- Product Dimensions: 27 x 7.2 x 3.7 cm ; 948 g
- Shipping Weight: 998 g
- Item model number: ACP70USZ
- ASIN: B005YR1PV2
- Date first available at Amazon.ca: Jan. 5 2012
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #150,516 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
Targus ACP70USZ USB 3 Docking Station with HD Video (Black)
- Dual video ports providing beyond HD video and graphics with up to 2048 x 1152 resolution
- Includes 1x DVI to VGA adapter, 1 HDMI to DVI adapter, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, aGigabit Ethernet port, audio In/Out ports and security lock slot
- Also a 6A AC adapter and 2ft USB 3.0 cable making it easy toconnect
- 2 high-powered USB ports for extra power and stays on when the PC is disconnected
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Enjoy an increase in speed and more power by utilizing the latest USB 3.0 technology for your workstation. The Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station offers a full range of features including dual video ports (1x DVI-I, 1x HDMI) to connect two monitors, a DVI to VGA adapter, 1 HDMI to DVI adapter, 2 USB 3.0 ports for your USB 3.0 peripherals and 4 USB 2.0 ports for all of your USB 2.0 items. The docking station also includes a Gigabit Ethernet port, audio In/Out ports to connect speakers and a security lock slot to help secure the dock and avoid theft. A 6A AC adapter and 3ft USB 3.0 cable are also included to help make it easy to connect your device to a complete workstation – including dual monitors, a mouse, keyboard, printer and other peripherals you may need to connect with by simply docking your laptop.
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Top Customer Reviews
This dock is horrible, especially using any USB device. For example, if I plug in my Bluetooth dongle into the USB on the Docking Station, just the keyboard works and not the mouse. If I plug directly into the laptop, they both work fine. My USB Headset works intermittently when it is the docking station however directly plugged into the laptop - it works fine.
I hope a competitor releases a superior product soon - it really is barely usable.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The key benefit to this docking station is that it uses the new USB 3.0 "SuperSpeed" standard. This is the new USB port that is backward compatible with regular old USB 2.0 ports but also allows for MUCH faster data transfers (which is where the "SuperSpeed" label comes from). Old USB 2.0 docking stations are horribly slow because a single USB 2.0 port isn't very fast and it gets slower if you use that single USB 2.0 port for multiple USB devices, an external display, Ethernet, and external speakers. All those devices communicate with your laptop via a single USB port and the old USB 2.0 standard is just too slow. USB 3.0 resolves that ... assuming you're using a newer laptop with a USB 3.0 port.
If your laptop only has USB 2.0 then this docking station acts like a typical S ... L ... O ...W ... USB 2.0 dock. So, only buy this docking station if your laptop has a USB 3.0 port.
In addition, you should only buy this docking station if your laptop has integrated Intel graphics and NOT dedicated/discrete graphics from Nvidia or AMD. The reason I say that is I tested this docking station with five different laptops (I have access to a bunch of PCs and Macs via work) and every laptop with discrete graphics had problems with the DisplayLink driver that this docking station uses to drive an external monitor. If you have a laptop with dedicated graphics then I would suggest that you plug in the external monitor to the HDMI, DisplayPort, or even VGA connection on your laptop and forget about using this dock. The DisplayLink driver issue was so bad on one Dell laptop with Nvidia graphics that I was forced to completely re-install Windows 7 and all the standard drivers in order to get the laptop to work again. There were no driver problems with the laptops I tested that had integrated Intel graphics.
The included power adapter with various adapter plugs fit most laptops, but keep in mind this is designed only for laptops that use power adapters rated at 90W or less. If you have a big 17-inch mobile workstation or gaming notebook that uses a massive power adapter (I have one that uses a 180W adapter) then the included power adapter cannot power your laptop and you'll still have to use your regular power adapter.
Overall, despite the fact that this docking station has problems with laptops that have dedicated graphics I think it's the PERFECT solution for most people who just want an easy way to transform their laptops into a basic desktop. Again, keep in mind the three rules if you are thinking about buying this:
1) Make sure your laptop has a USB 3.0 port. If it doesn't, buy a cheaper USB 2.0 dock.
2) Make sure your laptop has Intel integrated graphics and not Nvidia or AMD/ATI graphics.
3) Make sure your laptop uses a 90W (or less) power adapter ... or just use your original power adapter.
It is still an unstable product, even with the current (Jan., 2013) firmware and drivers. The audio out dropped more than once a day, so I eventually stopped trying to use it and now plug the speakers into the machine (a Surface Pro) when the dock is being used, ignoring the on-dock audio completely.
