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262 of 264 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed by performance with USB 3.0
Well, with it's USB 3.0 connectivity, and all the touting about the relatively decent graphics performance, I was very much looking forward to this for use on my ASUS Zenbook UX31A with a 3rd generation Intel I5 processor (which as I said, has USB 3.0 Super speed ports). This was connected to a 24" Samsung display at 1080p resolution.

The good:
- Well...
Published 24 months ago by TT

versus
46 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not work with Windows 8 (Update below)
This dock does not work with Windows 8: it causes my machine to crash just by plugging in the dock and connecting it even with the updated drivers.

Turns out, the displaylink chipsets this dock uses (and almost every other USB 3.0 dock) do not have the right drivers for Windows 8 available yet. This is something I figured out after the fact browsing the...
Published 22 months ago by Kriore


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262 of 264 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed by performance with USB 3.0, October 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048x1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 20W Power Adapter) (Personal Computers)
Well, with it's USB 3.0 connectivity, and all the touting about the relatively decent graphics performance, I was very much looking forward to this for use on my ASUS Zenbook UX31A with a 3rd generation Intel I5 processor (which as I said, has USB 3.0 Super speed ports). This was connected to a 24" Samsung display at 1080p resolution.

The good:
- Well made and balanced - stays upright pretty easily
- I do appreciate how Plugable uses the Displaylink drivers directly - always gives you the latest version of it
- Drivers installed flawlessly and without a reboot

The not so good:
- There is still noticeable lag in the mouse and keyboard actions
- Dragging things like Windows around your desktop also cause lag, along with tearing of the image. A big bump in CPU use is also noted when this happens
- Youtube drops many, many frames in 720p, and there is compression applied

For regular Excel, and Word, this may prove ideal, but I think I will return the device, and make do with a regular USB 3.0 dock with a USB sound card, and Ethernet adapter, with the penalty of having to plug one additional thing in every time (the HDMI port on my laptop). It's just the laws of computing (cramming 1080p video bandwidth down a USB pipe) that is the limitation.

UPDATE 10/3/2012

I received an email from Plugable after they had read my review and suggested one key change: That I enable Aero desktop in Windows. Apparently non-Aero Windows (such as the Windows Classic theme I was using) are not accelerated by the GPU and instead are rendered by the CPU. After doing this, the lag and compression artifacts decreased significantly - almost to imperceptible levels, and large spikes in CPU were no longer present. I was also able to watch Youtube videos without dropped frames in HD. I am awarding two additional stars, one that represents the performance of the product, and the other for the excellent, and unprompted customer service that Plugable provides. I also failed to mention that I had a 3TB USB 3.0 hard drive plugged in to the device as well, with no noticeable issues or performance hit.
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106 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OK as a 2.0 dock, shines as a 3.0 dock, August 15, 2012
This review is from: Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048x1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 20W Power Adapter) (Personal Computers)
If you're looking for a USB "dock" for your laptop, and have a USB 3.0 capable laptop, look no further. The Plugable UD-3000 offers the goods.

If you're looking for a USB dock for your laptop and only have USB 2.0, be aware of some limitations, listed below.

And both of the above recommendations only exist if you are using a Windows XP, Win Vista, or Win 7 (and probably Win 8) laptop. There is NO Mac SUPPORT AT THIS TIME. Manual makes it sound like this may come later, but do NOT purchase this assuming support will come. That would potentially be a waste of your money.

Unboxing:

Couldn't be simpler. Open the box, pull the UD-3000 from the plastic protection. Pull the plastic adhesive off of the UD-3000 (otherwise it could overheat, I assume, given the vents will be covered up). Pull out the AC adapter and USB 3.0 cable - done. Well, almost done. If you want the manual and the software CD, pull out the plastic that protects the UD-3000 and there they are.

Configuration:

Simple. I would, however, recommend you either be using wireless networking on your laptop OR have the network cable plugged into your laptop. The manual recommends using Windows Update functionality, if you are running Vista or Win 7, to download the latest drivers. If you use wired networking, plugging the network cable into the UD-3000 would mean you don't have network capability until the drivers are loaded. You can't load the drivers without the network. That's a catch-22. Of course, if you have wireless networking, no problem at all.

If you have Windows XP, the manual tells you to use the CD. You CAN also install the drivers from the CD on a Win 7 or Vista laptop, however, for best support the recommendation is to use the drivers from Windows Update. And for those of you who don't use Windows Update, Plugable also has the driver linked on their website (will add a comment to my review linking to the drivers).

In terms of actual configuration, simply plug the power adapter into the UD-3000 and into the AC outlet. Plug the USB 3.0 cable into the UD-3000 and then plug it into your laptop's USB 3.0 (or 2.0 if that's what you have). Watch as the magic unfolds and the drivers are loaded over Windows Update. Again, use the CD or the standalone driver package if you don't use Windows Update or only use XP at this time.

