I want to be both a Mac and a PC...

Post date: 2021-10-20 08:37:22
Views: 30
TL;DR - is there a docking station that will allow me to use my two monitors, external keyboard, and mouse, with both my work Dell laptop (currently connecting to a Dell WD15 docking station using USB-C) and one of the new M1 Mac minis?

The too long part: while I was waiting on the release of the new MacBook Pros, I realized that I almost never use a laptop as a laptop. In fact, I hate using a laptop as a laptop - the screen is too small, the keyboard makes me bend my wrists in uncomfortable ways, and I hate using trackpads. So instead of a new MBP, I'm looking at one of the new M1 Mac minis instead.

However, I'd like to be able to switch back and forth between my work Dell and the Mac mini, preferably by just swapping a USB-C cable from one to the other. In my mind it would work like this:

1. Docking station has both monitors, my keyboard, and mouse attached - monitors are Dell P2719H, with one using HDMI and the other using DisplayPort, keyboard and mouse are USB-A connections.
2. Plug in Dell laptop using USB-C cable during the day, work, obtain money.
3. Unplug Dell laptop at end of work day, place in backpack (work-life balance, y'all).
4. Plug in Mac mini using USB-C cable, have access to both monitors, keyboard, and mouse, play Minecraft. I would expect the Mac mini to need to use the power supply that came with it, and not charge off the USB-C connection.

From reading, I know that there are issues with the M1 Macs and dual monitors. The M1 Mac mini can run dual monitors, but expects one to be plugged in directly to the computer using HDMI and the other plugged directly into the computer using USB-C.

What I'm looking for, and can't seem to find, is whether I can plug a docking station into one of the USB-C ports on the Mac mini and have it see my monitors, keyboard, and mouse. I've looked at various products from CalDigit and Logitech, but nothing I can find seems to definitively give a way to make this work, especially using both a Mac and a PC.

I'm hoping someone here either has direct, hands-on experience with this, or can point me to somewhere that I haven't seen yet that explains what can and cannot be done in detail.
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