I realized two things when the pandemic forced me to start working from home: I’m annoying at hiding a rat’s nest of cables on my desk, and modern laptops don’t offer anywhere near enough outlets. Laptop docks have become an indispensable part of most desktops because they solve both of these problems, but not all docks are built equal — nor are they particularly stylish.
The $399 Logi Dock goes way beyond that. It is designed as an all-in-one docking solution that allows you to completely do away with the microphone headsets and poor quality audio recording/playback that are included with laptops during calls. Besides the extra ports and laptop charging capabilities common to docking stations, Logitech squeezed in some meeting controls, a built-in speaker, and some funky lighting. It’s a much more attractive dock than the usual boring slabs handed out in corporate offices.
The Logi Dock can support up to two 4K 60Hz displays while providing up to 100W of power to a connected laptop, enough to charge just about anything besides power-hungry gaming hardware. It weighs just over two pounds and has sturdy rubber feet to prevent it from sliding across any surface it is placed on. This dock is mostly intended for more durable office supplies, as it’s light enough to toss in a bag if you’d like definitely Necessary, the required power brick is a beast, which makes it cumbersome to carry around.
Most connections are located on the back of the dock, which is great for keeping your workspace clear of cables. On the back, you’ll find two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a DisplayPort 1.4 output. This feature along with the input for the Logi Dock’s 230-watt power unit, a Bluetooth 5.1 pairing button, a Kensington lock slot, and a dedicated USB-C Upstream (marked with a purple port) connect the dock to your laptop.
There’s also a third USB-C port located on the dockside to spare you fumbling around the back of the device to connect any additional peripherals. This particular port and one of the USB-A ports on the back are marked with a lightning symbol to indicate that they support 7.5W fast charging.
Which…well, isn’t exactly “fast” these days. It took about three hours to fully charge the iPhone 14 Pro Max at that speed, and the Logi Dock’s remaining USB ports can only output up to 4.5W. More expensive offerings like the $130 Pluggable Docking Station can support 20W charging on their secondary ports.
The Logi Dock does not offer any Thunderbolt or USB 4 ports, connectivity standards that can deliver power, high-speed data, and video signal over a single connection. Instead, all USB ports are 3.1 Gen 1 and support transfer speeds of a paltry 5Gbps. That’s disappointing given the price point, but it won’t be the end of the world for most everyday office workers. Thunderbolt’s biggest advantage is faster data transfer speeds (up to 40Gbps for Thunderbolt 4), so unless you need to boost peripheral speeds or frequently transfer large files of data, you’ll get by just fine without it.
I have a few port related issues out of the gate in addition to the apparent lack of Thunderbolt support. First, none of the USB-C connections support monitor output, so you can’t connect a monitor to it. (You have to count on the HDMI and DisplayPort ports.) The Logi Dock also frustratingly lacks a standard 3.5mm audio jack and an Ethernet port, ports commonly found on other docks.
But credit where it’s due – Logi Dock is visually the best docking station I’ve seen. It’s available in black or white and features ambient lighting and wrap-around canvas leather that compliments most modern desktops well. It’s the same aesthetic used on Logitech’s StreamCam and reminds me of the optional fabric keyboard covers found on recent generations of Microsoft Surface Laptops. The fabric coating didn’t get particularly dirty after a few weeks of testing, but that’s something you might want to consider if you’re prone to messes or live with kids.
I offer this warning because you are expected to touch him a lot. There are a selection of touch controls across the top of the Logi Dock that can be used to quickly join or leave calls, adjust speaker volume, and enable/disable the webcam and microphone. The webcam and microphone buttons will turn red when disabled. You can also sync the dock with Microsoft Office 365 Calendar or Google Calendar. Doing so enables the Logi Dock’s “one-touch-to-join” feature—the ambient bottom lighting will turn purple when a meeting is about to start, which you can then immediately join by tapping the circular join button on top of the device.