And then, about once a day, the dock just "checks out". The hardware is still there, but it's nonresponsive - any peripherals attached aren't really available. The more common case of this is the monitors connected (I'm using both ports) just get frozen with whatever they had, the USB devices slowly drop out (e. g. mouse and keyboard work, but then at some point stop), etc. To fix this you have to unplug the dock from the computer, unplug the power (which at the dock is annoying, because the plug has a sliding, locking connector), plug the power back in, and connect to the computer. Then you're good for another... day if you're lucky.
I am very close to returning this unit and trying a different manufacturer's one at this point. The only thing stopping me right now is the fear that since all of these dual-display docks are basically the same guts (DisplayLink), that I'd be swapping one broken unit for another.
UPDATE IN APRIL, 2013: The very recent April driver update (7.1) has made a substantial difference. I've now gone nearly a week without the sound dropping or the Ethernet dropping. I see other posts about people having the exact same issues I was having, especially the Ethernet. I don't know if the updated drivers would help them, but it helped me. We'll need to see if it's a long term fix but so far at least, it's much better.
Also this is on Windows 8 - I should have said that before. Very specifically it's on a Surface Pro.
UPDATE APRIL 18: The drivers are not perfect still - I have had one drop of the Ethernet earlier this week after all, and just now, a loss of the sound. And there seems to be a new issue with this driver release around performance on the displays - the mouse cursor and scrolling are "jumpy" and that was not the case before. So it's still a work in progress even after all this time. So I am still waiting on DisplayLink to continue their improvements. The device works well enough at this point to not bother sending it back, and DisplayLink powers all of the other devices of this type so it's not like there's a choice around it even if I did send it back. That said I've dropped the rating back because it's a little silly that after all this time there are still issues around it.
I should also mention you CAN'T currently find the updated drivers on the Targus site - I just checked. They are at the DisplayLink site (7.2M0 released April 3, 2013).
UPDATE JUNE 18: The May 2013 drivers are better still. Biggest remaining issue is sound dropping every so often.
UPDATE AUGUST 30: The 7.4M0 drivers (from DisplayLink - Targus still has 7.3M1) seemed better, but audio dropout seemed to get much worse. I ended up completely uninstalling them (after unplugging the dock), rebooting, installing 7.3M1, connecting the dock, waiting for the hardware update and driver load (note: I don't remember seeing the update during an upgrade - that could be a UI issue or an actual installer bug, I don't know), confirming everything was working, disconnecting the dock, uninstalling fully again, rebooting, installing 7.4M0, connecting the dock (again including a hardware update), and then everything was happy for now. We'll see how stable it is. I've dropped my rating because this is a bit ridiculous, not having a reliable driver after all this time.
UPDATE DECEMBER 5: Even at 7.4M2 I'm still seeing the dropouts of audio. I did find a better way to fix it: (1) right-click volume icon in notification area (2) choose "Playback devices" (3) right-click "Speakers - Targus USB Audio" and choose "Properties" (4) change to the Enhancements tab (5) Change any of the enhancement checkboxes, click Apply, then change it back, and click Apply. [The change back isn't necessary but leaves you how you started.] Changing this setting seems to force the driver to sort itself out.
UPDATE Jan. 21, 2015: This failed for me about 6 months ago, and I put it on the shelf and gave up on it, determined to tell anyone that would listen to avoid the Targus docks forever moving forward. I found out today there is a known defect in older versions (e. g. http://www.twitter.com/Targus/status/556198441991151616 which goes to http://targusblog.com/2015/01/16/targus-acp70-item-60-and-item-51-defects/) that causes the failure to occur. I reached out to Targus today, and the customer service chat gave me a substantial run-around (someone else [hi Karen!] reported this same issue on Twitter, that's what got me looking at it). They made me jump through a whole ton of hoops, but eventually agreed to replace the dock. We'll see what happens with the replacement process.
For starters, I have been in the I.T. field for the past 20 years and have done more than my fair share of desktop support, so I fancy myself quite technically proficient and can solve most PC problems.
I give that prerequisite because this dock was a bit tricky to configure. It requires drivers and software to work correctly. Having used this model dock at work before, I knew that the CD that came with it had outdated drivers, so I went to the DisplayLink website to download the latest drivers from there. I ran the installation, and that went fine. However, Windows 7 SP1 64-bit still would not recognize the unit. I'd unplug the USB cable, wait, plug it back in, and I'd get the familiar Windows sound to let me know I've connected a USB device, but nothing happened. My external devices didn't work, but I didn't get any error messages or anything. Finally, after several different attempts (reboot machine, unplug USB cable, un-power and re-power the dock, plug back in to machine), I was FINALLY able to get it to recognize the dock. Just as an educated guess, I believe that the updated software I downloaded from DisplayLink required a firmware update on the dock and that is why it probably had to be power-cycled. Again, this is just my educated guess.
