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Review: Dockcase Studio - A USB Type-C 8-in-1 smart hub with an integrated touchscreen

I always look forward to getting my hands on unique gadgets that do something a little different to the norm. The Dockcase Studio is a Kickstarter project that went live on the 4th of June with an offer price that will run for 30 days. Delivery is expected in August, and Dockcase reached out to me to offer an early unit to give an honest opinion and some valuable feedback before the final units are ready.

The Studio combines the functionality of a laptop-style docking station with 4K 120Hz HDMI output, a card reader (CFexpress Type A & Type B, SD (UHS-II), Micro SD) and a USB hub - What's not to like?

Dockcase Studio

The Studio 8-in-1 connects to a host computer via USB-C and retail units will come with a 40Gbps/240W compatible braided cable in the box. It's a little short at around 30cm in length, but it does the job.

Dockcase Studio

The Studio housing is made entirely of metal, with glass covering the entirety of the top fascia, and as the title says, a small touchscreen is housed under that glass to display details and metrics based on what is plugged into the Studio, including current transfer standards, transfer speeds, power draw levels and more.


Material Aluminium alloy, tempered glass
Screen 1.9" 16-bit LCD
CFexpress Type-A Up to 800MB/s
CFexpress Type-B Up to 1000MB/s
SD & Micro SD UHS-II up to 312MB/s
HDMI 4K 120Hz, 8K 30Hz
USB-C (data) 10Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen 2
USB-A (data) 10Gbps, USB 3.2 Gen 2
USB-C (power input) USB-PD 100W (20V, 5A)
Included cable 40Gbps, 100W PD
Dimensions 97.8 x 55 x 17.8mm (L x W x H)
Weight 118g
Shipping August 2024
Price $139 (30-day offer duration from 4th June 2024)


The touchscreen at first sounded like a bit of a gimmick, but the more I used the Studio the more I realised how useful it was. I was able to see if certain cards were being detected properly, as well as the active speed of transfer on a CFexpress card. Temperatures are also displayed in the top corner.

Dockcase Studio UI

Navigating the UI is also simple: tap a connected card/device square to open it and swipe to go back.

The HDMI port supports up to 8K 30Hz, although the best mode is, of course, 4K 120Hz. For this to be possible, though, Dockcase says that you must meet the following GPU requirements on the host computer - "4K@120Hz requires the USB-C interface of the Windows computer to use one of the following graphics cards as the video output source: 1. NVIDIA RTX 20 Series or newer, 2. AMD RX5000M Series or newer 3. AMD Radeon 600M Series or newer".

Dockcase Studio review


For these tests, I used a ProGrade Gold CFexpress Type-B card rated to 1700MB/s read & 1400MB/s write, a SanDisk Extreme U3 SD card rated to 150MB/s read & 75MB/s write, and a USB Type-C connected SATA SSD rated to 560MB/s read & 530MB/s write.

The cables I used are all rated up to 20Gbps for reference, which left enough headroom to see if the Studio could max out its 10Gbps bandwidth, which on an unrestricted device is capable of data transfers of up to 1250MB/s.

Dockcase Studio

For benchmarking, I used CrystalDiskMark and completed 3-5 runs on each card/drive, swapping between host USB-C ports on my PC motherboard, which vary between 10Gbps and 20Gbps. The best results are as shown below:

SanDisk 128GB SD card Samsung 8TB SATA SSD via Type-C

Dockcase Studio

Dockcase Studio

128GB CFexpress Type-B via Dockcase cable 128GB CFexpress Type-B via alt cable

Dockcase Studio

Dockcase Studio

As you can see, the SD card and SATA SSD both maximised their rated specs, I expected nothing less here as even the most basic card readers are capable of these speeds. It's the CFexpress speeds where things got interesting. For some reason, the stock Dockcase cable was unable to hit anywhere close to the rated speeds for reading or writing.

Dockcase Studio review

I repeated the run multiple times only to get the same results. I swapped out the Dockcase cable for one of my third-party ones, which then achieved just over 1000MB/s read and just over 614MB/s write. These values are not near the rated maximum the CFexpress card supports due to the limit imposed by the 10Gbps capability of the Studio, which means a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 1250MB/s would otherwise be possible.

