In recent years, Google has been pushing Chromebooks as more than just simple, web-only computers. It launched the Works with Chromebook program last year to showcase compatible peripherals with Chrome OS devices. Now, it’s adding another new (and necessary) accessory to the list: docks.
With working from home becoming more and more normalized, users are looking for ways to maximize their home setups. For laptop users, a docking station is the best way to do this—it allows you to easily connect things like external monitors, speakers, and USB peripherals to your laptop using one simple plug.
To date, many docking stations out there work fine with Chromebooks, but Google’s Work with Chromebook partners are making sure new docks will work with all current and future Chromebooks. They’re not simply looking to make these docks work with Chrome OS, either—they’re integrating firmware updates for the docks into Chrome OS.
This is a pretty awesome feature because it will allow manufacturers to make sure their docks continue to work well with Chrome OS as new features are brought into the operating system. This firmware update system is already in place in Chrome OS 90.
It’s also worth noting that Google has made it clear that these docks aren’t just for Chrome OS—they’re also designed to work with Windows and Mac laptops. The perfect solution for multi-laptop users.
So far, both Hyper and Targus have announced new docks under the Works with Chromebook program. Targus didn’t really give any specifics, only noting that “two, highly-anticipated” (???) docking stations will launch later this year—one for desktop use, one for travel. Thanks, I guess?
Hyper, on the other hand, put it all out there. The company is also planning two docks: a small, portable 5-port setup, and a big ol’ keep-this-joker-on-your-desk 14-port behemoth. Sound a lot like what Targus is planning but with a lot more details.
Here’s a look at what to expect from the big boi:
- Supports dual 4K 60Hz or triple 4K 30Hz video output
- Triple USB-A 10Gbps and dual USB-C 10Gbps ports
- 85W USB-C Power Delivery to Chromebook
- Kensington lock
- Optional vertical stand and VEGA mount
- Ports: 2 x HDMI 4K60Hz, 2 x DP 4K60Hz, USB-C 4K60Hz 10Gbps, USB-C 10Gbps, USB-C Upstream PD 65W, 3 x USB-A 10Gbps, 2 x USB-A 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm Audio Jack, DC 135W
- Dimensions: 210 x 80 x 28mm / 8.27″ x 3.15″ x 1.1″
- Weight: 272g / 9.6oz / 0.6 lb
- Availability: August 2021
- MSRP: $239.99
And the smol boi:
- Portable USB-C hub based on Google’s design
- Turns a single USB-C port into 5 ports: HDMI 4K30Hz, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB-A, and USB-C Power Delivery 60W
- All the essential ports needed for most Chromebook
- Dimensions: 110 x 50.1 x 16.9mm / 4.33″ x 1.97″ x 0.67″
- Weight: 80g / 2.8 oz / 0.17 lb
- Availability: August 2021
- MSRP: $79.99
So, clearly, the 14-port guy is designed to stay on your desk at all times, where the 5-port can easily go with you. In an ideal world, Chromebook power users would have both. Hyper also announced a UBS-C to Ethernet adapter specifically for Chromebooks, too.
As noted in the points above, these are both slated to go on sale in August of this year. We should also expect to see more docks from other Works with Chromebook partners around then too, so keep your eyes open if you’re in the market for a Chromebook-compatible docking option.