The idea behind the Anker 675 Docking Station is great, combining laptop stand and USB-C dock into one simple unit. The problem is it ends up stretching itself too thin and ends up missing the mark as a result.
the good bits
Decent selection of ports
Neat all in one design
Build in wireless charging pad
the not so good bits
Only one external video output
Surface is prone to marks
Unreliable performance with Windows
Anker 675 USB-C Docking Station
As laptops start to ditch their onboard port selection in favour of just a couple of USB-C inputs, adapters and hubs are becoming close to a necessity. While sitting at home on your laptop you can probably get away without, if you’re using a laptop for work you’ll need a little support.
Anker has history when it comes to cables, powerbanks and adapters so the Anker 675 USB-C Docking Station should be right in their wheelhouse. The 675 is part USB hub, part monitor stand – a 12-in-1 attempt at solving all of your problems at once. It’s £250 though so will need to deliver on that promise to earn a spot on your desk.
When I first saw the Anker 675 Docking Station I couldn’t help but wonder why it had taken so long for a product like this to exist. On paper it just makes sense, take all the inner workings and connections of a 12-in-1 USB hub and hide them inside the frame of a laptop stand. From a form factor standpoint, there’s a lot to admire here.
Rolling with a pretty businessy vibe, the 675’s various hues of gunmetal are pleasant and should fit in nicely with darker, more industrial office setups. For those bright and breezy scandi spaces things won’t be in quite such harmony though and it’s surprising not to see a second, lighter colourway on offer. The edges are all gently rounded off which does soften the look but at more than half a metre across, it’s still a sizeable lump on any desk.
The matte top surface is pitched as ‘aircraft-grade aluminium alloy’ however I noticed it’s particularly prone to scuffs and marks. While through a few weeks of testing these rarely seemed to be permanent, the Anker 675 Docking Station can quickly look a little beat up by the end of a busy week and in need of a damp wipe down to reset things. The end panels are solid plastic but a rubberised bottom means the 675 won’t go sliding around your desk. The quality takes a bizarre dip though with an inlay of shiny silver plastic around the ports on the end panel. It feels so out of place, it’s the kind of thing you’d expect to find wrapping a cheap Christmas ornament, not a £250 office accessory.
At a glance the minimalist exterior defies just how much the Anker 675 tries to achieve but through weeks of testing I found how successfully it achieved everything to be rather hit and miss.
The variety of inputs offered by the Anker 675 USB-C Docking Station is admirable. Split between the exposed end panel and the sneaky hidden area underneath you’ll find an HDMI port capable of 4K, 3 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C ports, a SD/microSD card slot, a headphone jack and a gigabit ethernet port. That’s quite a bit, particularly when you consider it’s handling your laptop power connection too, all through a single USB-C cable.
But while the simplicity of this one cable solution is excellent, I fear it’s also the source of the Anker 675’s shortcomings – it’s just trying to do too much at once. Throughout testing I used the 675 with a Dell XPS 15 running Windows 11 and I’ll say upfront it’s entirely possible that the operating system shoulders some of the blame. This setup isn’t unusual though so even if it’s Windows falling down under the stress, the stress came from the Anker 675.
The first gripe from my laptop was immediate, power. I used the supplied Anker power adapter which feeds both the docking station itself and whatever device it’s attached to. Windows didn’t like this and forever moaned at me about low power supply and slow charging, sometimes even offering a pre-boot BIOS screen to flag the issue. I didn’t notice this throttling performance so this may be a false flag.
The wireless charging pad built into the top of the 675 is a neat touch and worked well. I often had co-workers asking to leave their phone on my dock and I never noticed a drop in performance as a result with wireless charging speeds in line with what you’d expect from any standard Qi pad.
For a £250 docking station, being limited to a single HDMI display is an odd choice by Anker. I don’t know many office workers who get by on a single screen so being limited to continuing to use your laptop’s in-built display alongside an external monitor is disappointing here. While my second screen did happily connect and work throughout, I ended up having to sit my laptop angled and half hanging off the Anker 675 to have some level of comfortable visual flow between my screens. The result is more akin to having two side by side, separate workspaces rather than a seamless canvas of screen. It’s fine, but it’s not ideal.
For other inputs things are far more successful and you start to get a sense of why the Anker 675 looks so good on paper. Cable management is really cleverly considered and I found it easy to neatly run various connections through the underbody channels. The various USB devices I connected were all recognised and behaved as if they were directly connected. The same is true of the headphone jack which worked seamlessly and I was able to reliably pump strong network speeds through the ethernet port.
The main problem that holds the Anker 675 back from being a genuinely useful work companion is reliability. A unit like this needs to be a set and forget experience, I shouldn’t have to constantly worry whether Windows will recognise my external monitor, whether my keyboard will let me wake my laptop or if my headphones will suddenly give way and blast my Teams meeting out of the laptop speakers instead. Sadly, I found snags like this to be all too common and I think it comes back to the Anker 675 trying to do too much all at once.
The Anker 675 USB-C Docking Station feels like a final prototype rather than a finished product. It’s nearly there, it’s a great idea but when it comes to day to day use it feels a little undercooked.
It’s also almost prohibitively expensive. £250 puts it well beyond the cost of a traditional laptop stand and comparable USB-C dock, there’s value in a combined setup but not enough to fill that void – and separate dock is likely to handle multiple video outputs too.