Humanscale M/Connect 2 Laptop Docking Station Review: Invaluable Innovation

When we were offered the Humanscale M/Connect 2 for review, I was extremely excited and could not wait to try it out. Coming off the heels of our Humanscale M8.1 monitor arm review, we came to appreciate Humanscale as a top-tier brand that designs and creates quality, effective products which increase both comfort and productivity. The M/Connect 2 is a unique product which combines the base of a monitor arm with the ports of a standard laptop docking station. By eliminating a standalone dock, the M/Connect 2 increases desk space and is arguably the most cable management friendly docking station ever created.

Unboxing & Overview

The M/Connect 2 comes in a box with its various components and wires separated into secure compartments. Each component is covered in plastic or bubble wrap and is packaged well.

humanscale m/connect 2 unboxing

Here is everything removed from the box.

humanscale m/connect 2 unboxed

The M/Connect we received is the silver with gray trim model however it also comes in white or black. The Underdesk Dock is the black box seen in the middle, the power brick and power cord for the next to it are for the Desktop Hub (far left). The gray USB Type-C cable is used to connect the M/Connect 2 to your computer. Additional screws, Allen keys as well as a metal bracket which can be attached to the aforementioned USB Type-C cable to ensure that it is not disconnected.

humanscale m/connect 2 and accessories

Here’s the left side of the Underdesk Dock, there are two DisplayPorts and one ethernet port. These DisplayPort connections can run up to two 4K monitors or one 5K monitor.

humanscale m/connect 2 underdesk dock

On the opposite side are three USB 3.0 Type-A data ports, one of which is a “high charging port”. There is also a port to connect the data wire between the Underdesk Dock and Desktop Hub.

humanscale m/connect 2 underdesk dock usb ports

Underneath the Underdesk Dock you can see the metal frame that holds the device together and allows it to be merged with the Desktop Hub.

humanscale m/connect 2 underdesk dock desk clamp

On the left side of the Desktop Hub are a power connector, power button and a USB Type-C port. The USB Type-C port is used to connect the M/Connect 2 to your laptop or desktop.

humanscale m/connect 2 desktop hub

There is a cover where a monitor arm mount can be installed. You can also use the M/Connect 2 without a monitor arm, this configuration is known as a Stand Alone Split Dock.

humanscale m/connect 2 gray

The front has two USB Type-A data ports and a 3.5mm audio/microphone jack. The little circle on the end is a power indicator.

humanscale m/connect 2 desktop hub usb audio ports

On the right side of the Desktop Hub are two dedicated USB charging ports, one Type-C and one Type-A. For security purposes, these can only be used to charge devices such as a smartphone. In work environments where access to computers from outside devices is tightly controlled, this is a valuable and unique feature. There is a Kensington Security Lock Slot at the end. You can also see the wire that allows the Desktop Hub and Underdesk Dock to communicate., it will eventually be plugged in to the Underdesk Dock.

humanscale m/connect 2 desktop hub ports

The underside of the Desktop Hub is covered in a protective foam which will prevent the top of your desk from being damaged.

humanscale m/connect 2 desktop hub underneath

Installation

Here are the included installation instructions. Not the best in the world and I could see how first timers might be confused but it’s really quite easy to install the M/Connect 2 once you understand how it works.

humanscale m/connect 2 installation instructions

First, we removed the plate on the top of the Desktop Hub. This was accomplished by removing two screws from underneath. Then we attached the monitor arm mount, dropped a bolt down the center and tightened it to secure it. We used a long Allen Key to tighten the bolt.

humanscale m connect 2 desktop hub monitor arm adapter

Here you can see the end of the bolt after we screwed it all the way in.

humanscale m connect 2 desktop hub monitor arm adapter screw

Next, we connected the Desktop Hub and Underdesk Dock.

humanscale m/connect 2 desktop hub and underdesk dock

Here’s a side shot of the two devices connected.

humanscale m/connect 2 underdesk dock installed

Like the regular M8.1 desk clamp, which has two portions, the Desktop Hub has two screws exposed on the end of its back extension. The Underdesk Dock has a plate with two holes. Put the plate over the exposed screws, then tighten them.

humanscale m connect 2 underdesk dock desktop hub connected

Here is the M/Connect 2 compared to the M8.1 desk clamp. The Desktop Hub is not much larger yet has the myriad port, connections and capabilities of a complex laptop docking station. This is Humanscale at their best, they take a boring, bulky device like a laptop dock and transform it into a sleek work of art that you’ll never want to live without.

humanscale m/connect 2 vs m8.1 desk clamp

The backside of the M/Connect 2. The word Humanscale is present on the back extension of the Desktop Hub.

humanscale m/connect 2 underdesk dock desktop hub backside

The wire from the Desktop Hub plugged into the Underdesk Dock.

humanscale m/connect 2 underdesk dock desktop hub connection wire

Next, we attached the M/Connect 2 to our desk and again as we did with the M8.1 desk clamp, we added a small piece of cardboard between our glass desktop and the screws from the Underdesk Dock. Our only suggestion to Humanscale is to add a layer of foam or rubber padding to their desktop clamps where the metal ends contact the underside of the desk. For those who have expensive wooden or glass desks, this would be a welcome and appreciated improvement.

humanscale m connect 2 underdesk dock desk protection

At last, here we have it, the Humanscale M/Connect 2 installed and ready for the monitor arm! You can use any of Humanscale’s fantastic monitor arms including the M2.1, M8.1 and M10.

humanscale m/connect 2 installed

Here’s our M8.1 monitor arm mounted to the M/Connect 2. It is such a beautiful and wonderfully well-made monitor arm and the perfect companion to the M/Connect.

humanscale m connect 2 with m8.1 monitor arm

We mounted our 38” LG ultrawide monitor to the M8.1. There’s just something about that display and monitor arm combo that looks perfect!

humanscale m/connect 2 m8.1 monitor arm lg 38 ultrawide

Our Microsoft Surface Book 2 was used to test the M/Connect 2 and everything functioned flawlessly the first time. Windows 10 auto detected the drivers and like magic, we no longer need the Surface Dock or a mess of cables on the desk.

Conclusion

The Humanscale M/Connect 2 is takes the traditional laptop docking station and substantially reduces its footprint while maintaining all the capabilities we’ve come to rely on such as the ability to connect all your peripherals and wired ethernet connection to one device. As with all Humanscale products, the M/Connect 2 is a premium product for professionals who want consistent performance and stout reliability. Just like a monitor arm, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never go back to your previous setup.

performance computer editors choice award

We were thoroughly impressed with the M/Connect 2 and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to further enhance their work experience with the power of a laptop docking station combined with the ergonomics and increased comfort of a quality monitor arm!

You can purchase the M/Connect 2 directly from Humanscale here.

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Humanscale M/Connect 2