What is a hub?
The hub is mainly used to expand the number of interfaces on the device. Whether USB-A or USB-C, these hubs can be used as splitters to connect more devices through the designated interface. These hubs typically draw their power from a laptop and are lightweight and small for portability.
Whether it is a laptop or a desktop, a hub is the ideal solution for extending the existing interfaces of a device. They're plug-and-play, ensuring there's always an interface available to connect and/or charge other peripherals.
A docking station is used to expand the functionality of a portable device, turning it into a desktop device replacement. The dock connects via Thunderbolt 4, Thunderbolt 3, USB-C or USB-A to provide workstation power for your entire setup.
Most docks offer 4 to 8 USB-A ports and 2 to 4 USB-C ports, each independently fast-charging from the dock itself (not the laptop). Unlike most hubs, docks connect to a grounded power source, so they can power both your laptop (up to 100W, depending on the model) and your peripherals at the same time.
The video output of the docking station is a standard format, usually supporting one or more monitors. There are many types of video interfaces, including DisplayPort, mini DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI or VGA on the market, and the resolution is up to three times that of 4K @ 60Hz. The dock also supports Gigabit Ethernet, various audio connections, SD card reader, and more.
The docking station can turn your laptop into a desktop power source, fully connected to the office or smart home. This way, you can use any screen in your building as a 4K extended display while still being connected to a reliable network, printer, and more. Here, the dock is like adding a second engine to your computer.
We all have a lot of USB devices to connect these days, from smart app-based power banks to external hard drives, SD card readers, smart home hubs, printers (2D and 3D), tablets, smartphones, and everything in between All devices in between. Today's computers simply don't have enough ports to handle all of these devices, and a hub acts like a computer's power strip, expanding the number of devices you can connect to.