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September 10, 2017

HP Elite USB-C Docking Station

by GFR2

img_0309USB-C is here, all hail USB-C for it is our saviour, it’ll go in either way and won’t use that special 4th dimension that USB plugs currently use (You know the one, insert-fail, turn it over and insert-fail, then turn it back over and it finally inserts) and it delivers all content including power!

Well Yes and No, that all depends on what you plug it into!

If you buy an HP laptop/tablet you might want to dock it, especially if you buy it for business use.  The Elite dock looks really good, small, portable (if you need it) and plenty of connections for everything.

  • Displayport
  • HDMI
  • Ethernet
  • 5 USB ports

You may notice that the picture shows an adaptor – USB-C to USB-A which is where the annoyance comes in.

I have use of a very recent HP ZBook at work (more info here) and this device comes with a USB-C port, brilliant except it doesn’t do very much – It doesn’t work with the dock!  Yes, that’s right I have to use the adaptor for my new HP laptop so it can dock with this unit.  The adaptor does NOT allow charging, so you need to use the original charger that comes with the laptop, now it’s not quite so much of a dock but more of a port replicator.

The HP product page for this shows a huge list of compatible products, because of the adaptor – Only a subset work without the adaptor but from the list this isn’t obvious.

Whats worse than that?  We had this model of dock sitting in the store cupboard but only a couple of months old and it didn’t come with an adaptor so after much searching and referencing we found we needed an adaptor – Word of advice, do not use a cheap after market version, they cause more problems than they are worth including random dock disconnects and the slightest movement will disconnect it!

This newer version with the official HP adaptor these disconnects are no more, but the need for the adaptor is still a disappointment.

If you want a true dock that charges, then look at HP’s Ultraslim Docking Station instead, it’s larger but doesn’t require any adaptors, charges and allows ethernet pass through – for most this isn’t an issue, but if you have specific configuration needs on your ethernet ports (Such as for Hyper-V) then the Ultraslim dock is less work!


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