Desktop & Thinkpad Docking Station Switch

Hello - I was wondering if you could help me figure out what plugable device would allow me to have both a laptop and desktop set up feeding into two monitors, a keyboard and mouse. I currently have a thinkpad laptop set up with a thinkpad docking station. The laptop connects to the docking station via a usb C thunderbolt cable. I also have a Dell desktop. I tried connecting the Dell desktop into the docking station with a usb 3 to usb C cable, but that didn’t work. Please help.

Hi Tom,

Thank you for contacting us and I’d be happy to help with your question!

To give you the best recommendation I need a few extra details. Could you please let me know the following:

  • What are the models of your laptops?
  • What is the make and model of your monitors?
  • Apart from keyboard and mouse, do you want to connect any other peripherals through the dock?

Thank you!


Don’t have two laptops. 1 Laptop and 1 desktop

  1. Laptop - Thinkpad X1
    Desktop - Dell Precision Tower 3420
  2. Dell Professional P2217H 21.5" monitors
  3. A printer

One of the problems is that my laptop uses a thunderbolt 3 cable to connect to my current dock and my desktop doesn’t seem to to have the ability to connect to my current dock with a USB 3.0 to USB C type cable. How do I set up a docking and / or switch system that allows me to switch between desktop and thinkpad, or surface pro 4.0 (see below) and thinkpad, by either a switch or by unplugging one cable / input into the dock and inserting another?

Alternatively I also use a Microsoft Surface for personal use. It is a Surface Pro 4.0. If it’s easier to answer the question if it was a Surface Pro 4 instead of a Desktop, please feel free.

Hi Tom,

Thank you for sharing the details of your setup, this is much appreciated.

Based on the requirements you shared, our Plugable UD-3900Z Docking Station might be a good option for you →

It supports up to two 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz displays that you can connect each via HDMI, it also supports 6 additional USB 3.0 ports for all of your peripherals including a printer, a Gigabit Ethernet port and an Audio jack.

The UD-3900Z also offers two cables to connect the dock to the host laptop, one USB-C and one USB 3.0 cable. Thanks to that it will work with both your Lenovo and Microsoft Surface Pro laptops as well as your Dell PC. To achieve this however you will need to swap the cable between the dock and the laptop/PC depending what connection type (USB-C or USB 3.0) you are going to use. You could add a USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter at the end of the cable, to make the swap a bit easier. We do offer such USB 3.0 to USB-C USBC-AF3 cable here →

Please note that the UD-3900Z does not support host laptop charging.

We do offer a 30-day no hassle return policy on if you wish to try the UD-3900Z but find that it doesn’t meet your needs.

Hope this helps!

Kind regards,

Plugable Technologies

This topic was automatically closed 20 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.