Occasional instability on a second display or connected devices
Not for Macs
Anker’s 568 USB-C Dock falls into the USB4 camp, which could be a bit confusing for newcomers. But this is an otherwise solid Windows docking station whose two powerful ports for charging smartphones are a real plus.
The Anker 568 USB-C Docking Station is slightly unusual in that it’s one of the few docking stations marketed as a USB4 docking station, rather than a “true” Thunderbolt dock. Don’t let that dissuade you, however, as Anker’s well-designed dock works just fine with Thunderbolt ports, and offers a few nifty features to boot.
This 11-in-1 docking station favors DisplayPort, with two DisplayPort 1.4 ports, and a single HDMI 2.0 video port. The Anker 568’s distinguishing feature, however, is the pair of 10Gbps USB-C ports on the front, with each supplying 30W of power as well as a separate 100W connection to the laptop. That’s quite unusual, and the two ports should fast-charge a smartphone and possibly even a tablet.
(Most modern monitors have both DisplayPort and HDMI ports. If you own two HDMI-only displays, you’ll have to spend an additional $20/£20 or so on a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter cable.)
USB4 is generally considered to be the industry-standard version of Thunderbolt, and is often associated with AMD Ryzen notebooks because of licensing issues. USB4 and Thunderbolt, however, are essentially the same thing. We also tested the dock on an Intel-based laptop with Thunderbolt ports, and it worked well.
Anker 568 USB-C Docking Station features and design
In general, the Anker 568 USB-C Docking Station is well designed, with a lengthy 38.5in USB4 cable snaking out one side of the black plastic dock, and a Kensington lock on the other. The Anker 568’s front sports the pair of USB-C charging ports, along with a small white power LED as well as a power button for manually turning the dock on and off.
On the back, there are two 5Gbps USB 2.0 ports (marked with a small keyboard and mouse icon) as well as two 10Gbps USB 3.0 ports for external hard drives and USB keys. Anker also includes a standard gigabit ethernet port, the power connection, and the two DisplayPort and HDMI connections.
Anker’s dock looks forward to a day when 8K displays are ubiquitous, as either of the DisplayPort connections supports 8K resolutions at 30Hz. You’re probably considering this dock for a 4K display, however, and you can connect two 4K displays at a more comfortable 60Hz resolution to any two of the dock’s video ports. You can even connect a 4K display to each of the three ports, though only 30Hz refresh rates are available under that scenario.
Anker asks you to download a dock manager application that automatically updates it with the latest firmware. A USB4 product should work out of the box, however, and our review unit generally did. We detected a bit of flicker in one area of one of our 4K test monitors, however, and that display briefly lost connection a few times over the course of two days. We also noticed that Windows gave us the occasional “ping” indicating that a device had detached from the PC, without it being immediately obvious which device it was.
Our charging tests revealed that the Anker 568 pushes about 26.5W via the front 30W charging ports, fast-charging our test smartphones. Our USB-C power meter recorded a high of 86W consumed by the laptop and transferred via Anker’s dock.
The dock’s streaming performance across the ethernet port to the external displays was a bit jittery before a reboot cleared up the issue. Playing back 4K video across the dock’s ports and transferring data were normal. The plasticky exterior of the dock was warm to the touch, but not overly so.
Is the Anker 568 USB-C Docking Station worth it?
Anker’s price puts it somewhere in the middle of our roundup of the best Thunderbolt docks, and, in general, its feature set doesn’t set it apart. The one exception, though, are its two powerful front-mounted charging ports, which is a compelling selling point if you frequently charge a phone, laptop, and tablet. Anker has made a solid docking station, suitable for either your laptop’s Thunderbolt or USB4 ports.