Now, once you get your system to recognize the dock, the rest is butter. The external monitors work fine, the network port works fine (at 1Gbps!), and anything else I plug in to the unit works as expected. I can unplug the USB cable, my laptop recovers within a few seconds, and I'm ready to go. I can plug the USB cable back in, my monitors flicker for a few seconds, and I'm ready to go.
In a nutshell, configuring this dock is a bit tricky and requires some trial-and-error and some patience. Once you get it to work, however, it works great. I LOVE that it has the power adapter to supply power to my laptop -- that means I don't have to buy an additional AC adapter!
o Takes up a USB 3.0 port, but gives your laptop back 6 more USB ports (2 of which are 3.0).
o External dual-monitor support for your laptop (if you leave your laptop lid open, you can have 3 active monitors). 1 port is DVI, 1 is HDMI, and it comes with a DVI>VGA and a HDMI>DVI adapters
o Powers my laptop
o I can run anything externally that I would with a desktop (printer, speakers, keyboard, mouse) straight off the dock and I never notice any performance hits
o Slim, attractive design
o A bit tricky to get working the first time
o The video output (using the HDMI port on the dock) doesn't seem to be quite as good as if I plug a monitor directly into my laptop's HDMI port - it is definitely acceptable, but I do notice a difference
o While a "pro" because it looks nice and is easy to move around, that the design of this dock is light and slim is also a con because it makes the unit feel a bit cheap, and it is hard to position once you have numerous things plugged into it
Overall, I like this product and will continue to use it. I think it fills a very real need. Configuring this dock should be easier (and having used these docks at work as well, I can tell you it's not just me and it's not just this one unit I'm using), but with enough patience, once you get it working, it works great.
==== UPDATE JUNE 1, 2012 ====
Well, I've had a chance to use this unit for a while longer now, and my usage has changed slightly, so I need to update this review.
After I used this for a little while and had posted the above review, I started playing Diablo 3 (a game by Blizzard Entertainment). The hardware requirements for this game are somewhat hefty, but my laptop has more than the required minimums and runs the game great, when it is running undocked. However, if I try to play the game docked, the story is a little different.
The first time I tried to play using this dock, the game launched OK, and I played just fine for a little while. But, after playing for about 10 minutes, my PC seemingly froze on me. I assumed it was a fluke of my machine, so I did a hard power down (hate to do that, but what can you do?), rebooted, and started playing again. But, then it happened again a little while later. I had a hunch, so I simply unplugged my laptop from the dock, and to my surprise, my external monitor still had a frozen Diablo 3 screen displayed, even though I was holding my laptop in my hand, completely disconnected from the dock! It was then I surmised that the dock probably doesn't have enough capacity to run the graphics required for this game. After a few seconds of Windows recovering from the dock being disconnected, my laptop unfroze, though Diablo 3 required a restart, but all was well without having to reboot.
So, since graphics are one of the most intense requirements for the game, I decided to still use the dock to run every other peripheral (keyboard, mouse, network) but plugged my monitor directly into my laptop. I played again for several minutes, but then my keyboard & mouse stopped responding (but the game continued and my screen was not frozen this time), though I did get disconnected from the gaming server. So NOW, having pretty much proven it was the dock, I unplugged EVERYTHING from the dock and plugged it all into my laptop (video, keyboard, mouse, network), started up the game, and I have not had a single issue with the game since then.
Given all of that, I had to lower my review from 4 stars to 3, because I paid for this dock assuming it would be a viable dock for my use (and it is advertised as handling high definition graphics), but it looks like it won't work for me for Diablo 3. From my experience at work and at home, it looks like this dock is going to work just fine for ordinary usage (surfing the web, doing emails, playing games that are not hardware intensive), but if you are going to use a program or play a game that will seriously tax your hardware, like, say, Diablo 3 :) , then it doesn't look like this will be a good alternative. I still like the dock, but I'm disappointed it can't handle my needs.
As it turned out, it took a bit of a search. I learned about the latest generation of "universal" docking stations which are made possible by USB 3.0, as I understand it. Two reps at HP's Boise Sales Office (who were great, by the way) told me that the Targus ACP71USZ would work with my laptop (which has a USB 3.0 port), in spite of a review to the contrary on the HP website page describing the unit. In fact, they said, the Targus unit was connected to the same laptop in the "playpen" in their office, and they could vouch for the fact that it worked.
