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Logi Dock review: conference calls have never been so cute

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I spotted two issues when the pandemic pressured me to begin working from dwelling: I suck at hiding the rat’s nest of cables on my desk, and fashionable laptops don’t present wherever close to sufficient ports. Laptop computer docks have develop into an indispensable a part of most workplace setups as a result of they remedy each of those points, however not all docks are constructed equal — nor are they particularly fashionable.

The $399 Logi Dock goes a step above most. It’s designed as an all-in-one docking answer that lets you utterly ditch microphone headsets and poor-quality audio recording / playback constructed into laptops throughout calls. Alongside the extra ports and laptop computer charging capabilities frequent on docking stations, Logitech has slapped on some in-meeting controls, a built-in speakerphone, and a few funky underlighting. It’s a a lot jazzier dock than the standard boring slabs handed out in company workplaces.

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The Logi Dock can help as much as two 4K 60Hz shows whereas delivering as much as 100W of energy to a linked laptop computer, which is sufficient juice to cost nearly something apart from power-hungry gaming {hardware}. It weighs in at simply over two kilos and has grippy rubberized ft to stop it from sliding throughout no matter floor it’s positioned on. This dock is generally meant for extra everlasting workplace setups, as whereas it’s gentle sufficient to throw right into a bag if completely needed, the required energy brick is a beast, making it cumbersome to hold round.

A lot of the connections are situated on the rear of the dock, which is nice for conserving your workspace away from cables. On the again, you’ll discover two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, one HDMI 2.0, and one DisplayPort 1.4 output. These function alongside the enter for the Logi Dock’s provided 230W energy brick, a Bluetooth 5.1 pairing button, a Kensington lock slot, and a devoted USB-C Upstream (marked with a purple port) that connects the dock to your laptop computer.

There’s additionally a 3rd USB-C port situated on the aspect of the dock to spare you from fumbling across the again of the machine to plug in any extra peripherals. This explicit port and one of many USB-A ports on the rear are marked with a lightning icon to point that they help 7.5W quick charging. 

Which… effectively, isn’t precisely “quick” lately. It took round three hours to completely cost my iPhone 14 Professional Max at that pace, and the Logi Dock’s remaining USB ports can solely output as much as 4.5W. Extra inexpensive choices just like the $130 Plugable Docking Station can help 20W of charging on their secondary ports.

The Logi Dock doesn’t present quite a lot of ports, but it surely does make the USB-C uplink connection extra identifiable by marking it in purple.
Picture by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

Don’t be fooled by the lightning image — it represents 7.5W “quick” quick charging, not Thunderbolt.
Picture by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

The Logi Dock doesn’t present any Thunderbolt or USB 4 ports, the connectivity requirements that may ship energy, high-speed information, and a video sign over a single connection. As an alternative, the entire USB ports are 3.1 Gen 1 and help meager switch speeds of 5Gbps. That’s disappointing given the value level, but it surely received’t be the tip of the world for many on a regular basis workplace staff. Thunderbolt’s greatest benefit is quicker information switch speeds (as much as 40Gbps for Thunderbolt 4), so except it is advisable to optimize your peripheral speeds or incessantly transfer giant recordsdata of information round, you’ll get by simply tremendous with out it.

I’ve a couple of port-related gripes out the gate apart from the plain lack of Thunderbolt help. Firstly, not one of the USB-C connections help show output, so you’ll be able to’t hook up a monitor to them. (You need to depend on the HDMI and DisplayPort ports.) The Logi Dock additionally frustratingly lacks a regular 3.5mm audio jack and an Ethernet port, ports which are generally discovered on different docks.

However credit score the place it’s due — the Logi Dock is visually the best-looking docking station I’ve seen. It’s out there in both black or white and options ambient underlighting and a wrap-around cloth pores and skin that’ll complement most fashionable workplace setups properly. It’s the identical aesthetic as that used on Logitech’s StreamCam and jogs my memory of the optionally available cloth keyboard covers featured on latest Microsoft Floor Laptop computer generations. The material coating didn’t get particularly grubby after a couple of weeks of testing, however that’s one thing you could wish to take into account should you’re susceptible to mess or dwell with youngsters.

The underlighting is slightly tough to see in vivid daylight, but it surely’s clearer when it turns purple after you disable your mic or webcam.
Picture by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

I’m offering this warning because it’s anticipated that you just’ll be touching it lots. There’s a choice of contact controls throughout the highest of the Logi Dock that can be utilized to shortly be part of or depart calls, regulate the speaker quantity, and allow / disable your webcam and microphone. Each the webcam and microphone buttons will flip purple when disabled. You can too sync the dock with both a Microsoft Workplace 365 or Google calendar. Doing so permits the Logi Dock’s “one-touch-to-join” function — the ambient underlighting will flip purple when a gathering is about to begin, which you’ll then instantly be part of by tapping the round be part of button atop the machine.

