Laptop Docking Station

A laptop docking station, also known as a port replicator, is a device that allows a laptop to be used as a desktop workstation. With just one connection, it allows a host of peripherals to be used with the laptop. Using a station is also faster and more convenient than trying to swap files between two computers. A station is a great accessory for anyone who travels frequently and needs to take their laptop with them. There are several different models available but some only work with certain laptop brands.

Laptops are great for working away from the desk but they are not really designed for comfort or speed. Many people prefer to use a desktop computer when they can because they are more productive. The small keyboard and trackpad of a laptop makes working painfully slow and the small screen can be difficult to read. A laptop docking station is a cheaper and simpler alternative to buying a separate desktop computer. It takes up less space and there is no time wasted transferring files. There is also no need to power down the laptop when attaching or removing it from the station.

There are two main groups of laptop docking station. In the first group are the universal stations that work with all laptops. In the second group are the dedicated stations that only work with certain laptops, usually those made by the same manufacturer. The dedicated stations have a plug that fits into a slot on the laptop base, while the universal stations rely on a USB connection. For some laptops, buyers have a choice between the two groups. For the other laptops, a universal station is the only option.

The size and shape of a laptop docking station depends on its type. The dedicated stations are large devices which support the entire base. Some models even have spring-loaded arms that allow the laptop to be held off the desk. Universal stations are small devices that are plugged into the laptop with a cable. Some models are rectangular blocks that are placed under the laptop, while others resemble a broadband modem. One feature that all stations have in common is an assortment of plugs for the peripherals.

There should be enough ports on a laptop docking station for all the peripherals normally found on a desktop workstation. These include a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, and speakers. There should also be an Ethernet port for accessing a local network or the internet. It also helps to have a few spare ports for adding other peripherals, such as a scanner, microphone, webcam, or VOIP phone. If the monitor is particularly large, look for a station with a video graphics chip that is more powerful than the one in the laptop.

Most peripherals sold today have a USB cable, so the stations should have a minimum of four downstream USB ports and one upstream port. Another good feature to have is powered USB ports, which stay active when the laptop is removed or put into sleep mode. These are useful for charging a mobile phone, PDA, or MP3 player while the station is not being used. To prevent overheating of the laptop, the station should allow air to circulate beneath the base. The cost of a laptop docking station ranges from fifty to several hundred dollars.

A laptop docking station should come with a power adapter, manual, and driver discs. There may also be a DVI-VGA adapter for older monitors that have a VGA plug, and a USB cable if the station is the universal type. Before a laptop can be connected to a station, software drivers need to be installed on the laptop. After the power adapter and laptop have been connected to the station, the laptop will automatically configure the station ports. Once that process has finished, the peripherals can finally be connected.

This Laptop Docking Station Review is Written/Updated on Oct 13th, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed