If you have a laptop, chances are you’ve looked into various USB-C docks to expand not only the number of ports on your system but also the number of displays you can connect. There are plenty of options out there, including ones that allow you to connect up to three additional 4K displays to your Windows or Mac system.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Our CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000 review looks at a docking station with ten additional ports, including three HDMI ports for triple 4K monitor connectivity. Read on for our full review!
Table of contents
The Quick Take
Cyber Acoustics may not be a company you’ve heard of before but they’ve been around since 1996. While they had their start in audio equipment, they have expanded into docking stations, speakerphones, and Zoom-certified webcams, particularly for the EdTech sector. The CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000 is a reasonably priced docking station that features plenty of ports including dual USB-C 3.2 ports and three HDMI ports that support up to three 4K monitors running at 60Hz. As with most docking stations, it is easy to use and works as expected. While not as premium feeling as some other docks on the market, the sturdy plastic shell does keep the cost down a bit. Compatible with Windows and Mac laptops/computers, it is also versatile for use in environments where you might have different computers using it.
The CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000 we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
|Max Video Resolution||2x HDMI DisplayLink, 1x HDMI DisplayPort Alt-Mode (All at 4k@60Hz)|
|USB Ports||4x USB-A 3.2, 2x USB-C 3.2|
|Ethernet||RJ-45 10/100/1000 GbE|
|Power Delivery||Up to 96W (power adapter included)|
|K-Lock||Yes (cable not included)|
|Dimensions||7 x 3.25 x 1 inches|
|Compatible OS||Windows 10 64-bit, Windows 11 or Mac OS 10.6 and above|
What’s in the box
- CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000
- AC Power Adapter
- AC Power Cable
- Quick Start Guide
As with most docking stations, the CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000 has a rectangular design. Unlike most, however, the docking station is rounded on each edge as opposed to flat, giving it a different slightly curved look. The CA logo is stamped into the top of the sturdy plastic shell. The bottom has two strips, one on each short edge, for added grip while placed on a desk. On the left side is a lock slot while on the right side the roughly 30″ USB-C cable for connecting to your computer is permanently attached to the dock. While a detachable cable would be nice, this design means you’re not taking up a free port for connecting to your system.
As for the ports, the front of the docking station is where you’ll find two USB-C 3.2 ports and a USB Type-A 3.2 port. A small LED indicating power is also located on the front, just to the right of the USB-A port. The back of the DS-6000 is where you’ll find most of the ports. From left to right (when looking at it) there is the barrel plug power port, three HDMI ports (the first HDMI DisplayPort Alt-Mode and the next two HDMI DisplayLink), a gigabit RJ45 network port, and three more USB Type-A 3.2 ports. I do find the layout of the ports on this docking station almost perfect, as you have your easily accessible USB-C and a USB-A port on the front with your video, network, and additional USB-A ports on the back. My only complaint here would be that the three HDMI ports aren’t labelled, given one is DisplayPort Alt-Mode and the other two or DisplayLink ports.
While not as premium looking or feeling as other docks on the market, this one is sturdy feeling enough.
Ease of Use
Like most USB-C docking stations, the CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000 is pretty straightforward to use. Simply plug it into the included power brick, connect your various peripherals and monitors, connect it to your laptop or computer, and turn it on.
Triple-monitor docking stations are becoming more commonplace, not all support three 4K monitors. This one does, and while I only had two 4K monitors to test it with, it worked just fine running two 4K monitors @60Hz and a DQHD (5120 x 1440) monitor, also at 60Hz. While not ideal for things like gaming, 60Hz is just fine for most work tasks, giving you extra real estate should you need it. Depending on your system, you may need to install a DisplayLink driver in order to use the two DisplayLink ports.
As for the rest of the ports, they all worked as expected. The USB-A ports are great for wireless mice, keyboards, or USB keys/drives. The USB-C ports worked as expected for charging or connecting USB-C devices with up to 10GB/s transfer speeds. Finally, the Gigabit Ethernet port also worked as one would expect.
Docking stations with a lot of ports typically aren’t cheap, but you do get what you pay for, generally speaking. The CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000 retails for $189.99, which is pretty reasonable compared to other offerings and what you get.
If you’re in need of extra monitors and ports for your laptop or computer, the CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000 offers just that. The HDMI ports support up to three 4K monitors, the additional ports work as expected, and the 90W Power Delivery for your laptop helps reduce the number of cords required.
CA Essential Universal Docking Station DS-6000$189.99
- Great port layout
- Run up to three 4K monitors @60Hz
- Plenty of additional ports, including two USB-C
- Fairly sturdy construction feeling
- Easy to use
- Relatively affordably priced
- HDMI ports not labelled
- Plastic outer shell
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Last Updated on November 27, 2023.