Lenovo Yoga 910 : will it work with Plugable USB-C Triple Display Docking Station?


#1

Please allow me to first explain my ignorance of certain things: I am new to USB-C and unfamiliar with the newest generation of high definition monitors / screens. So, please explain things to me starting from the basics!

My main question is : is the USB-C Triple Display Docking Station going to work with a new Lenovo Yoga 910 we purchased just a few days ago? We bought the Yoga 910 assuming (naively) that it would be simple to find a docking station for it, but we now aren’t sure what docking station, if any, will work.

The main things we want from a docking station are : (1) ability to hook our current, 2 external monitors to it, where these monitors are 24", have only VGA, HDMI and DVI connectors, and are around 1920x1200 (or something similar) resolution, and (2) hook up our Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse. We want to operate with the laptop screen open and being used (I say this because some people seem to want to be able to close the cover of the laptop and continue to use external monitors—we don’t care about or want that). And, lastly, we want whatever docking station we buy to offer some old-fashioned, USB 2 or 3 but preferable 3.0, ports. Oh, maybe I should mention we don’t intent to pump audio *to* our monitors (I think some new monitors would support that but ours don’t)

We know that the Yoga 910 has the unfortunate restriction of having 2 USB-C ports, neither of which can support *both* video and charging of the laptop. This means that in order to use *any* USB-C docking station, whether form Plugable or not, we need to use both USB-C ports. The USB-C port on the Yoga 910 that supports video will be connected to the docking station. The USB-C port that is used for powering the laptop will have the power supply Lenovo supplies plugged into it. This leads me to ask my first question:

Question 1: On Amazon, the web page for your Plugable USB-C TripleDisplay Docking Station says that the Yoga 910 is not compatible. But, I think this means, simply, “you can’t use this docking station for both powering the laptop and video display”. However, I think the Docking Station will work in the way I described above, won’t it? If yes, this, in my mind, doesn’t amount to incompatibility, because there is not and cannot be *any* docking station for the Yoga 910 that supports both charging and video----because Lenovo chose to divide those functions between the 2 USB-C ports on the laptop, not because of any deficiency in a docking station…so, do I have this right?

My next question is very general:

Question 2 : I don’t understand what “Alt-mode” HDMI is and you have a port of that type…can you explain? I am assuming it is a port through which one can transfer very high resolution video content, but just wanted to be sure. If so, that wouldn’t matter to us (at least not yet since we our monitors are kind of old fashioned)

Thanks,

Richard


#2

I forgot to ask something else : will this docking station work on both 120 and 220/240 volts? I would like to be able to use it in Europe. I realize I’d need an adapter—but, those are cheap and readily available. Question is, will it operate at all at 220/240 volts?


#3

Hello Richard, thanks for posting an I’ll be happy to help!

You would be correct in that our dock could be connected to the video output USB-C port on the Yoga 910 and the power adapter connected to the charging USB-C port. We would expect this setup to work and we do mention this a little bit more in depth on our Plugable.com product page compatibility chart here --> http://plugable.com/products/ud-ultcdl/, if interested.

The 4K HDMI port (or the Alt Mode port) is based off of the VESA DisplayPort Alternate Mode standards which enables video output over USB-C on the compatible systems. Unfortunately, not all USB-C ports offer the same functions, so not all systems with USB-C ports can output video. Connecting a USB-C Alt Mode device, to a supported USB-C port provides a direct connection to the internal GPU, similar to connecting to the GPU directly with an HDMI cable. This means that the 4K HDMI port can harness the GPU resources directly without additional software. Since the port itself is HDMI 1.4 specification, it is able to support a maximum resolution of 3840x2160 at a 30Hz refresh rate.

The 2K HDMI and DVI ports on the dock require additional software to work and is based off of a DisplayLink graphics chip within the dock. DisplayLink (the manufacturer of the chipset and author of the software drivers) has a compatibility check tool here --> http://support.displaylink.com/knowle… to help ensure that the software is compatible with the host system.

Regarding the power supply, if the dock is purchased from Amazon.com it only comes with a US style power supply and a converter will need to be sourced in order to be used in UK and EU locations. Our UD-ULTCDL-EU variation (sold in European Amazon marketplaces) offers both a UK and EU style plugs, but not US style plugs.

I hope this information is helpful!

Thank you,

David W.
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support


#4

Thank you, David. In order to be certain I understood you, the model sold in the US will *not* work on 220/240 volts, is that correct? In other words, we really do need a *converter* and not a simple plug adapter, correct?

And, regarding the compatibility of the 2K HDMI and DVI ports on the docking station, I went to the web page you pointed me to, and I found this statement:

=================== begin statement ===============

This compatibility check only runs and is needed on Windows 10 Threshold (2015) and earlier OSes. Windows 10 Anniversary update 2016 introduced a new architecture for USB graphics which eliminates the compatibility checks needed on older versions of Windows. DisplayLink drivers can be installed on any PC running Windows 10 Anniversary Update 2016, as long as it meets the system requirements.

