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Trying out the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 with Audio (2024)

My thoughts on the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 with Audio: setup, performance, design, and support.
Walter Biggs

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


January 11, 2024


I recently purchased the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 with Audio to simplify my desk setup. I have multiple devices that I need to connect on a daily basis - the dock in this regards quite helps with maintaining an orderly workspace. Below are my thoughts on the setup, daily usage, potential longevity concerns, and support.


Property Value Property Value
Brand HP Color Black
Hardware Interface VGA, USB, USB Docking Station, DisplayPort, Ethernet, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt Compatible Devices Notebook
Total USB Ports 4 Number of Ports 4
Item Weight 2.01 Pounds Wattage 120 watts


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Initial Setup Experience

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When it comes to setting up new tech, I like a process that is straightforward and complication-free. With the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 with Audio, I was looking for a neat solution to declutter my desk and seamlessly connect my devices. Unpacking the dock, I was immediately struck by its sleek design and compact size, which promised not to overwhelm my workspace.

Here’s a quick rundown of what stood out during the initial setup:

  • Ease of connectivity: With a USB Type C host interface, hooking up was a breeze. The plug-and-play nature meant I didn’t have to deal with installing drivers or additional software, which was a huge plus.

  • Number and variety of ports available: With four USB ports including three that are USB 3.0, a Network (RJ-45) port, VGA, DisplayPort, and even Thunderbolt, I was equipped to connect multiple devices simultaneously without needing extra adapters.

  • Compatibility: The box listed an impressive array of compatible HP notebooks, ensuring that device compatibility wouldn’t be an issue for most of the modern HP laptops.

  • Power delivery: The power supply wattage is 120W, which is more than adequate to keep my notebook charged while supporting all connected peripherals.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The placement of the Thunderbolt cable sticking out the front rather than the back felt somewhat awkward and could be a minor annoyance depending on desk layout. There’s also a bit of a learning curve when it comes to maximizing the potential of all these ports, especially if you’re driving multiple 4K monitors.

In terms of immediate experience, the setup was user-friendly, especially since I prefer to keep things minimalistic. It all connected with relative ease, which is always appreciated. The dock also had a reassuring weight to it, which helped it stay put on the desk – reducing the risk of a tug on the cable sending everything flying.

I quickly realized the perks; my workspace transformed from a mess of cables to a more organized and efficient station. The single USB-C connection to the laptop not only powered the device but also handled all peripheral connections, which is a neat feature if you like a tidy desk.

While the setup experience had its pros and cons, I lean towards a positive viewpoint. The HP Thunderbolt Dock provided the functionality I was looking for without a complicated setup. Of course, I remained cautious about potential compatibility and support issues down the line, but as for the initial setup - it was a win in my book.

Performance and Compatibility

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In evaluating the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 with Audio, my experience is mostly positive, particularly when considering its performance and compatibility with various HP notebooks, such as the EliteBook and ProBook series. Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts:


  • Robust construction with a weight of approximately 2.01 pounds.

  • A generous supply of ports, including four USB ports, of which three are USB 3.0.

  • Reliable wired connectivity through USB Type C, promoting fast data transfer and charging.

  • Multi-display support with VGA, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt ports.

  • High power output capability at 120 watts, suitable for larger notebooks.


  • There could be compatibility issues with non-HP devices, such as the Microsoft Surface.

  • Some users report intermittent display and USB connectivity issues.

The dual monitor setup was admittedly a breeze. With DisplayPort and Thunderbolt ports, I could connect two displays that significantly improved my productivity. It’s such a relief having all my peripherals linked to my laptop through a single USB-C connection. The 120W power supply also means I never worry about battery drain, even during the most intensive tasks.

However, it’s not all sunshine. I have encountered occasional hiccups, such as a USB port that occasionally disconnects. While these moments are fleeting, they’re frustrating when you’re in the thick of work. And though the dock has broad compatibility with HP notebooks, I’ve heard murmurs of discontent about non-HP products. A friend mentioned his Surface Pro 7 not playing well with the dock after a few months - an issue HP should definitely look into.

One standout feature is the audio functionality - a gamechanger when attending virtual meetings. The convenience of not needing separate speakers has de-cluttered my workspace.

But what about the ergonomic design of the dock? Well, I did knock off a metaphorical star for the awkwardly placed TB3 cable. It’s a minor inconvenience, but an annoyance nonetheless.

