How I stayed productive at my work-from-home desk

desk computer set up Kensington docking station
Credit: Kensington

A monitor, two external hard drives, an audio interface, USB-C power to keep charged, and an SD Card Reader. That’s everything that I have plugged into my MacBook Pro — even at my temporary workstation. Unfortunately, this rendered my workspace an inconvenient tangle of cords and wires. Because of the Kensington Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station, I can plug everything into one USB-C port.

With work from home extending beyond an afternoon at home, I found myself wanting a more legitimate setup. I started out only using my MacBook Pro but that didn’t work for long. 

Eventually, I accepted the stay at home order. My desk started filling up with too much clutter. I slowly began using an old monitor, a riser, a mouse, external hard drives, an audio interface, and now a docking station.

Enter the Kensington Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station. It’s a godsend. (I do have one gripe: My MacBook Pro may be my workhorse, but I have loved working on my iPad Pro as well. Since the Kensington dock supports Thunderbolt 3, it is sadly incompatible with my iPad Pro.)

I expected to find a dock with both USB and HDMI ports. I even expected that it could also power my MacBook Pro all via one cable. However, I was pleased (and surprised) to find one the product also has a USB-C port, Ethernet, five USB-A ports, a headphone/mic jack, and a built-in SD Card reader.

Currently, I have an external hard drive plugged into the USB-C port, and another plugged into a USB-A port. My hard drive plugged into USB-C can read/write noticeably faster which hardly surprises me. What did surprise me was the difference in speeds. I work frequently off of external hard drives due to the sheer size of files and projects I work on. The USB-C port writes content significantly faster than the USB-A port.

One thing I didn’t realize upon unboxing this device was that, of the two front USB-A ports, the left one charges devices at over twice the amperage of the other (2.1A vs. 0.9A). In fact, I have now made sure that if I need to charge any device via these ports, to always choose the left — because it is just that big of a difference.

I have always been very particular about what I plug my devices into and what goes on my desk. The Kensington Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station is sleek, has a brushed metal finish, and is just what I was looking for. Plus, with a reputable brand like Kensington, I can trust I am plugging my beloved MacBook Pro into a safe device.

Though I still plan to use my more portable hubs and docks on the go, the Kensington Thunderbolt 3 Docking Station has earned its place on my desk. I love this dock and it has made plugging into my setup significantly easier.