Plugable’s new universal dock makes ‘hot-desking’ easy

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The Plugable UD-3900C makes it easy to get right to work.
The Plugable UD-3900C makes it easy to get right to work.
Photo: Plugable

The new Plugable UD-3900C universal docking station is a reasonably priced means of “hot-desking” with Macs and PCs. That allows hybrid workers to easily connect and get right back on the job when they come back to the office, even if they always use a different desk.

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Plugable universal docking station and ‘hot-desking’

A big issue for work-from-home workers when they show up to a workplace with their laptop is connectivity.  There are never enough ports, or the right kind of port, to connect all of the necessary things. Things like a keyboard, a mouse, SSDs, monitors and more. But with a universal docking station like Plugable’s new product, it’s easy.

Plugable said it designed the UD-3900C for hot-desking and hybrid workers. It features the connections necessary to jack up the number of USB ports, HDMI outputs and even Gigabit Ethernet and audio connections.

“The days of the traditional office environment are over. Smart, forward-thinking companies are adapting to open office concepts with systems that allow employees to filter in and out and work efficiently from anywhere,” said Bernie Thompson, Plugable’s founder and CEO. “Plugable’s UD-3900C docking station is designed for a variety of work scenarios, whether it be at home or work, featuring every port necessary to support an efficient workplace with a simple setup and configuration.”

Hot-desking and hoteling could become the norm

With the new product, Plugable appears to be addressing an obvious need and a growing market.

Many companies downsized their office spaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now they seek ways to staff up with hybrid workers. Those workers might do their jobs at home part-time and in the office part-time. That means workplaces need hoteling and hot desks that are fully capable and easy to use.

Hot-desking typically uses unassigned desks with basic peripherals connected via docking station to the office network. Different workers may use the same desk on different days, each time turning up, plugging in with their laptop, and getting to work. Hotelling is similar to hot-desking, but involves workers reserving their preferred desks.

Universal docking station is key

In a hot-desk situation, a docking station like the UD-3900C sits there and connects all the peripherals and in-house tools, making them ready for each user and their laptop. The user just jacks into the station with a hybrid 2-in-1 cable that most USB-A or USB-C laptops can use.

The UD-3900C is a one-plug device with two HDMI ports supporting resolutions up to 1,920 × 1,080. It also has a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connectivity, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, four USB 2.0 Type-A ports, one audio input jack and one audio output jack. Plugable provides a hybrid 2-in-1 USB-A and USB-C cable for laptops.

Mac users can get full functionality from the UD-3900-C by installing a driver that includes dual-monitor support for Apple M1 Macs. Windows and USB-C connectivity is ready as is.

Pricing and availability

The Plugable UD-3900C docking station is available from various retailers, including Amazon, for $119. A $15 launch coupon is also available. You can apply it at checkout.

Where to buy: Amazon