Once this is completed, simply plug all your other USB devices into the UD-3000 and let the drivers load for them. Please note, if you have other USB 3.0 devices, MAKE SURE they are plugged into the blue USB 3.0 ports on the front of the device, otherwise they will only operate at USB 2.0 speeds - not recommended.

One caveat - the display output is via DVI. There is an included DVI to VGA adapter, which works OK, but, ideally I would have liked to have an HDMI output for video. Thankfully my display has DVI (and standard VGA), so I can still use digital video out. Just be aware of this "limitation" before buying.

Operation:

So I tried this on my Lenovo T410. This particular laptop is USB 2.0 only. In USB 2.0 mode, I would only recommend it as a USB hub for maybe a mouse/keyboard and one other device. It's also not bad with networking through USB 2.0 with just mouse/keyboard/network/USB hard drive).

Where the UD-3000 "falls down" on USB 2.0 is video. I plugged the UD-3000 into my U2410 monitor. Native resolution on the U2410 is 1920x1200. With a keyboard, a mouse, an external hard drive and networking running through the device, performance is essentially acceptable. Nothing amazing, but not horrible. Add on 1920x1200 video, assuming you are doing more than web surfing, and you're asking for a not so fun experience. Screen refreshes are slow and painful at times. Just to test, I opened Adobe Photoshop Lightroom at 1920x1200 resolution and... it's unusable with USB 2.0 at native resolution. To be fair, the manual recommends that if you are on USB 2.0 only, you should be setting the resolution at 1280x720 (720p). Once I did this, performance was actually acceptable. Of course, on the U2410, running at less than native resolution is... pointless. No problem, I just plugged the U2410 into my laptop's DP connection and use the UD-3000 for mouse/keyboard/network.

As I have access to my fiance's USB3.0 capable laptop, along with my work laptop, I also test drove USB 3.0. All I can say is, if you have a USB 3.0 device, you will most likely be happy with the UD-3000. It works like a dream.

I plugged in 2 USB hard drives (one into USB 3.0 connection on front of the UD-3000), my Xrite EODIS3 i1Display Pro, my Creative Labs E-MU 8740A 0204 USB 2.0 Audio Interface (Black), a USB mouse, a USB keyboard, network and display. While performance isn't lightning if you're running a hard drive backup and a display profile job at the same time, for normal use this thing is great. Lightroom was able to run at normal speeds at native resolution on USB 3.0 capable hardware.

Where I would be careful with this device would be if you are running a backup, watching a video and have a keyboard mouse plugged in. I did it for "fun," and it works OK, but the backup speed was pretty slow over all. The display didn't drop out, but at times on an HD video there would be some dropped frames.

Audio in both 2.0 and 3.0 mode is acceptable. I prefer outputting audio to my surround receiver, so I really just verified audio wasn't dropping while playing videos or digital audio from the laptop, then stopped using the audio from the dock.

Would I recommend this device for someone in the market? Yes, but. The but is that if you are using a USB 2.0 laptop, you may want to consider what you are buying it for. If you want it just for mouse/keyboard/USB hard drive, it's not bad. If you plan on plugging it into a display, be aware that you really can't drive this above 1280x720. If you're OK with those limitations, then this is a great device at the price.

If you have USB 3.0, you can utilize this to it's full potential and I think you'll be happy.

Pros:

Network/video/USB devices connects via a single cable to your laptop
Easy to setup
Easy to use

Cons:

720p resolution on USB 2.0 only hardware (this really is a USB 2.0 limitation, not restricted to the UD-3000)
No HDMI output

Disclaimer - I received a free review device from Plugable. This has, in no way, changed the content of this review.
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68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Plugable UD-3900 and Surface Pro 2 go great together, November 7, 2013
By 
Todd Klindt (Ames, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I recently bought a Surface Pro 2 (running Windows 8.1) with the hopes of using it as my daily driver. The Surface's lack of ports is a real problem when used as a desktop machine especially to a guy like me that measures his manliness by the number of monitors he's using. There is the official Surface Deck, which is a sexy piece of machinery, don't get me wrong, but it's $200, not available right now, and itself has frustrating ports. For instance, while you can connect two monitors to the Surface dock, you have to do it by daisy chaining monitors off of the DisplayPort. Who has time for all that? And my existing monitors don't have DisplayPort connections anyway. What's a fella to do?

And in walks the Plugable UD-3900.

While the UD-3900 wasn't built specifically for the Surface Pro 2, it works beautifully. Even with the incredibly snappy Amazon Prime shipping Plugable sent me an email before I got the unit with a link to the latest drivers and contact information in case I had problems. Being impatient like I am, I installed the drivers right away and anxiously awaited the package.

