In recent years, smartphones have blurred the lines between phones and laptops. Almost everything you can do on a laptop, you can do on a phone. Some phones do come with desktop functionality which can be enabled when connected with the right tools. Docking stations are one such tool that can be used to expand smartphone functionality.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Our Plugable UDS-7IN1 review looks at a USB-C phone stand and docking station that allows you to connect your compatible device to a mouse, keyboard, external monitor, and more. Read on for our full review!
The Plugable UDS-7IN1 USB-C Phone Stand Docking Station we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
- 8 Port Hub: Get more from your mobile device with eight new ports, including an HDMI port, 2x USB 3.0 ports (5Gbps), SD card and Micro SD card, 100W pass-through charging, and an audio jack, all stashed away in the base of an easy to adjust stand.
- From Mobile to Desktop: More than an iPad stand for desk, use your phone or tablet as a computer by adding a screen with resolutions up to 1080P, take advantage of the 2x USB ports to add a mouse and keyboard, and expand your storage space with SD and MicroSD slots.
- 100W Charging: If there’s work to be done, or screens to scroll, that battery isn’t going to last forever. Get charged and stay charged with 100W pass-through charging (up to 91W output) using your mobile device’s USB-C power supply (no extra cords to carry).
- Compatibility: USB C hub compatible with Microsoft Surface Pro 9, Windows 10 tablets or newer, M1 and M2 iPads with iPadOS 16+, and USB-C phones and tablets that support DisplayPort Alt Mode like Samsung Galaxy S series devices.
- 2 Year Warranty: We love our Plugable products and hope you will too. All of our products are backed with a 2-year limited parts and labor warranty as well as Seattle-based email support.
|HDMI 1.4, USB-C power, 2x USB-A 3.0 5Gbps, 3.5mm (TRRS) audio jack, USB-C 3.0 5Gbps to host w/ alternate mode video, SD, microSD
|HDMI 1.4, Host Dependent, 3840×2160 @ 30Hz max resolution
|3840×2160 @ 30Hz, 3840×1600 @ 30Hz, 3440×1440 @ 30Hz, 2560×1440 @ 60Hz, 1920×1080 @ 60Hz, 1600×900 @ 60Hz, 1280×1024 @ 60Hz, 1280×800 @ 60Hz, 1280×720 @ 60Hz, 1152×864 @ 60Hz, 1024×768 @ 60Hz, 800×600 @ 60Hz, 640×480 @ 60Hz
|Bi-Directional 3.5mm (TRRS) headphone jack, 16-bit 48KHz, 2 channels, analog
|Optional, USB-C Power Deliver 3.0 when self-powered USB-C power adapter is connected, 100W max, 20V/5A
Plug and Play installation on a tablet or phone which supports DisplayPort Alternate Mode (Alt Mode) video output functionality. Popular examples include:
• iPad Pro 12.9” 3rd Gen+, iPad Pro 11” 1st Gen+, iPad Air (2022) 5th Gen+
• Samsung Galaxy S Phones: S8 series, S9 series, S10 series, S20 series, S21 series, S22 series, and S23 series
• Samsung Galaxy Tabs S5e, S6, S7, S8, S8+, S8 Ultra
• Motorola Edge+, Edge 20 Pro
• Microsoft Surface Pro tablets (with USB-C/Thunderbolt 4)
|• Not recommended for use with the Nintendo Switch.
• The UDS-7IN1 dock can be used with laptops, but using the stand with a laptop is not recommended.
• Google Pixel phones not supported at this time.
|The UDS-7IN1 is capable of providing audio over HDMI on TVs, projectors, and monitors with built-in speakers.
|Base: 4 x 4 x 0.5″ (101.6 x 101.6 x 12.7mm)
Expanded: 4 x 4 x 5.25″ (101.6 x 101.6 x 133.35mm)
Folded: 4 x 7.5 x 0.5″ (101.6 x 190.5 x 12.7mm)
|0.62 lbs (280g)
What’s in the box
- Plugable UDS-7IN1 USB-C Phone Stand Docking Station
- 0.5m (1.6′) USB-C to USB-C cable with DisplayPort Alt mode
- Quick Start Guide
As we’ve come to expect from Plugable’s docking stations and accessories, the Plugable UDS-7IN1 USB-C Phone Stand Docking Station shell is constructed of aluminum alloy. This not only gives it a premium feel but also a nice rigid, sturdy durability.
The base is square in shape with a rounded front and back edge. Roughly 4″ in width and depth, it is roughly 1/2″ in height. On the left and right sides are the ports set in a high-quality black plastic plate. On the left side are two USB-A 3.0 5Gbps ports and a 3.5mm headphone/mic jack. On the right side is the USB-C to host, full-sized SD, and microSD slots. On the back edge, you’ll find a USB-C port for power, and a full-sized HDMI 1.4 port.
