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Plugable UD-160-A USB 2.0 Universal Docking Station

  • “The Plugable docking station is a great product at a very competitive price. Plus it comes with exceptional customer service. I recommend it without reservation.” – E. FitzGerald, Burbank, CA
  • “Just plug in your printer, speakers, and externals and they all work in no time at all.” – B. Demers, Maine
  • “It took about 2 minutes to connect the plugable, and it has worked perfectly from the beginning. Installation was instantaneous. I would highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking for a docking station.” – Richard E. Ordlock

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Features

  • Universally extends your computer to an extra display, speakers, ethernet, and 4 USB 2.0 ports, all from single USB cable back to your computer
  • Works with any Windows PC brand: Acer, Compaq, Dell, HP, Gateway, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba, etc. Drivers for Mac and Linux available, with version details and limitations below.
  • DVI/VGA connector and DisplayLink USB virtual graphics adapter supporting up to 1920×1080 32bpp
  • 10/100 Ethernet RJ-45 connector, 3.5 mm plugs for stereo speaker and microphone, security slot
  • Simple and small with no moving parts, no fans, no internal state, all standard USB 2.0. Does not charge laptop

Typical Uses

  • Get around the limitations of your laptop or netbook with a single, simple USB 2.0 connection to a full-sized display, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and other USB devices which can stay on your desk
  • Hot-desk among several laptop users with a swap of the USB cable
  • Use the flexibility of the virtual USB graphics card to extend your Windows or Mac desktop across an additional monitor

System compatibility

Setup Questions? We’re here to help! Just visit our support page

Dual core or 2Ghz CPU or better is recommended for virtual USB graphics. USB virtual graphics works well for office applications and web browsing, but we recommend playing motion video and 3D games on the computer’s main screen.

On Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, virtual USB graphics makes use of your primary GPU, so is compatible only with systems with a single Intel, nVidia, or ATI GPU running recent WDDM drivers.

Manually downloading the latest drivers

Drivers are provided on CD-ROM, but as with any product, the latest drivers are best. On Windows 7, the latest Microsoft-signed drivers for all functions of the dock will be found, downloaded, and installed automatically (also on XP/Vista with WU for hardware enabled). Because the Windows 8 drivers are still being frequently updated, we recommend downloading them.

The following links go directly chipset makers, so you can get the very latest drivers and also see all operating system options. These drivers from DisplayLink and ASIX are fully compatible with the UD-160-A.

Compatibility notes

  • Microsoft limits multiple display support in Windows 7 “Starter Edition” and Vista “Home Basic” to mirroring.
  • Mac OS X driver available from DisplayLink at http://displaylink.com/support/mac_downloads.php Only Mac OS X versions 10.8.3 and 10.7.5 are supported.
  • As of Linux kernel 2.6.32, all functions of the dock have open source drivers in-kernel. X configuration for the DVI/VGA portion is still distribution and scenario dependent, however, and only for advanced and adventurous users

Using the included DVI to VGA adapter

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Get to know what’s inside

A useful aspect of an all-USB dock like this is the drivers for each function can be updated independently. So what are the actual chips inside your Plugable UD-160-A (DU2791) Universal Dock?

  • Terminus Technology USB Hub Chip
  • DisplayLink DL-165 USB Graphics Chip
  • C-Media CM6300 USB Audio Chip (supporting the USB Audio Class 1.0 standard)
  • ASIX AX88772A USB Ethernet Chip

Each of these chips has some level of open source driver available for Linux and other OS support.

Performance tuning

A USB graphics adapter is a “virtual” device that uses your machine’s CPU and memory to render graphics. It then transfers just the pixels that change over the USB 2.0 cable to the device. The screen itself (connected via DVI, VGA, or HDMI) is refreshed continually (60 times a second) by hardware, from memory on the device.

• When nothing on a USB screen is changing, the PC is doing no work and nothing is going over USB. Meanwhile, the screen continues to refresh (60Hz) directly from the device.
• However, when every pixel on the screen is changing, your CPU is doing the heavy lifting, and also the (480Mbs) USB 2.0 bus can become a bottleneck. You may start to notice lags in mouse or window movements.

If you’re experiencing slowness or latency on your USB display:

• Reduce your screen resolution with the operating system display control panel.
• Run games and videos on your primary (non-USB) screen

By reducing the amount of data that needs to be compressed and sent over USB, you’ll increase responsiveness.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set the volume on my UD-160-A?

The UD-160-A’s audio function is provided by a C-Media CM-6300 USB audio chip. Because the C-Media chipset is a separate USB audio device, it has it’s own volume setting. This can be used to raise or lower the effective range available from the UD-160-A, you then use your regular system volume to control sound from the UD-160-A. How to access this setting is different with each Operating System and generally it’s quick and easy. For help, contact us at support@plugable.com.

Will the UD-160-A supply power to my laptop?

The UD-160-A combines Video, Ethernet, Audio and a 4 port USB hub through one USB 2.0 port. While it does have it’s own 2.5 amp external power supply, it does not supply power over the USB cable to the host computer.

Will the AC power adapter for the UD-160-A work in my country?

We currently offer the product with US version plugs (Plugable UD-160-A) and UK/EU version (Plugable UD-160-AEU). The AC power adapter on both versions is able to handle a range of input voltages for most regions of the world. The adapter is rated for AC inputs of 100-240V / 50-60Hz. It outputs USB power of 5V 2.5A. So with a passive adapter (for the pins/prongs) the UD-160-A  or UD-160-AEU can be used in most/all geographies.

What do the blue LED and the green LED on the Plugable UD-160-A indicate?

The blue LED indicates that the Plugable UD-160-A is being powered by its power adapter. The green LED lights up and stays steady when a  device is connected through any of the four USB ports on the dock.

What do the green and amber LEDs on the Ethernet port on the Plugable UD-160-A indicate?

The green link LED on the Ethernet port on the Plugable UD-160-A is an indication that the Ethernet cable plugged into the port is live and it stays steady as long as the live cable is plugged in. The blinking amber activity LED is an indications that data is transferring through the port.  Both these LEDs will not light up when:
1) The drivers for the dock have not installed properly or is corrupted
2) The Ethernet Cable plugged in is not live or is faulty
3) The port has failed

Where to Buy

Plugable USB 2.0 Universal Laptop Docking Station with DisplayLink DVI/VGA up to 1920x1080, Audio, Ethernet, and 4 A... Product Details
$79.00

USB Hubs, Bluetooth, Docking Station, SATA, Display Adapter

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