CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000
As its name implies, the CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000 offers the essential ports and features to easily enhance the I/O capabilities of a laptop, or two or three, by easily unplugging a USB-C cable and placing it into a new device. Works as well with tablets as it does with traditional computers.
CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000 Review
My CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000 sits underused attached to an older iPad Pro. But that’s OK. It’s doing what I need it to do. It has a mouse dongle permnanetly attached, and most importantly, power with much more versatility than just a power brick and a USB-C cable. It also has an HDMI cable connected to my wide LG monitor, though this iPad doesn’t support that feature (it usually acts as a Sidecar display to my M1 Mac mini).
But the power of a dock doesn’t come from what it’s doing, it comes from what it can do. If I’m evaluating a laptop, I easily disconnect the iPad, connect the laptop, and the mouse and HDMI get to work, along with the USB ports. Swap out for my M1 iPad Pro and that device starts to act like a laptop. See, essential. Also essential are just the right ports for this kind of use.
What we like
- Competitive price
- Good selection of ports, including dual HDMI and Ethernet
- 130W power supply for fast charging and powering the dock
The $169.99 CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000 delivers several basic I/O capabilities, including USB-A, HDMI and Ethernet via a USB-C cable. The USB-C hub is TAA compliant meaning that it can be acquired by U.S. government agencies. The hub is compatible with laptops that have USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 ports, but it does not have Thunderbolt speeds.
For most people, the DS-1000 will connect enough peripherals to get work done, while helping maintain an organized workspace. The built-in 0.8-meter (2.6-foot) cable is long enough to connect to laptop or tablet ports easily. One of the reasons I use this hub is because this cable works well with an iPad mounted to a tall stand. Although USB-C extensions are easy to come by, they don’t always work.
I recently encountered an issue where a USB-C extension cable didn’t support audio. Always connect directly if you can.
The CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000 connects to two HDMI monitor displays up to 4K@60Hz. Of course, it won’t do that for an iPad. Laptops will require Alt Mode USB-C port for extended displays. Windows 10 or 11 can extend displays for both video outputs, while macOS can extend one display and mirroring on another.
Four USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports are on the back; one USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 and one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports on the front provide ample ports for connecting printers, scanners, mice, keyboards, and other peripherals.
One RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet Port supports wired Ethernet, which comes in handy, even on an iPad, when downloading video or Apple’s iPadOS updates.
An integrated security K-Slot reflects back on the TAA compliance because if this hub is deployed in an office area at scale, it can easily be pocketed unless locked down. For dual monitor display, the USB-C port must have Alt Mode. Most USB-C ports that have Alt Mode are 3.2 with 10Gps.
I appreciate the 130-Watt dual voltage power adapter as the power supply for the iPad or laptop I’m working with, even, if as some do, they have their own power supplies, like the MacBook Pro. The power supply delivers 90 watts of power delivery.
The CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000 box, which is very environmentally forward with basic cardboard and paper, includes a 130-Watt Dual Voltage (120/230V) AC Power Adapter, plus User Guide along with the 6.3” L x 3.3” W x 0.9” H, 7.5-ounce dock.
What could be improved
- No Thunderbolt support
- No audio port
Cyber Acoustics did not design the CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000, but it landed where it landed so I have one request: an audio port. Asking Cyber Acoustics for an audio port sounds like something I shouldn’t have to do because most people know them for wired speakers.
I would also like to see Thunderbolt compatibility as that feature takes docks to the next level.
CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000: The bottom line
Nothing fancy here: not the most beautiful design, not the fastest throughput, nor studded with the most ports. The best thing I can say about the CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000 is it’s always on and I use it every day that I’m in the office. That’s my definition of essential.
Cyber Acoustics provided the CA Essential Laptop Docking Station DS-1000 for review. Images courtesy of Cyber Acoustics unless otherwise noted.
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