Out of the box, the Sabrent 6-Port Docking Station doesn't feel like a cheap piece of kit. Yet here it comes, trundling onto the Steam Deck accessories scene at an audaciously low $30. That's a darn sight cheaper than any Steam Deck Dock I've tested, and while the competition at this price is thin, there's no denying its superiority as a sterling choice of budget Steam Deck dock.
With USB 3.0 all around—three Type-As and an added Type-C to boot—the Sabrent dock has the upper hand against the original $40/£35 Jsaux Steam Deck Dock (opens in new tab) with its (frankly superfluous in 2023) USB 2.0 connections. The Sabrent even manages to match the $50 upgraded Jsaux Dock (opens in new tab)'s connections. And although it forgoes the ethernet port (who's playing competitive online games on the Deck anyway?), you do get the fantastic addition of a USB Type-C 3.0 for charging peripherals or further storage—something we'd been dreaming of since the docks started dropping.
Connectivity: 3x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1x USB Type-C PD3.0, 1x USB 3.0 Type-C
Material: Textured plastic
Features: Rubber grips and feet, Power Delivery
The Sabrent's HDMI 2.0 connection does mean you're limited to 4K @60Hz, so if you ever decide to splash out on an 8K TV, you won't be able to make the most of it with this dock. Though if you can afford an 8K TV, you can probably afford to get the $90/£79 official Steam Deck dock with DisplayPort 1.4 port. Though how many 8K TVs sport DP? Anyway, the Steam Deck isn't exactly going to bench at 4K, let alone 8K, so unless you plan to use it as a movie player, it may be worth tempering your expectations a little. It's a $30 dock for crying out loud; surely, 4K is impressive enough.
As I said earlier, it doesn't look or feel like a cheap dock. It's plain black with a textured plastic finish, though it doesn't sound hollow when you tap it as some do. It may not be made from milled aluminum like the Jsaux designs, but at least it doesn't have any strange tribal markings making it look cheap. It's as sturdy as it needs to be for something that will just sit beside your TV for the foreseeable.
The Deck also sits up at a good angle in the Sabrent Dock; it doesn't lay back as far as the competition, so the cable doesn't feel like it's pushing against the port so much—one less thing to worry about. There's also enough headroom at the back so as not to block the vents, and with the USB Type-A ports on the side, there's a little more leeway for those with short controller cables.
My main issue is that this is yet another dock that leaves little room for a hard case. I guess it's expected across the board, and it does mean there's little wiggle room if you want to dock sans case—which is a good thing. Still, having to take the case off whenever I want to dock the Deck is pretty annoying.
When it comes down to it, this is a sturdy, well-built dock. It doesn't suffer from the lack of USB Type-C that the competition does, and it features up-to-date enough connections to recommend, especially at that price point. No, you won't get an ethernet connection, but for me, that's a fair trade for a spare USB Type-C port. Essentially, there is no competition at the low price of $30.