When the UD-3900 showed up it took no time to hook it up and start using it. Everything just worked. Mostly. But I'll get to that later. I've used USB monitors in the past, and they've always disappointed me. They were always a little laggy and sluggish. I was worried the UD-3900 would suffer the same disappointment. It definitely did not. I was able to drive both of my 23" monitors with ease. The additional USB ports were very handy and the added network speed of the UD-3900's Gb Ethernet jack was extra icing on the cake. I can't explain how easy it was to get everything working flawlessly. It just worked. With one exception...

The UD-3900 was sending all its audio through the crappy, tinny little speakers on the monitor I had hooked up via HDMI. That wasn't quite the experience I had in mind. Even when I connected my regular speakers to the headphone jack on the UD-3900 the sound stayed on my monitor. I replied to the email Plugable initially sent me and told them my tale of woe. They replied in less than an hour, on a Saturday afternoon! They gave me a couple of things to try. When those things didn't pan out they immediately sent me out a replacement unit. I got the replacement unit today and it works like a champ.

A few of my friends are picking up Surface Pro 2s, and I'm recommending the UD-3900 to all of them.

tk
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great device and outstanding customer support!, August 15, 2012
This review is from: Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048x1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 20W Power Adapter) (Personal Computers)
I started out with the Plugable UD-160-A USB 2.0 docking station and had some problems with it. Emailed customer support for help and found them extremely responsive and helpful. We ended up upgrading to the UD-3000 which performed flawlessly out of the box. Using one of the USB 3.0 ports on the laptop, the docking station supports a VGA monitor, network, keyboard, mouse, sound and a printer. I haven't seen any performance issues with the network or the monitor. It's a nice solution for a universal docking station - just plug in power and the USB for the docking station (make sure and use a USB 3.0 port) and you are good to go.

I cannot say enough about the Plugable customer support. They were very responsive and helpful. When they wanted me to do something, they always told me both what to do and why we were doing it. There was no problem with returning the UD-160-A. I also noticed that in both the printed and online documentation they openly state the limitations of their devices which I really appreciated!
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46 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not work with Windows 8 (Update below), November 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048x1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 20W Power Adapter) (Personal Computers)
This dock does not work with Windows 8: it causes my machine to crash just by plugging in the dock and connecting it even with the updated drivers.

Turns out, the displaylink chipsets this dock uses (and almost every other USB 3.0 dock) do not have the right drivers for Windows 8 available yet. This is something I figured out after the fact browsing the internet. However, Displaylink seems to proclaim that they support Windows 8([...]). Now, this is what baffles me: Everyone knows that Windows 8 was in the works with a slew of public beta's and even RFM release available to anyone interested in testing it. How is it that DisplayLink's drivers are not ready when Windows is the only operating system they officially support and Windows 8 is the single biggest refresh of a single product they need to support by the time of its official release? I can only deduce they don't take this seriously enough.

Personally, it is a bit unfair to blame Plugable for all this mess but nonetheless they should take a bad review here. One cannot isolate the chipset from the end product. They are all the same as far as I am concerned.

Update: After my review was posted, Plugable support reached out to me with updated drivers and see if that made any difference. When that did not work, they even sent me a new tested unit to make sure that there was no hardware issues with my original unit. Unfortunately, the problem still exists. The drivers in the installation CD cause my machine to crash and the latest drivers from displaylink website (Version 7.0 M3) never finish installation (the process'es are there in the task manager). I understand display drivers are complicated things, but there is no excuse for shipping software that does not finish installation. If you head over to DisplayLink forums [...] you can see several other problems with Windows 8 from other vendors too. I wish I saw these before I purchased the unit and all the ensuing trouble.

All in all, Plugable has been awesome. They tried to do their best and then some more to help me out but I have not been successful in using the dock with Windows 8. And, just for that I am giving them 2 additional stars.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best customer service ever from a 20+ year IT career, February 10, 2013
By 
ScottF141 "scottf141" (Ladera Ranch, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048x1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 2 USB 3.0 Ports, 4 USB 2.0 Ports, 20W Power Adapter) (Personal Computers)
I had ordered this doc to be able to have Ethernet, USB 2 and USB 3 devices plus headphones and microphone for Skype all set up with one USB 3.0 connection. Over the years I have about seven external hard drives for back-up and documents/pics/etc and consolidated all those drives onto one 3 TB drive but I still want to have those drives available plus my current portable "overflow" 750gig drive along with my Ethernet connection (my house was pre-wired when built, neighborhood has fiber optic, 66 megabits download on ENet).

I had JUST upgraded to Windows 8 (yeah, I can hear the "are you crazy" and worse now)and the first pluggable I received I flashed and it could not be recognized on the 3 other Win 7 USB 3 PC/Desktops in the house.

I tried everything and finally emailed Plugable and told them what I had tried and that I read everything.
They were GREAT, I mean shocking, within a couple of days I had a replacement, flashed for Win 8 and it works GREAT.

