I’ve seen to date.  That may not mean much to some, but it’s a welcome feature in a professional and modern work environment.  All in all, I think this is an excellent product and certainly worthy of our recommendation.

Features/Specs:

Connection Technology

Thunderbolt 3

Additional Screen Outputs

2

Video Ports

DisplayPort++, USB-C

Maximum Resolution

4K

Power Delivery

85W

Operating System(s)

macOS, Windows

Number of USB Ports

3

USB Fast Charging

Yes

Docking Station Family

The Innovator

DockWorks

Yes

Best For

Thunderbolt 3 Laptops & Ultrabooks and Monitors that support up to 4K

Compatibility

Windows 10, macOS 10.12 or above

USB-C Ports

1 x USB-C Port: (front) with 5Gbps USB-C supplying up to 15W

USB 3.0 Ports

2 x USB 3.0 Ports: (1) front with 5V/2.1A fast-charging & (1) back supporting 5V/0.9A

Audio

1 x 3.5mm Microphone port (rear), 1 x 3.5mm Headphone port (rear)

Maximum Resolution Supported

Single Monitor: 5K (5120 x 2880 @ 60Hz), Dual Monitors: 4K (4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz)

Data Transfer Speeds

Supports up to 40Gbps data transfer speed

Ethernet Speed (Mbps)

1000, 100, 10

Mounting Option

VESA Mount Compatible: Mounting plate (K33959WW) for 75mm or 100mm VESA layouts sold separately

USB-C Power Delivery

Supports USB-C PD 2.0 (85W of laptop charging)

Security Slot Compatibility

Kensington Security Slot

Warranty

3 years

Plug & Play

Plug & Play installation without need for drivers or downloads

System Requirements

Only compatible with laptops equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports; not backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2. For Windows based devices, ensure your laptop supports Power Delivery.

Video Output

Optional Secondary Monitor via USB-C video adapter, 1 x DisplayPort v1.2++

Daisy Chaining

Daisy chains up to 5 additional Thunderbolt 3 devices

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