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Customer Review

589 of 597 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed by performance with USB 3.0, October 2, 2012
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This review is from: Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station for Windows 10, 8, 7, XP (HDMI/DVI/ VGA to 2048x1152, Gigabit Ethernet, Audio, 6 USB 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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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 10, 2012 4:22:18 AM PDT
Andy Orrock says:
TT - I am so impressed with your review - your excellent initial critique and noteworthy follow-up crystallizes why I read user opinions like yours. Thank you!

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 11:16:59 AM PDT
Thank you for review. My problem is the graphic of my laptop is powered by HD 3000, there's no dedicated GPU, do I still have a solution for this problem? Thanks.

Posted on May 16, 2013 7:18:20 AM PDT
Winter says:
Good review, and your update was VERY interesting: I did not realize that about Aero vs. non-Aero instructions. In case you are curious, I will add something that I do know about Aero: that this direct-to-GPU method was introduced in Vista and carried forward, so anyone with Vista--god help them--will also have this issue (and probably also have the same solution as yours). When graphics instructions go through the CPU, performance is hindered more than if they can go directly to the GPU.

Thanks again - this review was very useful to me.

Posted on May 6, 2014 9:06:00 AM PDT
Thanks for your review, very helpful in my decison making process!

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 7:38:26 AM PDT
T. Allen says:
Great review - thanks for writing an informative, efficient one that helps me with my own research and potential purchase.

Posted on Jan 30, 2015 11:33:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 30, 2015 11:35:36 AM PST
Anne M. Till says:
The update on 10/3/2012 was very helpful. I don't have this specific product, but I have a Plugable brand USB to HDMI that I purchased over a year ago. I've had issues since I got it with it slowing down my computer every several minutes or so ... and then a message that the DisplayPort was taking up all my memory. I had a picture of my doggies as my desktop background. I got rid of that doggie picture last night after reading your update and I haven't had the slowdown since; I'm pretty sure that fixed it. I have Windows 8.1 and couldn't figure out how to get Aero, but it might be that it is the default for Windows 8.1. I'm guessing that the doggie picture caused Windows to continuously render the image which conflicted with the Plugable (or maybe just caused issues overall, but I don't remember having the issue before adding the Plugable). I really like using the Plugable USB to HDMI converter for my second monitor instead of having to use my VGA port (and it is much easier to disconnect if I need to take my laptop out). I might go for getting the Docking Station list here, but wish it had a few more USB 3.0 ports and a 2nd HDMI port (not sure if that's possible).

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 15, 2015 10:43:34 AM PST
OC Hiker says:
2-15-2015: Given Plugable's excellent customer support, have you discussed this issue with them? If not, most likely it would be worth your time. Even though Plugable does monitor--and respond, as you've seen--finding an issue mentioned this far down in the response list is unlikely. Thus, it would be your task to contact them. Good luck, and please post an update.
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