With the number of laptops losing ports, a sound dock is almost essential. While users have praised the arrival of Thunderbolt and USB-C ports on modern laptops, they’ve also not been very pleased with the execution of ports such as HDMI and SD cards. So most of us now have to turn to docks to fill the void, and thankfully, devices like the Kensington SD5780T exist.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
The Kensington SD5780T is a Thunderbolt 4 dock with dual 4K/6K capability, 96W power delivery, and an SD card slot. This dock offers a bevy of connectivity while giving users excellent speeds to stay productive at home and the office. Read on for the full review of the Kensington SD5780T.
Table of contents
The Quick Take
Our latest addition to our reviews is called, The Quick Take. This section is for those with little time to read who want the down and dirty. So here it is.
The Kensington SD5708T is fantastic. Yes, it is pricey, but well worth your time and money. That’s it. So far, this is the shortest Quick Take to date, but quite literally, that is it. The SD5708T offers excellent connectivity options, 96w power delivery, and the ability to run dual 4K or 6K monitors. With all of that, you are getting tremendous value.
The Kensington SD5780T has the following features and specifications:
- Connection Technology: Thunderbolt 4
- Additional Screen Outputs: 2
- Video Ports: HDMI, Thunderbolt 4
- Maximum Resolution: 8K
- Power Delivery: 96W
- Operating System(s): Chrome OS, macOS, Windows
- Best For: Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB4, and USB-C devices running Windows 10 or later, or macOS 11 or later. Supports Single 8K or Dual 4K video.
- Compatibility: Chrome OS 91 or above, macOS 11 or above, Windows 10 or above.
- Card Reader: SD Card Slot (UHS-II, SD4.0)
- Audio: 1 x 3.5mm Combo Microphone & Headphone Port (front)
- Data Transfer Speeds: Supports up to 40Gbps data transfer speed
- Ethernet Speed (Mbps): 10, 100, 1000, 2500
- Mounting Option: Maximize desktop space and reduce desktop cable clutter via our optional Docking Station Mounting Bracket (K34050WW)
- Warranty: 3 years
- Plug & Play: Plug & Play installation without the need for drivers or downloads
- Security Slot Compatibility: Kensington Nano Security Slot, Kensington Security Slot
- USB-C Power Delivery: Supports USB-C PD 3.0 (96W of laptop charging)
- Video Output: Thunderbolt 4 ports
- 4K Support: Yes
What’s In The Box
- Kensington SD5780T
- Power Supply and Cable
- Manuals and Documentation
Kensington has a history of making very nice pieces of hardware, and the Kensington SD5780T is no exception. The build quality is solid, like a tank, but lovely, like a Lamborghini. It will go well with almost anything on your desk and won’t look ugly.
The design is simple, an aluminum enclosure all the way around with a small and manageable footprint. There is nothing on the top or bottom of the Kensington SD5780T. The right side has nothing on it, but the left has a Kensington lock, so your expensive dock doesn’t grow legs and walk away.
The front of the SD5780T houses a full-size SD card, USB-A 3.0 port, headphone jack, USB-C/Thunderbolt port, and the power button. The back side of the Kensington SD5780T houses 3 USB-A 3.0 ports, a LAN port, two USB-C/Thunderbolt ports, an HDMI port, and the DC 20V power port.
The power supply is massive, nearly as big as the SD5780T itself; while it is a beast and ugly to boot, it is needed to deliver that power to the USB-C ports. Still, getting a smaller power supply at some point would be nice.
Overall, the Kensington SD5780T is a typical Kensington design. It’s very well made, solid on the build, gives plenty of options, and looks good. My only design complaint is the power supply.
Ease of Use
Using the Kensington SD5780T is straightforward, considering its plug-and-play nature. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when we had to download drivers for devices like this. Those days are gone.
Overall, this plug-and-play is for both Mac and Windows computers and can be moved between those operating systems. I did not test this on Linux, but I am confident it would work fine.
There’s no doubt this dock has the performance chops. You can connect up to two additional Thunderbolt devices directly (up to five) while providing transfer speeds up to 40Gbps, up to Dual 4K/6K, and high-res audio for Thunderbolt 4 host devices — all through the included 1m Thunderbolt 4 cable. Intel VT-d DMA protection blocks peripheral devices from unauthorized access to system memory.
This dock also delivers fast refresh rates, such as a single 8K @60Hz via the Thunderbolt 4 ports (host with DSC 1.2 HBR3) or Single 4K @120Hz / Dual 4K/*6K @60Hz or Dual 1080p (@120Hz) video output for Thunderbolt 4-enabled Windows host devices let you extend visual productivity with the crisp resolution, contrast, and color depth of Ultra HD. For other host device resolutions, please see our manual or product sheet.
The 96W power delivery allows you to quickly and easily charge any Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB4, or USB-C device and provide full support for your USB-C or USB4 peripheral accessories. There is no need to worry about what you have connected to the dock, so you can connect anything and be sure you’ll receive optimal performance.
All of this performance is great if you need it. Dual 4K monitors would be nice, but I do not have them. 96W power delivery is perfect for those who use their laptops as their home desktop; no need to use the laptop power supply. My favorite feature is the UHS-II SD 4.0 card reader; it’s fast and up-to-date.
Overall, the performance of the Kensington SD5780T is fantastic; it may be more than the average user needs, but for some power users, this dock will be a great fit.
The Kensington SD5780T isn’t cheap; we’re talking $399 worth of dock here. But for that money, you get fast transfer speeds, a good array of ports, and USB-C power delivery for a laptop or something similar. There is also the dual monitor capability for those with two screens. There is a ton of value for the right person, but some looking to save money might look elsewhere.
The Kensington SD5780T is a great dock; it is expensive but well worth the price as it adds value to your workflow and will pay it off sooner than later. Still, other more inexpensive docks are on the market; you will probably sacrifice the power delivery feature and dual 4K monitor capability. If you don’t need that, save yourself some money and choose an alternative.
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- Superior build quality, this is a tank
- Full size SD card slot, KUDOS!
- Plug and Play on both Mac and PC
- Easy to use with a good array of ports
- Performance is solid
- Very pricey, which may turn some off
- Power supply is a big