These controls are supported throughout Microsoft Groups, Google Meet, Google Voice, Zoom, and Tencent Assembly. I solely examined throughout Groups, Zoom, and Meet, however the controls labored as anticipated throughout all of them. There are technically two fashions of the Logi Dock out there — one with a Groups brand because the “be part of name” button and one with a plain circle. There’s no precise distinction between both mannequin apart from the design alternative, so each will work with any of the supported assembly software program.

The audio high quality is surprisingly good. You’ll get a lot better outcomes from devoted microphones and desktop audio system after all, however the Logi Dock nonetheless performs admirably by comparability. There are six beamforming mics constructed into it (see the small holes on the highest) which did a superb job of choosing up my voice throughout calls. There have been no apparent points with readability, although the playback does sound slightly crispy. 

Outcomes for the “noise cancellation” touted by Logitech have been pretty combined — it utterly eliminated the sound of me smacking my mechanical keyboard and clicking my mouse, for instance. It additionally didn’t create an echo by choosing up its personal audio output. Among the family sounds operating within the background of calls did handle to come back by means of, although, similar to my electrical dryer and my neighbors vacuuming.

These six holes on the highest are the Logi Dock’s beamforming mics.
Picture by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

The Groups-themed button is only for aesthetics — it’ll additionally work with Zoom and Google Meet.
Picture by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

The omnidirectional audio system are suitably loud and clear. I heard some slight interference when audio was enjoying at a low quantity, so I personally wouldn’t wish to take heed to background music by means of them whereas working. At louder volumes, you’ll be able to hear loads of bass — I’d liken the standard to one thing like an outdated Bluetooth speaker. In any other case, I didn’t have any problem understanding what was being mentioned throughout calls. I’d advise sticking the dock immediately in entrance of you the place doable, because the slender soundstage can sound slightly disorientating when positioned to 1 aspect.

Bluetooth help is a pleasant inclusion. You may pair wi-fi peripherals like keyboards, mice, and headsets to the Logi Dock (although most laptops include Bluetooth help anyway lately), and you can too join your telephone to it if you wish to use it as a speakerphone or Bluetooth speaker. Logitech is pitching this as an in-office answer as a lot as it’s a dwelling one, however let’s be actual right here — blasting your assembly audio in a busy workplace for everybody to listen to isn’t enjoyable for anybody concerned. Don’t be that particular person.

There are rubberized ft on the underside, which helps stop slippage if, like me, you tend to unintentionally yank in your peripheral cables.
Picture by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

There are a couple of different Logitech-flavored quirks right here. The Logi Dock has been designed to play properly with different merchandise within the Logitech ecosystem — I didn’t have any Zone True Wi-fi earbuds helpful to check the Simple Audio Change function, however I used to be capable of simply join a Bolt-enabled keyboard and mouse by means of a single Logi Bolt receiver. It’s precisely the type of ecosystem help I search for once I’m desirous to streamline my work setup.

Which is why I’m nonetheless bummed out by Logitech software program. You want to set up Logi Tune — a program for optimizing Logitech headsets and webcams in conferences — to allow the Logi Dock’s calendar syncing function. That’s yet one more Logitech app clogging up my laptop computer alongside Logitech Seize, Logitech Choices, and Logi Choices Plus (sure, actually). I couldn’t even set up Logi Tune on my work machine with out permission from a system administrator. That’s not going to be a novel scenario and shall be particularly irritating when you think about the Logi Dock is concentrating on working professionals.

The facility brick for that is MASSIVE, so I’d personally keep away from ferrying the Logi Dock round between workplaces.
Picture by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

Does all of this imply that the Logi Dock is a nasty product? Completely not. It delivers on just about all the pieces it guarantees. I didn’t have any points with the peripherals I plugged into it, and it labored simply tremendous with each the M1 MacBook Air and Dell XPS 15 I examined it with (although its value noting that the M1 MacBook Air can solely natively help one exterior show). It’s dependable, surprisingly compact, and does a superb job of decluttering your desk. The audio high quality can be loads adequate to appease people that don’t wish to take care of clunky USB microphones or headsets, and it gives extra ports and options than related rival choices just like the $249 Microsoft Audio Dock.

The most important difficulty right here is that $399 price ticket. Omitting each ethernet and Thunderbolt on a dock this costly feels laborious to justify. The shortage of a forward-facing IO may also be a nuisance should you incessantly change between quite a lot of equipment or peripherals, and shifting the Bluetooth pairing button to the highest or aspect of the dock would have equally improved accessibility.

If you happen to can look previous these shortcomings and assume the concept of a speakerphone convention system mixed with a USB hub is interesting, then there aren’t many different choices on the market. I’m not a convert myself after testing it for a couple of weeks, however I’m in a dedicated relationship with my Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones and Rode NT1 XLR mic. The Logi Dock’s audio high quality merely can’t compete, and nor do I anticipate it to. It’s a terrific alternative for these of you who’re already trying to reduce your setup and add some extra ports — I’d personally simply look forward to it to go on sale.

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