USB-C docks have become a hot commodity thanks to the number of individuals that took job positions at home over the pandemic. Many of these individuals opt for laptops as it is easy to move between locations in case they need to come back or plan to move to and from. In fact, laptops are on a rise in general as it’s just easy to take them with you and they have become just as powerful as many average tower alternatives.
The biggest drawback of going with a laptop, however, is the lack of access to ports. Laptops have a smaller footprint, therefore you don’t get all of that wonderful connectivity you get with a tower. Which can be resolved through the use of a good dock solution. All you need is a dock at each location you plan to make use of your laptop in such a way. Walk up, plug it into the laptop, and now you have all the connectivity you need.
Of course, basic connectivity isn’t good enough for professionals and enthusiasts. These users are going to want access to multiple displays and high-speed data transfers. Hence the need for powerful USB-C and TB solutions, like the one we are discussing today. It isn’t TB, but it is still USB-C with plenty of benefits.
This is the HyperDrive 4K Multi-Display Docking Station for MacBooks (model HD156) of various sizes, up to 16″ (depending on the model you go with). In our case, we have been using the one that can go all the way thanks to a removable magnetic extension. Therefore, this dock can work with anything between 13″ and 16″ models.
Without the extension, it works with 13-14″ models, and with the extension up to 16″. Allowing you to use it with any modern Macbook model. Skipping the extension simply causes you to lose the ability for a third screen (not including your laptop’s screen).
“Third screen you say?” Yes, that’s up to three screens (each up to 4K@60Hz) when the magnetic piece is added. This is in addition to your laptop’s screen. Of course, you do want to stick to modern Macbook options as this is going to tax the CPU since this since these aren’t being powered by a video card.
You can see in the above (clickable) image that the extension adds that third set of video ports. Each set allows you to make use of HDMI or DP for each monitor (you can only use one of each set at a time). Both connections offer the 4K@60Hz. One of the many benefits you get from USB-C connectivity.
This is the only thing the extension adds and it does come at a cost. The main dock itself uses 2x USB-C to fully function. These are the two ports on the left side of a Macbook and it does come with a short combo cable to make that happen. The extension requires a third USB-C port (right side of Macbook) to function, and it also comes with a short single USB-C cable to make that happen.
So you do take up all three USB-C ports. However, the dock gives you these back, and more. Along with all of those video ports, you also get two USB-C 10Gbps ports, plus one USB-A 10Gbps and two USB-A 5Gbps ports for all of your external drives, accessories, or anything else requiring USB. There is also an additional USB-C port for 100W of power delivery (to a wall adapter so that the USB-C ports running to the Macbook will also charge it. In addition to this, you also have a 1Gb Ethernet jack, an SD card slot, and a MicroSD slot (both UHS-I 104MB/s).
Altogether, up to 15 ports (13 if you aren’t using the extension). Providing you a lot of connectivity and power if using the PD port to the wall. Your Macbook will be unstoppable. Or, your Windows laptop. Given that, you have to have the connectivity for it and support for MST (Multi-Stream Transport), which allows for video over USB-C.
There are no drivers involved as everything is plug-and-play. Another easy-to-use dock with a lot of power to it. It even helps to dissipate heat since its aluminum body runs along the backside of the Macbook, helping to take some of the heat and spread it across the dock (or the heat from the dock itself, mostly).
It’s a pretty clever dock since it is out of the way, hiding everything underneath and in the back. The height of it is only 0.65″, so it won’t lift the laptop either. Leading to a very clean setup.
Like many of the other docks we have (recently) come across from companies like Hyper, it performs its functions nicely. Again, you’ll want a modern system that can handle multiple monitors over USB-C (as this will be driven by your processor). Other than that, it covers the needs of almost anyone both professional and enthusiast alike.
The magnetic extension is definitely an interesting approach. We haven’t seen this before and it handles the function nicely if you find yourself switching between Macbook/laptop sizes. Having three small USB-C cables to attach each time isn’t bothersome since the ends are right there. They are short and out of the way and it only takes a few seconds to plug everything in once you set your Macbook on it.
I would say that due to its size, it is also quite mobile. However, we aren’t a big fan of calling docks mobile. Hubs are meant to be mobile, but docks are (usually) meant to be stationary as something you bring your laptop to in order to extend its capabilities.
The construction of the dock is fantastic, with a durable aluminum design. Nothing feels cheap with this model and even the magnetic extensions snaps right into place without feeling gimmicky or loosely connected. The icons on the top don’t properly align for whatever reason, but that doesn’t have anything to do with function (just our OCD).
The only issue is the price. For $299 (at time of launch), we find it difficult to get jump up and down saying everyone needs one of these. That’s a lot of money, which means it won’t be for everyone. If you are tossing a lot of money at something like a Macbook Pro, this might not be that much. However, average consumers may not like the price tag and opt for something a little more affordable. At least in this scenario, you are getting a solid solution you can depend on. Those more affordable options aren’t always the case.
There is also a version without the extension, giving you up to two displays and up to 13 ports. It’s slightly more affordable at $249. So it does appear that a lot of the cost goes into making video connectivity possible/reliable.
This dock is fantastic. It maintains a low profile while providing the user with plenty of options (and power when using PD). We almost always recommend using PD since you want to maximize the life of your laptop during use, so it is good that it provides plenty of power for most modern systems. Allowing you to enjoy your setup while also keeping up with the laptop/Macbook’s battery needs.
It has all the right ports in all the right places (maybe Meghan Trainor has a new hit song). The ability to extend your setup with up to three additional monitors is always a win. It is expensive, but Hyper is also targeting professionals with this one. How it lives up to some of the more affordable options may vary because of this. It is well-built and offers a lot.
We still plan on testing it further to see if we find anything that shouldn’t be there. If we do, we’ll come back to update this story. So far though, we really like what we see.
349.5 x 52 x 16.52 mm
13.76” x 2.05” x 0.65”
Cable Length: 100mm
- Weight (without cables)
300.4g / 10.60 oz / 0.66 lb.
- Compatible Devices
MacBook Air/Pro 2016-2021 13”-16”
Windows PC’s supporting MST
- Product Compatibility
MacBook (M1 Max/Pro, Intel) Lenovo, Dell, HP, Windows PC
MacOS, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
- Host Connectivity:
USB-C PD3.0 20V/5A.USB 3.2 Gen 1 Data
- Video Connections:
DP#1 or HDMI#1 on Primary Module support 3840 x 2160P 60Hz for single/dual display.
DP#2 or HDMI#2 on Primary Module, max resolution for HDMI2 supports 3840 x 2160P 60Hz, max resolution for DP2 supports 7680 x 4320 30Hz (Mac support 5K or 6K depends on Mac device), single display supported in this group.
DP#3 or HDMI#3 port on Secondary Detachable Module supports 3840 x 2160P 60Hz, single display supported in this group.
- Network Connections:
RJ45, 10/100/1000 Mbps
- Data Connections:
Max data transmission for 3x USB3.1 ports (USB-A3+USB-C1+USB-C2) support 10Gbps (1280MB/s), backward compatible with USB3.0 5.0Gbps (640MB/s) and USB2.0 480Mbps (60MB/s).
Max data transmission for 2x USB3.0 ports (USB-A1+USB-A2) support 5.0Gbps (640MB/s) and USB2.0 480Mbps (60MB/s).
- Material Specifications:
- In the Box:
15-16” 4K Multi-Display Dock
3mm x 100mm USB-C to USB-C Cables
FCC, UKCA, ROHS, REACH
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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