These controls are supported across Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Google Voice, Zoom, and Tencent Meeting. I only tested across Teams, Zoom, and Meet, but the controls worked as expected across all of them. There are two tech templates available from the Logi Dock – one with the Teams logo as the Join Call button and the other with a regular circle. There’s virtually no difference between either template besides the choice of design, so both will work with any of the supported meeting software.
The sound quality is surprisingly good. You’ll get much better results from dedicated microphones and desktop speakers, of course, but the Logi Dock still performs admirably in comparison. There are six beamforming microphones built into it (see the little holes at the top) which did a good job of picking up my voice during calls. There were no obvious issues with clarity, though playback does sound a little shaky.
The results of the “noise-canceling” Logitech touted were somewhat mixed—it completely eliminated my sound hitting a mechanical keyboard and clicking a mouse, for example. Nor did it create an echo by capturing its audio output. However, some of the household sounds running in the background of the calls managed to get through, like the electric dryer and my neighbors who were using the vacuum cleaner.
Omnidirectional speakers sound loud and clear. I did hear some slight interference when playing the audio at a low volume, so personally I don’t like listening to background music through it while I work. At higher volumes, you can hear plenty of bass—I’d liken the quality to something like an old Bluetooth speaker. Other than that, I had no trouble understanding what was being said during calls. I’d advise sticking the dock directly in front of you where possible, as the narrow soundpad can look a little cluttered when placed to one side.
Bluetooth support is a good inclusion. You can pair wireless peripherals like keyboards, mice, and headphones to the Logi Dock (although most laptops come with Bluetooth support anyway these days), and you can also connect your phone to it if you want to use it as a speakerphone or Bluetooth speaker. Logitech offers this as much as an in-office solution as a home solution, but let’s be real here — blasting out your meeting in a crowded office for everyone to hear isn’t fun for anyone involved. Don’t be that person.
There are a few other Logitech-flavored quirks here. The Logi Dock is designed to play well with other products in the Logitech ecosystem—I didn’t have any Zone True Wireless earbuds to test the Easy Audio Switch feature on, but I could easily connect a Bolt-enabled keyboard and mouse through a single Logi Bolt receiver. It’s exactly the kind of ecosystem support I’m looking for when I want to streamline my business setup.
Which is why I’m still annoyed with Logitech’s software. You need to install Logi Tune – software for optimizing Logitech headsets and webcams in meetings – to enable the calendar sync feature in the Logi Dock. This is another Logitech app clogging up my laptop along with Logitech Capture, Logitech Options, and Logi Options Plus (yes, really). I couldn’t even install Logi Tune on my work machine without permission from the system administrator. This wouldn’t be a unique situation and it’s especially frustrating when you consider that Logi Dock is aimed at working professionals.
Does all this mean that the Logi Dock is a bad product? of course not. It pretty much delivers on everything it promises. I had no issues with the peripherals I connected it to, and it worked just fine with both the M1 MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 15 I tested (although it’s worth noting that the M1 MacBook Air can only support one external display). It’s reliable, surprisingly compact, and does an excellent job of organizing your desk. The sound quality is also good enough to satisfy folks who don’t want to deal with high-performance USB microphones or headphones, and it offers more ports and features than similar competing offerings like the $249 Microsoft Audio Dock.
The biggest problem here is that it’s $399. Delete all of the ethernet And Thunderbolt is on a hard-to-justify expensive dock. The lack of forward-facing IO can also be an annoyance if you frequently switch between a lot of accessories or peripherals, and moving the Bluetooth pairing button to the top or side of the dock will similarly improve accessibility.
If you can look past these drawbacks and think the idea of a speakerphone conference system paired with a USB hub attractive, there aren’t many other options. I’m not converting myself after testing it for a few weeks, but I’m in a committed relationship with the Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones and Rode NT1 XLR microphone. The Logi Dock’s sound quality can’t be rivaled, nor would I expect it to be. It’s a great option for those of you who are really looking to downsize your setup and add some extra ports – I’ll personally wait until it goes on sale.