Review: CalDigit TS4 docking station

After replacing my good old Samsung display at home with a brand new LG 4K one, I noticed something weird: The refresh rate was locked at 30Hz and from time to time the display simply turned off and on again. I quickly started suspecting that there might be an issue with the HDMI adapter I had been using for years. Since my work laptop (Macbook Air M2) only offers 2 USB-C ports, I started looking for a docking station that could solve the issues with the display but also with the lack of ports on the MBA.

After a lot of comparing stats I settled on the CalDigit Thunderbold Station 4 which has whooping 18 ports in total with 5 USB-C ports beside the one used for the computer uplink. Two of these are even TS4/USB4 and the rest are USB 3.2 Gen 2 with 10Gb/s. Since I also wanted to use the dock to power my StreamDeck and all the ports were powered, this sounded like a great product. Because there are also lots of USB-A ports on that thing, plugging things like USB sticks or YubiKeys in, (a) won’t be an issue (b) nor will it require yet another adapter.

Turns out, everything works just as I was hoping it would! Don’t get me wrong: The TS4 is quite expensive, coming in at around 460€ (depending on where you get it and what the weather is like at the time of ordering) but you get a lot for your money! I’ll probably also be able to replace at least one of the USB multi-chargers I have on my desk with the TS4 since it supports offline-charging, meaning power is provided even if no computer is connected.

The only downside I can think of is that it only has a single DisplayPort 1.4 port and otherwise relies on Thunderbolt if you want to have more displays hooked up. For me that’s not an issue, though, since the MBA only supports a single external display anyway and this also fits with my workstyle.