The product is a Five Star and Plugable is a six star, I did not think customer service like this existed anymore..... Shout out to Roze and the whole Plugable team!!!!!!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works like a charm with Surface Pro, October 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I use this USB 3.0 docking station with a Surface Pro to power dual monitors, network, USB mouse and keyboard. This docking station allows me to use my Surface Pro as my main and only computer.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surface into desktop, October 7, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Gives my Surface all that it needs as a desktop.
USB 2, 3 Ethernet and multiple displays. Looks good too.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Solid try, but not recommended if you use DPI scaling or have a mid-range machine with high resolution dual monitors, January 5, 2014
By 
Cory House (Kansas City, KS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I connected dual 1920x1200 Dell Ultrasharp displays to the dock along with ethernet, a separate USB mouse and keyboard, a printer to my Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 i7 1.8/8GB Ultrabook. I had high hopes for this dock, but ultimately found multiple issues that made me decide I'm likely going to return the unit.

1) Poor mouse tracking with two displays connected - Immediately it was clear I was overtaxing my machine because I noticed poor mouse tracking. The mouse would jerk and jump instead of moving smoothly across the screen. This remained an issue even with the mouse connected directly to the laptop, so I suspect my machine wasn't capable of pushing dual 1920x1200 resolution over USB3 without introducing jerky mouse behavior. I confirmed connecting the second display was the breaking point on my system because mouse behavior was fluid with only one monitor connected to the dock. This constraint likely depends greatly on the power of your system. My machine isn't a beast, but it certainly has upscale specs for an Ultrabook.

2) DPI scaling issues - Since my laptop has a very high resolution (3200 x 1800), I have to use Windows 8.1 DPI scaling at 200% so text is readable on the 13" screen. However, DPI scaling is a single setting in windows that applies to all connected displays. There's no way to set 100% scaling on an external display and 200% on the laptop display. Thus, you must change DPI scaling to get the desired 100% scaling on large traditional monitors and thus log out each time you dock. This grealy reduces the convenience of the dock. Alternatively you could just leave the DPI setting at 200% and accept that text will be way too large on your external display, but this greatly reduces usable desktop space.

3) Poor text quality - Text was obviously lower quality through the USB dock than native. Poor text quality persisted even with only a single monitor connected to the USB HDMI jack - I assume some compression is going on to assure all the data flows smoothly over USB. Text is notably clearer when the monitor is connected directly to my laptop's HDMI port.

4) Network connection slow to initialize - As others have mentioned, the network connection takes some time to connect. I found it took around 60 seconds for the internet connection to take over USB each time I plugged the dock in.

5) Finally, the taskbar on second monitor displayed differently on my machine in Windows 8.1. Only icons were displayed on the 2nd external monitor's taskbar, no labels next to icon like the primary monitor. This isn't an issue in Windows 8.1 running native monitors so I assume it has to do with this dock's drivers.

Summary & Recommendation
--------------------------------------
Overall, this is a nice try at a tough problem but I've decided to utilize my laptop's HDMI out for the external display and a separate USB3 dock for all other peripherals. This option is cheaper and while it requires connecting one extra wire (HDMI in my case) it offers a superior display quality, less load on my machine (since I'm not having to drive all display data through USB), a smooth reliable mouse behavior.

Bottom line, if you want to connect a single monitor and aren't running DPI scaling on your laptop, then this dock is an great option. But I can't recommend it for dual monitor use or owners of machines with high DPI displays.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good (beats the ASUS HZ-1), October 3, 2013
After six months with the ASUS HZ-1 USB3.0 continually "breaking" on me for no apparent reason, I decided to look for a new docking station for my ASUS UX51V. I was quite surprised I couldn't find any real technical and impartial reviews on these things. Plenty of tidbits but not a whole lot of side-by-side comparisons and such. In trying to find solutions to fix my HZ-1, I found the Plugable website offering some excellent generic solutions about drivers. I found them so well explained, that it peaked my interest about their products.

After a bit of research and giving up in getting the ASUS to work (and it never did), I bought the 3900 model. It arrived the next day (purchased the extra shipping fee) in perfect shape. I followed the simple instructions including making sure I had the latest DisplayLink drivers (which I already did from loading and reloading for the ASUS). Unlike the HZ-1, it worked perfectly right off the bat. It's been two weeks now and not a single glitch or issue.

I have USB printers, scanners, mobile phones, monitor, and my LAN all connected and everything works perfectly. I was even able to tilt my monitor in portrait style for graphic work (something I was not able to do w the ASUS, well at least from the software side) without running into issues. It does not disconnect unexpectedly like the ASUS.

We'll see how it goes but for these first two weeks, I'm happy. Oh, plus for the money, it is of great value compared to many.
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