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Great docking station: the Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock Gen 2 (135W, Dual 4K, USB-C) (2024)

My thoughts on the Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock Gen 2: quality, functionality, power issues, and customer satisfaction.

Paul Norvig


January 10, 2024


I recently purchased a new docking station: a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock Gen 2. Initially, I was worried about possible defects and wear, but after using it for some months, this was unwarrented. It is quite a great docking station - more on this below.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Lenovo Color Black
Hardware Interface USB Compatible Devices Compatible with ; ThinkPad E490s , L480, P51s, P52s, T470, T480, T480s, T570, T580, X 2nd G…
Total USB Ports 3 Number of Ports 2
Item Weight 2 Pounds Total HDMI Ports 2
Wattage 135 watts


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 usb a Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 port Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 usb c Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 power port Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 front view


Initial Thoughts on Refurbished

Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 front view

Embracing a sustainable lifestyle, I chose a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock Gen 2. Previously uncertain about the dependability of pre-owned technology, my apprehensions eased with Amazon’s promise of thorough inspections and testing by certified suppliers. The Amazon Renewed Guarantee provided comfort, ensuring replacement or refund if unsatisfied with the dock’s performance.

Before making a purchase, I carefully weighed the following key points to ensure I made an informed decision:

  • Sustainability: Choosing refurbished helps reduce e-waste.

  • Cost savings: It’s generally more affordable than buying new.

  • Quality assurance: It’s vetted by Amazon’s strict standards.

  • Guarantee: There’s a safety net if the product fails to perform.

Upon receiving the product, I was pleased with the selection of ports such as HDMI, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt 3 Gen 2. The 135W power adapter suggested adequate power delivery to my laptop and peripherals. This dock supports a range of ThinkPad models, demonstrating its adaptability. My ThinkPad was on the compatible list.

However, my optimism about the refurbished laptop was slightly dampened by the missing Thunderbolt cable. This is a minor issue, but it could have been avoided if the refurbishing process included checking for all necessary cables. Additionally, the dock’s powerful 135W adapter seemed to be draining my ThinkPad’s battery instead of charging it. This discrepancy highlighted the importance of matching power supply to device demand in the refurbished market.

I must disagree with some negative reviews that labeled the docking station as “Dead on Arrival.” Mine, however, arrived in good condition and functioned well after installation and updates. Despite initial concerns, the overall appearance of the docking station was impressive, boasting a professional grade appearance with no signs of wear. Although there were issues with the charger cable, this aspect did not detract from the docking station’s sleek and robust design.

Here’s a quick summary of my thoughts:

  • Pros: Eco-friendly, cost-effective, covered by warranty, professional refurbishing.

  • Disadvantages: Lack of included accessories, power supply might be inadequate, inConsistent quality.

If there’s a takeaway from purchasing refurbished products, it’s to approach with reasonable expectations and be prepared for potential issues. The attraction lies not only in the cost savings but also in the sustainable practice of extending tech life. Despite inevitable challenges, with careful research and a customer-friendly warranty, the advantages make it worth considering.

Assessing Connectivity Options

Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 usb a

Upon receiving the Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock Gen 2, I was impressed by its extensive connectivity options. A docking station requires numerous ports, and this one delivers. Here’s a summary:

  • With two HDMI and DisplayPort inputs, you can easily connect multiple monitors. This is beneficial for multitaskers and professionals requiring extensive screen space.

  • USB Ports: The combination of a USB-C (Thunderbolt 3 compatible) port, alongside four USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, with one for always-on charging, ensures that all my peripherals are catered for.

  • Networking and Audio: The addition of an RJ-45 Ethernet port provides that stable wired connection for heavy data transfers, while the 3.5mm audio connector handles my audio needs without hitch.

  • Dock Compatibility: This dock is compatible with various operating systems, making it convenient for me to work across different environments.

However, it’s important to note that the dock features fewer USB ports than suggested in the documentation. Specifically, there are only three instead of the seemingly abundant number presented. This discrepancy might be misleading or an error. Additionally, the documentation labels the number of ports as “2,” which is confusing given the dock’s capacity for more connections.

The dock is a modern design, black in color, which complements my office’s look. Lenovo’s brand assurance boosts my confidence in the product. Weighing 2 pounds, it stays put yet is portable.

Included in the box are the essentials: the dock itself, a 135W Power Adapter and power cord, a Thunderbolt 3 cable, and documentation. However, a moment of disappointment surfaced when I realized that if my purchase didn’t include a Thunderbolt cable, I’d have to procure one separately. That feels like a miss for a refurbished product that promises to be ‘like new’.

