Tech

Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 review: Superb USB-C dock, superb price

Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking StationImage: Mark Hachman / IDG

At a glance

Expert’s Rating

Pros

Excellent performanceGreat value for the moneyOptimized buildCompletely stable

Cons

Short, built-in cordYou’ll need your own power supply/chargerRequires a relatively modern laptop

Our Verdict

The Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station really does everything you’d want in a docking station, with some quirks that don’t really stand in its way.

Price When Reviewed

$129.99

Best Prices Today: Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station

RetailerPriceAmazon$129.99View DealUgreen$129.99View DealPrice comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwideProductPricePrice comparison from Backmarket

Is it a USB-C docking station? Is it a dongle? The Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station tends more toward the latter, but it’s a sign of things to come: shrinking sizes, but with more powerful capabilities.

This dock (hub?) includes three display ports, all offering 4K display capabilities (two at 60Hz, and a third at 30Hz). However, the USB-C cord is built into the dock itself, and you’ll need to supply your own (USB-C) power cord to route through it.

Neither Ugreen nor Windows Task Manager identified it as a DisplayLink dock, which implies that it may be using a generic form of compression known as HBR3 (High Bit Rate 3) with DSC (Display Stream Compression), which is built into the DisplayPort spec. That’s a bit of a problem: As Dell has noted previously, most 11th-gen Intel Core and newer PCs should support this technology, and thus this dock. But it’s not 100 percent guaranteed.

However, this dock provides virtually all of the capabilities of a more powerful, more expensive Thunderbolt dock, but at an enormously cheaper price. We’ve used this review to inform our roundup of the best USB-C hubs and dongles.

Ugreen manufactures some very interesting USB-C hardware, but its reach is limited: You can buy it from Amazon and that’s about it. American buyers can’t even purchase this dock from Ugreen itself, as it only supplies the product via its European website. And then there’s the name: While Ugreen calls it the Revodok Pro, on the box it’s called the USB-C Hub Multiple Display Adapter, or the 13-in-1 USB-C Multifunction Adapter, or the CM681. (If you’re looking for other shopping sites, search for “Ugreen 15978,” its model number.) It appears to be an updated, more compact version of the Ugreen CM655 USB-C dock, which I really liked but now seems to only be available from Ugreen directly.

Mark Hachman / IDG

The price, though, is intriguing, and so is the size: 6.5 inches by 2.75 inches by about 0.75 inches thick, which is an inch or two longer and wider than what I’d associate with a traditional dongle. At about 0.7 pounds, though, it’s still relatively light. If you travel with portable displays or have two waiting at your destination, I’d definitely consider this dock to be a travel option.

Specifically, the Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station includes an SD/microSD 3.0 slot on one side, next to a 3.5mm audio jack, alongside three USB-A ports (two supporting 10Gbps, and one 5Gbps). There’s a 10Gbps USB-C port, as well.

On the other side, the Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station includes the input port for your USB-C charger, capable of accepting 100W into the dock itself. Then there are two unspecified HDMI ports and a DisplayPort, capable of DP1.4. Gigabit Ethernet and another 5Gbps USB-A port round out the port selection. None of them, it should be noted, are rated for powering a smartphone; that’s one concession these types of unpowered docks make.

If you travel with portable displays or have two waiting at your destination, I’d definitely consider this dock to be a travel option.

The other concession is the short, docked (though braided) cord, which is about 9.5 inches long. If the cord isn’t long enough to stretch to your laptop, or in the unlikely possibility the USB-C connection wears out or gets bent, you’ll need to replace the entire dock. On my desk setup, where I perch my laptop on a keyboard tray, the short cord length definitely required that I place the dock at an awkward angle.

Mark Hachman / IDG

Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station performance

In a word, performance was excellent — save for the charging. The dock supplied just 1.45W out of the USB-C port and 2.5W out of the USB-A ports — that should be enough to power most if not all peripheral devices. (Windows failed to recognize an external spinning hard drive on one occasion, but it worked every other time.) Smartphones, though, will just trickle charge.

I used a charger rated at 100W to power my test laptop, and 72W was transferred to the laptop after going through the Ugreen dock. That might be a problem with some laptops whose chargers don’t provide a little extra charging oomph to accommodate a dock like this. (My Thunderbolt-equipped test laptop generated enough power through the Thunderbolt port to keep the dock powered up without an external charger.) Thought the dock is made of plastic, I noticed no thermal issues.

I noticed no anomalies when connecting to Ethernet, though I was happy my RJ45 cable clipped in, because of the dock’s short cable. There were no audio glitches. There were no glitches at all in connecting to or disconnecting from external displays, either — the stability was excellent.

Weirdly, USB-C/DisplayLink docks consistently outperform Thunderbolt docks in my storage tests, and the Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station was consistent with that: 145MB/s on a connected SSD, versus 130MB/s or so for the average Thunderbolt dock. Streaming performance across Ethernet was terrific, with an imperceptible 9 out of 10,000 frames dropped. The dock performed basically the same even while my storage test was performed in the background. Copying a 30GB folder with a bunch of multimedia files and other documents from the SSD through the dock to my laptop completed in about a minute, which is average.

The dock is limited to 60Hz at 4K resolution, however. While I don’t have an 8K monitor to test, our 4K test display does allow up to 144Hz resolutions. However, unplugging the second 4K display, leaving only the single 144Hz 4K display, did not allow for more than 60Hz.

Should you buy the Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station?

The Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station does have some caveats, of course: the lack of a power supply, the short cord, and the lack of widespread availability. But I’ve been impressed with other Ugreen hardware, and the optimized build and price are real pluses. I definitely recommend it.

Best Prices Today: Ugreen Revodok Pro 13-in-1 Triple Display Docking Station

RetailerPriceAmazon$129.99View DealUgreen$129.99View DealPrice comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwideProductPricePrice comparison from Backmarket

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

Recent stories by Mark Hachman:

Best DisplayLink docks 2024: Move over, ThunderboltBest Thunderbolt docks 2024: Extend your laptop’s capabilitiesBest USB-C hubs and dongles 2024: Add ports to your laptop or tablet

Leave a Response