So, I ordered it from Amazon. When it arrived, I followed advice others had offered in other reviews: (1) update your USB 3.0 host controller driver (mine was current); (2) download the latest drivers from Targus or Displaylink (ignore the CD that comes with the unit). Turns out DisplayLink had a newer version than Targus itself did, so I downloaded and installed it before connecting the unit to my laptop.
Contrary to other reviews, the docking station DID have a power tip to fit my laptop, which was a relief, so the laptop charges when it's connected to the dock. Everything else (wireless keyboard and mouse, audio, printer) is powered through the USB 3.0 cable which connects to the dock. Once connected, the laptop recognized the dock, and everything worked just as I hoped, with no noticeable loss in performance!
I like the fact that the docking station will accommodate any laptop for which there is a power tip, so this should be the last docking station I need to buy. The unit itself is very well made, and reflects a nice design. It even fits nicely within my monitor stand! Finding the power tips is a bit tricky (the HP reps were helpful here too); you flip up a door on top of the unit to reveal a compartment with 8 different tips.
All in all, armed with the advice from previous reviewers and the HP reps, it was a piece of cake, proving it pays to do your research, I guess. Judging from the reviews, I guess the ACP71USZ will work with some laptops and not others, and in the final analysis there is really only one way to find out: order it from a store with a reasonable return policy and try it out!
UPDATE: A little more than a year later, and the Targus unit is still going strong, with no problems over the past year. My Windows 8 computer recognizes it as part of the system, and even tells me when firmware updates are available, which was unexpected! This little unit still gets five stars from me!
UPDATE 10/06/14: After working perfectly for 1.5 years, my external monitor (attached to the dock) stopped working. Attaching the monitor directly to the computer revealed that the monitor was working just fine. A visit to the Targus web site showed the same driver already installed. On a hunch, I visited the DisplayLink (whose logo appears on the product) web site and found a new driver. Installed it; problem solved. Lesson here: check BOTH the Targus and DisplayLink web sites for driver updates. By the way, tried running "Update Driver" from inside Device Manager, and it pointed me toward the Targus site, but NOT the DisplayLink site.
UPDATE 01/18/16 Two years now, and aside from the driver lesson learned that I described in the previous update, it's been nothing but smooth sailing with this well-designed little dock! I'd still give it five stars! The dock is on my mind currently because up until now I've used a 24" external LED monitor, and my laptop monitor as needed. Now I'm thinking of adding a second 24" monitor, using the Targus dock. I'm not entirely sure of the best way to do that, since my current monitor uses an HDMI cable, and there is only one HDMI port on the dock. I'm sure a little study will turn up the answer to the cabling question.
Unboxed one, plugged GigE, some USB2.0 peripherals, and two 1920x1080 displays into the device, powered it up, and plugged it into the USB3.0 port on my Asus G74SX. The laptop detected the hub, but had very few of the components working. After inserting the driver CD that came with the unit and installing the drivers, the GigE port lit up and ran at 1Gbps, the USB2.0 fired up, everything worked but the dual external monitors. However, I waited about five minutes and the monitors suddenly engaged at the full 1920x1080 FullHD resolution.
Subsequent plug-ins to either of the docks worked flawlessly. A software update popped up with Windows Update a week later, with many updates for the dock; one of the biggest was for the DisplayPort software, which is software that extends video through the USB port. Technically, my NVidia GPU on the Asus doesn't see these monitors as external displays, so theoretically I could run with more than three screens. I tested and was able to run the GigE port to transfer files, while I was watching a 1080p video on one external display through the dock and another external display running YouTube, all while running apps on the laptop's main screen.
In short, This device was about as plug-and-play as can be, and that's saying something - I've been in the industry for 15+ years, and rarely had anything be so stunningly transparent, easy to use, and functional. I run with three displays (two external plus the laptop's own screen), GigE, and other peripherals all with a single USB cable.
My advice for others who might have problems - check your drivers, both on the software for the dock and for your own USB3.0 controller. I would wager that 90% of the issues are related to the laptop's own USB drivers, or perhaps running a set of screens at non-standard resolutions (though my work external screens are 1920x1080, which is standard, and my home screens are 1920x1200, and the docks have no issues switching between the resolutions, even when resuming from sleep), or running with outdated software. Maybe the 64-bit drivers are better than their 32-bit cousins. I dunno.
Bottom line? If there is some form of incompatibility, then you'll probably hate it. And let's be real, folks, it's been out a whole three or so months. But for those of us who need a docking solution that is easy to use and ubiquitous across manufacturers, and the drivers work, this is an EXCELLENT device.