Category Archives: News

New Plugable USB 3.0 Universal Docking Station (with Dual Monitor Support)

We’re excited to announce the launch of our newest UD-3900 USB 3.0 Universal Laptop / Tablet docking station, adding an additional HDMI port to our UD-3000 docking station, currently the #1 selling Laptop Docking Station on Amazon.com.

Using DisplayLink’s top-of-the-line DL-3900 chipset, this unit offers all the functionality the DisplayLink chip has to offer, plus the latest VL812 USB 3.0 hub chipset from Via Labs for extra available USB ports.

Here are the two models side-by-side

Plugable UD-3000 Plugable UD-3900
$99.99 $129
New!

We’re excited to add this integrated, more cost-effective option for getting two extra displays (plus lots of other functions), all via a single USB 3.0 cable.

For both of these models, support is currently for Windows only. DisplayLink has new Mac drivers version 2.1 coming in future weeks which will allow us to update our recommendation for Mac.

And if you have any questions at all, please feel free to comment below or email us at support@plugable.com – we’re happy to help. Thanks!

Where to Buy

Plugable UD-3900 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station with Dual Video Outputs for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDM... Product Details
$109.00

Plugable UD-3000 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Universal Docking Station for Windows 8.1, 8, 7, XP (HDMI and DVI/ VGA to 2048x1... Product Details
$89.00

Plugable's Testing Station for Charging Behavior

The State of USB Charging

The humble Universal Serial Bus, more commonly known as USB has evolved to be much more than just a way to connect a mouse or keyboard to your computer. With the proliferation of power hungry portable devices that charge over USB, we’ve all come to expect USB to operate as a Universal Source of Battery charging, but unfortunately it’s just not that easy.

The original USB 2.0 specification limited the power that could be drawn from any USB port to 500mA. This is plenty to charge smaller batteries reasonably quickly, but for larger batteries a higher power solution is needed. This has driven device makers to come up with novel ways to draw more than the allowed 500mA from USB 2.0 ports and in general has been accomplished by the USB port signaling to the devices that it’s ok for the device to draw current at a higher rate.

Unfortunately there hasn’t been a widely adopted standard, so not all ports and devices speak the same language when it comes to charging. And, to make the situation even more frustrating for end users, there hasn’t been much public discussion or documentation about what has been done.

iPads for example, are one device that can charge at a very quick rate, up to 2.1Amps when connected to an Apple computer or Apple charger but they will potentially not charge at all when connected to a regular USB port. There’s also the BC 1.1 charging standard that some devices like the Kindle Fire or the Nexus 7 support, but that support is usually undocumented. We find out about charging behavior through trial and error.

So, try we did! We’ve been working hard to unravel the mysteries of what will charge where by testing every device we have on all of our hubs and chargers, and publishing this data on the product pages for each of our devices with USB ports.

We’re also collecting reports from end users though a quick form that let’s you add to the knowledge base of charging behavior.

Here’s what’s been added so far:
plugable.com/support/charging

To add your device visit:
plugable.com/support/charging-report

Check the FAQ on each of these pages for the details of our in-house test results.

Plugable Launches a New USB 3.0 Flash Card Reader

Tired of waiting for your photos to download? For photographers and other flash card users who want their files in a hurry, Plugable has introduced a new USB 3.0 flash card reader that combines blazing read speeds with the colorful design of our popular and well-reviewed USB 2.0 reader.

Plugable's new USB 3.0 card reader

How fast is it? As fast as your card allows it to be. In our testing with a newly-bought UHS-1 32GB SDHC card ($20 from Amazon), we saw read speeds over four times faster than our USB 2.0 device. Write speed improvements were in the range of 30 to 40 percent.

Results with less-advanced cards were throttled by inherent speed limitations of the cards themselves. Class-10 SDHC cards that were not UHS-1 clocked 15 to 20 percent gains in read speeds, while cards below Class 10 showed very little difference between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.

So if you want to ensure the highest speeds from our new USB 3.0 flash card reader, make sure the card displays the UHS-1 logo. It makes a huge difference in your results.

Test results

Testing Platform: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit computer
Card: Sony 32GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 R40 Memory Card, purchased on Amazon for $20.
USB 2.0 reader: Plugable USB2-CARDRAM3
USB 3.0 reader: Plugable’s new USB3-FLASH3

Plugable USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 card  readers

Plugable USB 2.0 (top) and USB 3.0 (bottom) card readers

Photo test — 356 photos, 1.38 GB
USB 2.0 1:28 min
USB 3.0 28 seconds

Benchmark test using the Atto Disk Benchmark software
USB 2.0 Read 18 MB/s Write 16 MB/s
USB 3.0 Read 73 MB/s Write 21 MB/s

Benchmark results for USB 3.0 (left) and USB 2.0 (right)
130722_USB3.0_Card_reader 130722_USB2.0_Card_reader

For any questions, contact support@plugable.com.

Plugable SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Flash Memory Card Reader for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Certain Android Systems - Supports... Product Details
$12.50