Still, even though the card's limit wasn't reached, 1000MB/s is extremely quick to read, as is 600MB/s to write to the CFexpress slot.

Dockcase Studio

I reached out to Dockcase to explain the situation with the stock cable, and further testing between conversations showed that there was an issue with the cable itself. Dockcase will be sending out a new cable once they have contacted the cable manufacturer, this may only affect my review sample so I will re-visit this when the replacement arrives.

The HDMI output seems to work well, although my laptop doesn't have a capable GPU for the full 120Hz at 4K, nothing much else to add here, it works as any dock would.


Dockcase Studio

There's only one real annoyance that would affect me: since the Studio is aimed at creatives, I found that the lack of a Compact Flash card slot meant that I still had to keep another card reader nearby whenever I needed to pull media off my DSLR's CF card. I would consider the CF card still to be a card for creatives and professionals alike since it's still found on various cameras today.

Dockcase Studio review

A random quirk I discovered is that if the touchscreen is interacted with, then when returning to the home screen, after a short period of time, and even with cards/devices connected, the screen will lose indication of what's connected, and all the icons will go yellow which typically denotes nothing is connected. This only affects the screen, though, as connected cards still work, just without being able to use the screen until the host cable is reconnected and the screen comes back into action again.

Dockcase Studio review

The screen is very bright! There is no option to dim the screen. As the photo above shows, the screen is brighter than the QD-OLED monitor there. This is quite distracting at times when I am transferring files between cards and drives whilst working in dim lighting, which I like to do often when editing.

Dockcase Studio

There is a screensaver option in the settings menu, but the lowest it goes is 5 minutes, and it only seems to kick in after 5 minutes of inactivity, which is of no use if you're transferring large amounts of files to a slower card, which takes time.

I also found that during long transfers, the Aluminium housing got quite warm, especially when transferring to the faster CFexpress card. Probably a good thing it's made of Aluminium to exhaust the heat efficiently.


The Dockcase Studio is a funky little gadget. It's something different in a sea of generic-looking card readers and hubs. Is the screen a novelty? Perhaps. It does have its uses, but it also lacks any form of genuine customisation, which is something I would have expected at a $139 starting price. Although maybe that's just the power user in me that expects that I don't know.

I guess you do pay a premium for something unique and built with high-quality materials. However, some areas have been forgotten, like the fact that there are no anti-slip pads on the underside, just Aluminium, so it will slide about and scratch surfaces if you're not careful.

Dockcase Studio

I ended up sticking some sticky-backed rubber domes that I had spare to mitigate this problem. Does the job nicely, but you should not have to do something like this at this price point.

Dockcase's Kickstarter page states that the firmware can be upgraded, so it will be interesting to see what new features get added as time goes on. Personally, I would like to see more customisation, and better implementation of the gesture controls to navigate the menus.

Dockcase Studio

I found myself getting plenty of failed taps as I kept treating the screen like a smartphone capacitive display. A bit of authority is needed for every tap or swipe for it to register the first time, it seems.

It is indeed expensive, but as mentioned, a premium is paid for something different, and I am OK with that. If Dockcase can address some of the issues before the August shipments are ready, then that would be awesome.

I also feel that a carry pouch should be included with all backer options, even after it leaves Kickstarter, to protect the housing and somewhere to store the cable, too. If other brands that are much cheaper can bundle cases and pouches in the box, then this should have one too.

Update: 2024.06.11
Dockcase have released a firmware update that resolves the random touchscreen quirk I mentioned earlier, and the cable that ships with the retail units has been updated to support 240W of PD, as well as being braided. This detail has been updated in the initial info in this review.

Very good
Dockcase Studio
Quality craftsmanship Informative touchscreen Performance 4K 120Hz HDMI 100W Power Delivery
No anti-slip on the underside Unable to customise the touchscreen Touch gestures don't always register No screen brightness control No Compact Flash slot Expensive
August 2024


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