Home ConsumerClient Accessories Plugable UD-3900Z & UD-6950Z Docks Review

Plugable UD-3900Z & UD-6950Z Docks Review

by Adam Armstrong

Working from home is becoming the next big thing, whether we want it to or not. The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing more and more of us to work part- or full-time from our house. Luckily a big swath of modern jobs can be done from home, unluckily modern notebooks lack connectivity. Plugable is continuing to come up with new connectivity options with its dock products. Today we will be looking at the Plugable UD-3900Z and UD-6950Z Docks.

Working from home is becoming the next big thing, whether we want it to or not. The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing more and more of us to work part- or full-time from our house. Luckily a big swath of modern jobs can be done from home, unluckily modern notebooks lack connectivity. Plugable is continuing to come up with new connectivity options with its dock products. Today we will be looking at the Plugable UD-3900Z and UD-6950Z Docks.

Plugable UD-3900Z & UD-6950Z

Some people are happy working on a notebook and even work better that way. Others, like this old fogey that learned to type on a typewriter (the kind where your fingers would get caught between the keys), work best with a desktop computer. I like having a good-sized screen, full keyboard, a mouse (as track pads are the pits), and not having everything crammed together. Working on the road, notebooks are more than adequate, as we are typically not on them long. But full time in the house, it is nice to branch off and have a desktop setup. Still, there are those users that need more than one monitor, and just need several devices connected to their computer, and notebooks are pushing smaller form factors and less connectivity. Docks to the rescue.

Plugable has released two new docks to try to hit a broad range of use cases for different Windows PC users. First up is the UD-3900Z that leverages USB 3.0 for host connectivity. The Plugable UC-3900Z adds up to two HDMI video outputs (1080p each), a Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000) network port, a 3.5mm combination audio jack, two USB 3.0 ports, and four USB 2.0 ports. This port is a general office work horse that is designed for PC users that need more connectivity. The device doesn’t support Mac or Linux and has limited touchscreen compatibility. Essentially, if you do the normal office things and need to connect up to two monitors and a handful of other USB devices, UD-3900Z has you covered. One drawback is that the host connection (that can be USB 3.0 or USB-C) is non-charging.

For those that need better monitors, but still generally used for office work, Plugable has the UD-6950Z. The big difference here is that users can connect up to two 4K monitors (with dual HDMI or full DisplayPorts). The only other major difference to the above is that the UD-6950Z comes with six USB 3.0 ports. Again, non-charging, but it should give users enough of what they need to connect and be productive.

Both docks come with the company’s 24-month limited parts and labor warranty. The Plugable UD-3900Z can be picked up for $99 and the Plugable UD-6950Z can be picked up for $139.

Plugable UC-3900Z Specifications

Monitor Ports 2x HDMI video output ports for connecting 2x external monitors.
Support for resolutions up to 1920×1080 @ 60Hz
Network 1x Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000) network port that also supports 10/100 Ethernet
Audio 1x 3.5 mm combination audio jack for headphones, headsets or external speakers
USB Ports 2x front-mounted USB 3.0 ports for SuperSpeed USB devices
4x rear-mounted USB 2.0 ports for high-speed USB devices
Power 24W (12V, 2A) power adapter (US AC Wall Outlet Plug, 100-240V 50/60Hz)

Plugable UD-6950Z Specifications

Monitor Ports 2x HDMI 2.0 video output ports and 2x DisplayPort 1.2 video output ports for flexibility in connecting up to 2x external monitors.
Support for resolutions up to 3840×2160 @ 60Hz
Network 1x Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000) network port that also supports 10/100 Ethernet
Audio 1x 3.5 mm combination audio jack for headphones, headsets or external speakers
USB Ports 2x front-mounted USB 3.0 ports for SuperSpeed USB devices
4x rear-mounted USB 3.0 ports for SuperSpeed USB devices
Power 40W (20V, 2A) power adapter (US AC Wall Outlet Plug, 100-240V 50/60Hz)

Design and build

Both the Plugable UD-3900Z and UD-6950Z Docks are well built and fairly small, footprint-wise. Both can be stood on one end to take up minimal real estate. From the front and side they are both nearly identical with two USB 3.0 ports, a 3.5mm audio port, a power button on front and ventilation on the side.

Flipping the UD-3900Z around to the rear we can see the four USB 2.0 ports at the top, followed by the Ethernet port, two HDMI ports, the host USB 3.0 port, and the power connection.

The UD-6950Z’s rear end looks similar. At the top there are four USB 3.0 ports, followed by the Ethernet port, beneath that are two HDMI and two DisployPort ports (but they can only connect to up to two monitors), the host USB 3.0 port, and the power connection.

Conclusion

The Plugable UD-3900Z and UD-6950Z Docks and nice new additions to the company’s dock line. Both of the new docks are aimed for Windows PCs only and connect through USB 3.0. The UD-3900Z adds up to two 1080p Monitors, 6 USB ports (2 x 3.0 and 4 x 2.0), an audio port, and an Ethernet connection. The UD-6950Z adds up to two 4K monitors, 6 USB 3.0 ports, an audio port, and an Ethernet connection. Both are aimed at general office use.

Plugable UD-3900Z & UD-6950Z attached

The docks are easy to use, take them out of the box and plug them into your Windows device and you are good to go. They both add a quick way to add wired internet, up to two more monitors, and six more USB devices. The price is right as well as usability. The only down side is that the host connection is non-charging, but users will only need two cords to their notebook instead of six or so that I’m using now.

If you are working at home from a Windows device, either of the Plugable docks here will add a lot of connectivity and may possibly even increase your workflow.

Plugable UD-3900Z on Amazon

Plugable UD-6950Z on Amazon

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