Anker PowerExpand 12-in-1 USB-C PD Media Dock: Inexpensive power

Hello everyone! I am (again) making some reviews: this time on Anker docks. Have a good day!

This small powerhouse comes in a cute little, but not too little box. It comes with the dock itself, a 6ft USB-C 2.0 cable, a 3ft USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 (I think!) cable, and an Anker PowerPort Atom III 60W PD (which I reviewed!). But I won’t blabber on for too long; I will cut to the chase.

Ports

  • On the back
  • 2 PD-In/Computer USB-C ports (One for each purpose, no 2 computer or PD ports at once!)
  • 1 RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 2 USB 3.0 5 Gbps ports with power output of 5W/0.9A
  • 1 HDMI 2.0
  • 1 DisplayPort 1.4
  • On the front
  • 1 Analog 3.5mm headset jack
  • 1 SD UHS-I reader
  • 1 microSD UHS-I reader
  • 1 USB-C 3.0 5Gbps with power output of 5W/0.9A
  • 1 USB 3.0 5 Gbps port with power output of 5W/1.5A (I think)

Pros

  • 12 ports
  • More speedy USB ports than a hub
  • Self-powered mode (computer port can act as PD-In as well)
  • Removable media ports on the front (Card reader, flash drive)
  • Stationary media morts on the back (DisplayPort, Ethernet)
  • 85W PD out with 100W charger (uses 15W for operation)
  • Fanless design
  • Activity light
  • Does not get hot
  • DisplayPort included
  • SD and microSD readers usable at the same time
  • Fun design
  • Ethernet activity lights
  • Plastic design
  • Comes with extras, like a 60w charger

Cons

  • Fanless design
  • Activity light
  • Port alignment may annoy perfectionists if you keep looking at it
  • 3.5mm jack cannot detect if headphones are plugged in
  • 3.5mm jack makes noises on headphones during plugin/unplug
  • Comes with only 60w charger
  • Dock-to-computer cable is 3 ft
  • No PD port to charge and work
  • USB at only 5Gbps
  • SD slot has hole and microSD can fall in

Pictures



The dock + its ports


Everything it comes with


Everything featured above plugged in



IRL usage (ignore how the 2nd image is sideways, importing problems!)

Buy if…

  • You need a dock and do not want to break the bank
  • You have a USB-C laptop
  • You need 10 ports of connectivity
  • You need to plug in stuff to your MacBook
  • You need a dock AND want to replace your old laptop charger

Don’t buy if…

  • You need more connectivity (try one of the 13-in-1 docks Anker sells)
  • You need 10Gbps transfer speed

That is all for this review. Happy Ankering, and also Valentine’s Day! :slight_smile:

5 Likes

Nice review and photos!

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Another well done review. Although every time i see this dock, I think “exter-mi-ate!” and expect the doctor to go rushing through.

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I purchased the PowerExpand 12-in-1 media dock back at the end of November for my new M1 MacBook Pro setup and while I was initially excited about this dock based on it’s advertised features and look, I was ultimately (and still am) disappointed with it.

This dock does not completely work with the M1 MacBook Air (OR) the M1 MacBook Pro. You cannot use the Power Delivery functionality of the dock with these machines. If you attempt to use PD you will need to power cycle the dock EVERY TIME. That’s right - you will need to unplug and plug in the power every single time in order to use an external display. Anker has acknowledged this flaw and developed firmware that requires a Windows machine with USB-C. That’s right, solve an issue between the Mac and the Dock with windows and even still, they could not give me a clear answer if it was going to actually fix the problem - I cant test because I don’t know anyone with a Windows machine that has USB-C. No shortage of computers - there are 7 computers in my house between personal and work machines and they’re all Macs!

So to summarize.

M1 MacBook owners - don’t buy until Anker actually provides a widespread solution

Intel MacBook owners - I’ve tested on both intel based MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, you’re safe - it works fine so go ahead and buy it.

Windows users - who knows. lol.

We got it the 1st of your 6 mentions, there is a Windows update and you don’t have Windows.

image

Got it.

I read your other replies and it seems that support wants to help you. If you flash the exe with a Windows computer (you need admin access so a low-end Windows laptop will do) it will correct the dock internal drivers and not the machine drivers (such as your MacBook or library PC) and it will work. TL;DR .exe should universally fix it.

There’s two issues…

The fix involved Windows.
Doesn’t have windows. Vent Vent Vent Vent Vent Vent Vent

To run an exe requires a system with admin rights so won’t work on a shared system without admin. Library computer won’t permit.

Personally I keep an old laptop for just such a problem.

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@BRY83 I know you had issues using this, but my wife just got one of these last week and it works perfectly fine with the M1 macbook pro, even extending the display to an external screen without issues.

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Back again with another great review :clap:

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Whoops, sorry! :frowning: I edited my post to reflect this.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

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with or without power delivery? I had TWO different docks. Different monitors (Samsung & HP). Different HDMI cables (different brands) . Different M1 machines.

Only way I can ever get the external displays to work is to unplug the power cable from dock to power adapter and then, if needed plug back in to power

so unless Anker flashed their docks before shipping since December, I have no idea whats going on.

That’s with power delivery,