=====================end statement ==============================

The system requirements mentioned in the last sentence are very minimial, and the Yoga 910 I have meets them. But, I want to see if I understood the rest of what they said. I think they are saying that any version of Windows 10 that is fairly recent (from the anniversary update in 2016 forwards…) will work with the DisplayLink drivers, and—the following is implied, DisplayLink doesn’t actually say this—there is nothing else that would be a barrier to those drivers working (other than the system requirements, which have to do with minimum RAM, etc.). So, if I understood that correctly, the Yoga 910 would work with the Display Link ports.

The only issue for us then (again, based on understanding the above correctly) is the lack of ability to run at 220/240 volts. Most computer accessories----every one I have ever purchased, I think----will run at 220 / 240 volts. Why won’t this Docking Station? Are you sure of this?


#5

The reason I asked twice about the 220/240 volts is in your answer you used the word ‘plugs’ and discussed US vs. European style plugs. But, every computer and accessory (such as monitors) I’ve bought in the US has worked in Europe when I have used a plug adapter, which just changes the shape of the plugs and does not change voltage and current. so I really just want to make sure we are not misunderstanding each other. Does your docking station need a (very cheap) plug adapter or a (somewhat expensive) current and voltage converter?


#6

Sorry I am making this into a spam session! I just looked on the Q&A section of your Amazon posting for this product and there was this question:

What is the input AC voltage on the power adapter? Does it support 240 Volts?

and the answer was: Yes it does, 100 to 240 V

So, if this is correct, no converter is needed, only a plug adapter.


#7

Hello Richard, apologies for the confusion. I was referring to a converter and adapter synonymously, so I would expect an adapter to work.

Thanks,

David W.
Plugable Technologies
www.plugable.com/support


#8

Thanks again, David. I ordered one of these off of Amazon last night and will be receiving it today. I’ll follow up with a report on how it works out of the box. I *really* appreciate your help. It’s very comforting to buy from a company that helps customers figure things out!


#9

David, the dock arrived and we have successfully used it to attach our two monitors and our keyboard and mouse to our new Yoga 910, and it works fine. Thank you for all your help.

Richard


#10

Hi Richard! Thanks for the follow up. Could you please tell me the models of your monitors? Thanks a lot!


#11

Diego, I don’t remember the exact model number, but the 2 monitors were identical 24" Asus monitors, around 3 years old, each having 1920 x 1200 resolution. I think it’s important to note that these are obviously not 4K monitors, and since the Yoga 910 has a 4K screen, a lot of people might want to pair it with 4K monitors, and I cannot tell how well the Triple Display dock would work with those.
It might be helpful to other if I mention that we have, around 3 weeks ago, returned the Yoga 910. We had a lot of trouble getting it to work with our legacy software. For example, we use Quickbooks Pro 2016, and its GUI window would come up totally distorted. There is a Windows 10 switch you can enable (you bring up the properties window for the program, by rightclicking over its icon, go into the compatibility tab and select override high DPI scaling and in the drop down menu choose ‘system enhanced’), and this switch will fix most problems, but we found that the operating system would forget these settings sometimes, and you’d have to re-apply them. There were other things that did not work properly, all of them related to rendering images, in Microsoft Office 2010. Basically, I came to the conclusion that the industry, as a whole, has moved to 4K capable hardware before the software is ready for it, and without an easy way to insure backwards compatibility. And, in some cases—as was true of Intuit’s Quickbooks Pro—you could not solve these problems by purchasing a current version of the software, current versions were still not supporting 4K resolution. But, getting back to the Plugable Triple Display, we never felt that any of these problems were due to it, it worked fine. And, the support we received from Plugable was tremendous. In the end, we not only returned the laptop (and bought a Lenovo Flex 5 having a 1920x1200 native resolution) we returned, to Plugable, the Triple Display, and purchased, instead, one of Plugable older USB 3.0 docks—which works very well.


#12

Thanks a lot for your answer! Indeed, I’ve seen that problem with some applications having tiny buttons almost impossible to see and click on. But returning the laptop is not an option for me. Fortunately, the applications I use for my job work just fine (Notepad++, Sublime, VisualStudio). The problem I’m facing is when I try to connect my Yoga 910 to a BenQ BL2420PT monitor, which has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 @60Hz. I bought a Plugable USB-C to HDMI cable and it didn’t work. I tried with a Hama adapter, and again nothing happened. I also bought an Aukey adapter, and it worked only for a 1920 x 1080 resolution, so I cannot leverage the full resolution capacity of the monitor (when I try to change the resolution to 2560 x 1440 I get an error message on the monitor saying “out of range”, so I suppose it’s because of the adapter not being able to transmit that resolution at 60Hz). That’s why I’m considering buying this dock station, even though I don’t have a 4K monitor. Maybe it’s too much for me right now. I would rather find a less expensive solution. Thanks again for your help!


#13