Want to create the ultimate mega-desk? Well, there is one accessory that can make that happen for your MacBook. Anker’s new 10-in-1 USB C hub allows M1-equipped MacBooks to connect to three external displays, whether it's the MacBook Air M1, MacBook Pro M1 or the newer MacBook Pro 14-inch or MacBook Pro 16-inch.
The Anker 563 dock ($249) has 10 ports, including USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm audio and Ethernet. But how it makes the triple MacBook displays possible is through its display connectors, which are two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort. One HDMI port is capable of 4K at 30Hz, and the second HDMI port and the DisplayPort can do 2K (or 1440p) at 60Hz refresh rate.
A 30Hz refresh rate may not give the smoothest output, but it will work well if you’re surfing the web or working with various productivity software like word processors or spreadsheet applications.
Another caveat we must point out is that you will have to download DisplayLink software on your M1 MacBook for this to work, but the results can be a bit unpredictable.
The Anker 563 dock is more than just its display ports. The USB-C port can provide up to 100W of power to the machine it is connected to. Another USB-C port provides 5Gbps of data transfer speeds and 30W of power delivery. There’s also a DC input for powering the dock. The two USB-A 2.0 ports are great for accessories like mice and keyboards. The hub can really help you get the most from your MacBook or any laptop for that matter.
This is not the first dock on-the-block to offer multiple display support for Macs. Hyper had announced a pair of USB docks last year that could connect the MacBook M1 to two external displays.
Apple missed the boat on providing better native external screen support with its first-gen Apple Silicon MacBooks. Luckily, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max have support for multiple external displays. We hope Apple expands this to more than one display with its M2 MacBook lineup so we don’t have to shell out more money on USB docks.