Overall, my verdict leans towards the positive. I appreciate the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 for its straightforward utility and robustness. If you’re nestled in the HP ecosystem and desire simplicity in connecting multiple devices, it’s a worthy investment. Just bear in mind the potential issues which, in my case, have been more of the exception rather than the rule.

Features and Design Analysis

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The HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 with Audio strikes a good balance between convenience and functionality, even if it’s not without its flaws. As someone who values a clutter-free workspace, the idea of having a single hub that connects all my devices is appealing. Here’s a breakdown:


  • Simplifies desk setup with one cable connection

  • Supports multiple display outputs including VGA, DisplayPort, and Thunderbolt

  • Comes with a total of 4 USB ports, with 3 of them being USB 3.0

  • The 120W power supply is more than adequate for most HP notebooks

  • Ability to wake or power on the laptop using the button on the dock


  • Awkward positioning of the TB3 cable on the dock

  • Occasional firmware issues with displays and USB connections

Right out of the box, the dock’s robust build gives a sense of durability, and at 2.01 pounds, it doesn’t feel like a lightweight, cheaply made product. The all-black color scheme is sleek and unobtrusive, blending well with my existing tech.

When it comes to connectivity, the four USB ports — including three USB 3.0 — make a difference for all my peripherals. Being able to hook up everything from external hard drives to my smartphone for quick access and efficient charging can’t be understated.

The promise of dual 4K display support is impressive, though it requires a slight workaround by connecting one monitor to the TB3 downstream connector. Despite this, the visual presentation is sharp and responsive when set up correctly. I also appreciate the option to connect older monitors through the VGA port, which can be a lifesaver in a more traditional office environment.

As for the audio aspect, the integrated speakerphone feature is a nice touch, especially in the world of endless video conferences. Disappointingly though, some users have reported intermittent issues, which is a tad concerning for something marketed with ‘Audio’ in its name.

While the dock’s ability to power my laptop via USB-C adds to its allure, the placement of the TB3 cable on the front is not ideal. I wouldn’t say it’s a deal-breaker, but it certainly detracts from what could be a seamless design.

I must acknowledge that there are reports of glitches and failures, which I have witnessed to a lesser extent. These technical hiccups form a cloud over what is otherwise a sunny experience. It’s frustrating when products don’t consistently deliver, and dock standards should be no different. Despite this, my usage has been largely positive, with the multi-functionality outweighing the occasional bumps encountered along the way.

Longevity and Support Issues

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Assessing the longevity and support associated with a product is paramount—whether it’s the sleek HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 or another tech gadget. In my personal experience, I’ve found a few aspects worth considering:

  • Durability: My HP dock has been consistently reliable. It handles everyday connections and disconnections with ease. However, after a year or so, some users have reported intermittent issues with displays and USB connections.

  • Support: Dealing with a lack of timely firmware updates can be frustrating. It seems essential updates to rectify known issues might not always be forthcoming.

  • Warranty: The limited warranty period can be a drawback. If the device malfunctions shortly after this period, you may encounter challenges with getting repairs or replacements without additional costs.

To expand on these points, let’s talk about durability first. The build of this docking station is solid, and it’s been able to withstand my daily use without showing signs of wear. In fact, I’ve been using it with my HP Elite x2 and it has proven itself quite indispensable, especially when connecting multiple devices. The weight of 2.01 pounds feels reassuring of its quality build.

Support, on the other hand, can be hit or miss. While HP is a reputable brand, some users have encountered issues that were not promptly addressed through updates. For a gadget that holds such a crucial role in a workstation setup, swift and effective support is crucial.

Warranty is another aspect that might raise eyebrows. The one-year warranty is fairly standard, but in today’s throwaway culture, we expect products to have a longer lifespan, especially from a company as established as HP. Discovering that a warranty ran out before the purchase date, as some users mentioned, is alarming and does not instill confidence.

From a personal standpoint, the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2 has served me well, with connectivity and performance meeting my expectations for my HP notebook and dual-monitor setup. It’s a user-friendly device that simplifies my workflow, eliminating the hassle of multiple cables and connectors. Yet, I am aware that my experience might not be universal, as seen with other users encountering issues post the warranty period.

In conclusion, while I lean towards a positive view of the HP Thunderbolt Dock 120W G2—especially for its design and functionality—it’s worth noting that potential buyers should be mindful of support and longevity concerns, particularly regarding firmware updates and warranty limitations. It may be wise to research and consider an extended warranty or to be prepared for the possibility of addressing technical issues independently after the standard warranty lapses.