Like laptops, docks come in all shapes and sizes. There are smaller ones that add a few more ports and larger ones which add even more ports and display options. Our Kensington SD5300T review takes a look at a dual-port Thunderbolt 3 dock that offers standard port expansion and supports dual 4K monitors at 60Hz.
The Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock has the following features and specifications:
- Best For: Thunderbolt 3 Laptops & Ultrabooks and Monitors that support up to 4K
- Connection Technology: Thunderbolt 3 (Cross-Platform Compatibility)
- USB-C Power Delivery: Supports USB-C PD 3.0 (60W of laptop charging)
- Compatibility: macOS 10.14 or above, Windows 10
- # of Monitors Supported: 2
- Video Output: 1 x HDMI 2.0 and Optional Secondary Monitor via included USB-C to HDMI video adapter
- Maximum Resolution Supported
- Single Monitor: 5K (5120 x 2880 @ 60Hz)
- Dual Monitors: 4K (4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz)
- Front: 2x USB-A 3.0 (one with 5V/2.1A charging), SD 3.0 Card Reader, 3.5mm Combo Audio/Mic
- Back: 2x Thunderbolt 3, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5V/0.9A), HDMI 2.0, Ethernet 10/100/1000, DC Input
- VESA Mountable: 75mm or 100mm compatible via an optional bracket
- Plug & Play: Works without need for drivers or downloads
- System Requirements: Only compatible with laptops equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports; not backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2. For Windows-based devices, ensure your laptop supports Power Delivery.
- Warranty: 3 Years
What’s in the box
- Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock
- AC Adapter
- Power Cable
- 0.7M Thunderbolt 3 Certified Passive Cable (40Gbps)
- USB-C to HDMI adapter
- Support Folio
The Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock is fairly large and rectangular in shape. Roughly 9-inches wide and 3 1/2-inches deep, it’s about an inch thick at the back tapering down to about 3/4 of an inch on the front. The top and bottom are finished with brushed aluminum. The Kensington logo sits on the upper left of the top while four rubber feet sit on the bottom as well as two tiny screw holes for VESA mounting with an optional kit.
The sides of the dock are a glossy black plastic finish. The front is where you’ll find two LED indicator lights on the left (one for power) and the SD card slot, two USB-A 3.0 ports (one with 5V/2.1A charging), and a 3.5mm audio/mic combo jack. The back houses most of your other ports including three USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5V/0.9A), Ethernet 10/100/1000, two USB-Type C Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, and DC input for the power adapter. Finally, the left side has two lock slots for Kensington security cables.
In addition, the dock comes with a power adapter, a short roughly 1-foot USB-C to HDMI adapter, and a roughly 26-inch (0.7m) USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Certified Passive Cable.
Overall, the Kensington SD5300T Dock is pretty normal when it comes to the look of Thunderbolt 3 docks. The brushed aluminum finish does give it a bit of class and, depending on your setup, should blend right in with modern laptop colourways.
Ease of Use
As far as set up and ease of use is concerned, the Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock is pretty straightforward. First, you’ll need to plug it into an available AC outlet. Next, connect it to a USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 port on your Windows or Mac laptop with the included cable. make sure to connect it to the port marked with the computer. Finally, plug in any peripherals like keyboards, mice, network cables, or monitors. On the monitor front, you can connect one via HDMI directly to the dock and a second via USB-C or HDMI with the included USB Type-C to HDMI adapter.
Before I get into performance, make sure that your laptop has an actual Thunderbolt 3 port. If you don’t, this dock simply won’t work properly with your system.
One of the key selling points of the Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock is its ability to handle dual 4K (4096 x 2160) monitors @ 60 Hz via HDMI. As mentioned above, with one HDMI port on the dock, simply plug into this for one of your monitors then use the included USB Type-C to HDMI adapter for the second. During our testing, we were able to get dual 4K monitors running at 60Hz with no issues.
As for the rest, the ports on the dock work as one would expect and I had no issues with USB Type-A peripherals, SD cards, headphones, or network speeds when connected to the dock. I also tested the 60W Power Delivery feature and it worked as expected.
The Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock retails for around US$240 on Amazon. This is definitely on the more expensive side for dual-4K Thunderbolt 3 docks but there are plenty of others in the same price range. That being said, you are getting a good quality, well-performing product with a recognized name behind it, not to mention a 3-year warranty. In addition, it also includes a Certified Thunderbolt 3 cable and USB-C to HDMI adapter.
The Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 Dock may be pricey but it does offer great build quality and performance for those needing additional ports on their laptops.
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Last Updated on February 3, 2021.
Kensington SD5300T Thunderbolt 3 DockUS$240
- Fairly sleek design
- Dual 4K@60Hz over HDMI
- Plenty of ports
- Includes certified Thunderbolt 3 cable and USB-C to HDMI adapter
- Up to 60W Power Delivery
- VESA mountable
- 3-year warranty
- No DisplayPort
- Like most larger docks, may be expensive for some
- Only up to 60W Power Delivery