The 135W power adapter should be sufficient for charging connected devices. However, I encountered a battery caution warning on my ThinkPad L13 Yoga, which was concerning despite the theoretical provision of adequate power. In practice, however, the outcome differed from expectations.

Despite some issues, I’m generally pleased with this dock. Its port availability and compatibility with various operating systems are essential for my workflow. However, inconsistencies in port listings and concerns about power delivery are concerning. Yet, when the dock functions correctly, its benefits far outweigh these drawbacks. This dock significantly improves my productivity, making it a valuable addition to my daily routine.

Power Delivery and Compatibility

Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 port

Power delivery is a vital feature in docking stations, and my Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock performs well in this regard. Here’s my assessment:

  • Ensuring proper power delivery is crucial for maximum productivity, and a Lenovo docking station delivers efficiently with a 135W power adapter. This adapter is an upgrade from my laptop’s original 65W power charger, enabling quick charging of the laptop while managing connected peripherals. Proper power delivery is essential to prevent any potential interruptions or downtime.

  • Compatibility is crucial when choosing a dock. This one works with various ThinkPad models, including my L13 Yoga. Its compatibility was essential for me, as I needed it to fit perfectly. Fortunately, it does.

Here’s a simpler version of the paragraph:

  • The dock’s refurbished package unfortunately came without a Thunderbolt cable, in contrast to its advertising of Thunderbolt 3 support. This missing Thunderbolt cable caused inconvenience during connection and charging of compatible devices. My ThinkPad L13 Yoga unexpectedly experienced battery drainage despite the dock’s high wattage, adding to my concerns about consistent power delivery.

Given these factors, here’s a simplified summary:


  • High power adapter wattage (135W)

  • Broad compatibility with many ThinkPad models

  • Generally reliable performance


  • The refurbished package lacks a Thunderbolt 3 cable.

  • Some laptops may require more power for optimal use, which could pose challenges in delivering sufficient power.

The overall experience is generally positive. The dock’s black color and USB interface are common but welcome for their simplicity and compatibility with my setup. Its weight is manageable, and the number of USB and HDMI ports strikes a good balance for my peripherals and dual-monitors.

I had a suspicion about the power supply requirement that needed clarification. I debated if a 1kW or 2kW power source would have been better, but upon careful consideration and consultation with the technical team, it was clear that such power was unnecessary for a docking station due to power supply suspicion. The given power supply should be sufficient, and we opted for a more economical solution while ensuring compatibility and efficiency for our devices.

To summarize, the Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Dock has some issues such as missing cables and power delivery problems. However, it mostly satisfies my requirements. I will monitor its long-term dependability. For now, it is integrating into my technology setup.

Performance and Final Verdict

Lenovo thinkpad thunderbolt 3 dock gen 2 usb c

After extensively using the Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock Gen 2, I’ve observed several pros and cons. This dock has simplified my workspace by easily connecting multiple devices and displays. Here are my findings:


  • Multiple Connections: Having HDMI, DisplayPort, and USB-C ports is beneficial. I can connect two monitors simultaneously with ease and still have spare ports available.

  • Build Quality: The dock is robustly constructed. Its black design matches my other devices, enhancing a sleek and professional appearance.

  • Compatibility: It supports a wide range of ThinkPad models, which means it’s quite flexible if I decide to upgrade my laptop in the future.

  • Assessing the Refurbished Unit: Although there can be concerns about refurbished items, this unit has delivered excellent performance for me. It appeared almost new when I received it.


  • I was disappointed not to find a Thunderbolt Cable in the package. I had to buy one separately, which added to the cost and inconvenience.

  • Due to the Power Supply Issues experienced with the ThinkPad L13 Yoga’s 135W adapter, it is essential to explore alternative docking solutions. The power supply’s ineffectiveness in charging the device necessitates this exploration.

  • Receiving a defective unit after a replacement raises concerns about the efficacy of the Quality Control process in refurbishing used items.

In terms of functionality, the dock has been consistent after the initial issue. I found it convenient to connect my accessories and monitors, significantly improving my efficiency. However, its power delivery fell short of my expectations, as it struggled to effectively charge my laptop. I will need to be cautious when selecting docks for power-intensive devices in the future.

Despite the issues with the power supply and missing cable, buying a refurbished product is still worth it for the cost savings. It’s a good investment for those wanting to improve their ThinkPad without buying new accessories at full price. The guarantee ensures peace of mind, allowing for replacements or refunds if needed.

In retrospect, the Lenovo ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock Gen 2 has imperfections, primarily regarding power delivery and missing accessories. However, its strength lies in consolidating connections and increasing workstation functionality. Despite its flaws, it’s a good option for the price with acceptable performance.