Centred on the back is a fairly stiff round hinge with a stand arm. The arm is about 1 1/4″ in width, 4 1/2″ in height, and a mere 3/16″ thick. The center portion is hollowed out for design aesthetics. Attached to the top of the stand arm is the phone/tablet tray. An 1/8″ thick, it is about 3″ wide and 3 1/2″ in height. The bottom of the tray curves into two small trays lined with a rubber strip to prevent scratching and help hold your phone or tablet in place. Another rubber strip is located near the top of the tray, just above the cutout located in the middle of it.
While the tray seems pretty small, I had no issues with any phone I tried placing in it. I also tried it with a 10″ tablet. In portrait mode, I had to adjust the tray to a nearly vertical orientation to properly distribute the weight so it wouldn’t tip over. In landscape mode, I was able to adjust the stand docking station to a more acceptable viewing angle. The tray is nice as well as it does raise your phone or tablet up to a more viewable height.
When expanded, the Plugable USB-C Phone Stand Docking Station has a footprint of 4″ x 4″ and stands about 5 1/4″ in height (without a phone or tablet on it). However, when folded down, it doesn’t fold down super compact when not in use. While it is only 1/2″ thick when folded flat, it is 4″ wide and about 7 1/2″ in length. It would have been nice for the phone stand to be foldable over the base, to make it more compact when tossed in a bag.
Even though the stand docking station supports 100W power delivery, it does not include a power adapter so you will have to pick one of those up.
Overall, the Plugable UDS-7IN1 USB-C Phone Stand Docking Station has a premium look and feel, solid and durable construction, and a pretty decent design.
Ease of Use
This phone stand docking station is pretty small and compact, however, you will likely get the most out of it if you set it up once and then just connect your phone or tablet as needed. If you are planning on using it in two locations, for the price I’d honestly just recommend picking up two so you don’t have to connect and disconnect all the extra cables each time you want to use it.
First, connect your keyboard, mouse, display, and power (optional, and power adapter not included) to the stand docking station. Next, connect the included USB-C cable to the USB-C host port on the right side of the docking station and the other end into your phone, tablet, or laptop. After a few seconds, you should see the display mirrored on your monitor and a mouse cursor on your device and you should be good to go.
I did read a few notes where initially you won’t see your device mirrored to your display. According to Plugable, some devices need to be connected directly to your display first to create an initial handshake, after which time you can use the dock between your device and the monitor. In other words, if you know your phone supports DisplayPort Alt Mode and you aren’t seeing anything on your display, connect your device directly to your monitor or TV, confirm you are getting a mirrored display, then connect it back via the dock.
Depending on your device, you will have mixed results when it comes to performance. In order to mirror your device to a display, it will need to support DisplayPort Alt Mode. A number of compatible devices are listed in the specifications chart at the beginning of this review. Other devices may still accept input devices or other functionality but not mirror your device screen to an external display.
On that note, I tested the dock out with a Huawei P40 Pro, Pixel 7, and 10″ tablet. While the Pixel 7 is listed by Plugable as being unsupported, this is likely due to the fact it doesn’t support DisplayPort Alt Mode which basically means you just can’t mirror it to an external monitor with an HDMI or USB-C cable. The P40 Pro worked the best, as it supports DisplayPort Alt Mode. When connected, I was able to use the phone with a mouse and keyboard, and have a larger display. However, a larger display doesn’t always mean a better resolution and the phone did display rather large on the 15.6″ portable monitor I was using.
As for the Pixel 7 and the tablet, I was able to use both with a mouse and keyboard, but as neither supported DisplayPort Alt Mode, I was relegated to the screen on the device. While it made things like composing emails and even typing out a bit of this review easier on the Pixel 7, I found the most use out of the dock with the tablet for the same tasks. Because the tablet has a larger screen, it was very conducive to being used with a mouse and keyboard. Not only that, I was able to transfer some images from the tablet to an external drive to further edit on a computer.
So while this phone stand docking station works with multiple devices, I found it the most useful with a tablet. On that note, I do suspect that newer devices like Samsung smartphones with DeX support would display nicer on the external monitor than the P40 Pro (which is older) did. However, in all three cases, the mouse and keyboard were pretty responsive, with only a slight lag sometimes on the tablet likely due to the internal specs on the laptop. I noticed no input lag issues on either the P40 Pro or the Pixel 7.
As mentioned above, the Plugable UDS-7IN1 does not come with a power adapter for the power delivery feature. I did test it out with a couple of Monoprice laptop charger offerings, and not only did they work great but they are rather affordable.
With an MSRP of $69, the Plugable UDS-7IN1 USB-C Phone Stand Docking Station is pretty reasonably priced for what you get. Not only does it provide extra functionality for compatible smartphones and tablets, but it is well manufactured, something we’ve come to expect and love about Plugable products.
Sure, you can use just about any dock with a compatible smartphone or tablet, but the Plugable UDS-7IN1 USB-C Phone Stand Docking Station not only has the necessary ports you need, but also has a stand tray for your device and is relatively affordable given what you get and other options available on the market.