Laptop docking station is an addon gadget that you can use to hook up your laptop to it so that multitasking can be achieved easily. Many of such devices allow the users to connect a laptop or desktop pc to multiple displays at one time without needing a deep technical know how. Just plug them in and you are done. Moreover, some of the models also have features that allow user to connect to other portable devices such as iPod, external storage devices and smartphones. On top of that, laptop docking station also offers easy connections to peripheral devices such as speakers, microphone, printers and Ethernet.
With just a single connection, this gadget allows you to access every device that you need with ease and fast. Not forget to mention that you won't need to deal with lots of cables that mess up your desk. There are two types of laptop docking station; the one with laptop stand and the one that comes in the form of tower. The former design works just like a normal laptop cooler that you can find in the market but with the added functionality that mentioned above. The tower design on the other hand, can be used for both laptop and desktop PC and so it is quite universal.
Some laptop docking stations are specially designed to accommodate certain type of laptop brands and models. For instance, HP docking station is specifically made for HP and Compaq laptop that utilize the expansion port 3. Therefore, you should make sure that the docking system you are going to buy is compatible with your laptop. Since I'm using a Compaq notebook, I can assure you it works only with the Compaq docking system.
Kesington Notebook Docking Station
This laptop docking system resembles the look of a notebook cooler. The wedge shape of this docking station allows you to set up your laptop more ergonomically on the desk; it raises your laptop to near eye level (just as a desktop monitor). This docking system allows you to connect your notebook with your other computer peripherals with just one USB plug.
This docking system features five always on USB 2.0 ports that let you to connect to multiple USB devices such as external hard drives, digital camera, iPod and printer. This docking station also offers stereo output to connect to stereo, speaker systems or headsets for Internet chat. Besides, the 10/100 Ethernet port allows you to maintain an Internet connection and avoid wireless hang-ups. Measuring at 16.5"L X 7.75"W X 17.5"H, this system is compatible with Microsoft Vista and 7.
Plugable USB 2.0 Universal Docking Station
Just connect your laptop to this docking system via the USB port and you will be able to access to your desktop monitor screen, keyboard, mouse, speaker and all sorts of USB devices that you can find.
This laptop docking station features 4 USB ports, DVI/VGA connector (depends on your monitor feature, you might need a DVI-VGA converter), speaker and microphone ports, 10/100 Ethernet RJ-45 LAN connector and DisplayLink USB virtual graphics adapter. This station is compatible with both Microsoft Vista and 7 with latest packs. Sorry for Mac user as this system does not support one.
Toshiba Dynadock U Universal USB Connect Docking Station
This is one of the best laptop docking station featured on Amazon. It has both DVI and VGA ports and so you can connect two different monitors to it at the same time. It features 6 always on USB ports (4 at the back and the other 2 in the front), 1 Ethernet port and both the speaker and microphone port.
Measusring at 11.7" X 8.2" X 4.1", this docking station is compatible with both Microsoft Vista and 7 (please note that this is claimed by users who have experienced with it).
Sherpaq Oyster Laptop Docking Station
Like the Kesington Notebook Docking Station, this system will also transform your laptop into a virtual desktop computer. Just place your laptop in the docking space and you will have a standing laptop that resembles a desktop computer. However, unlike Kesington, this model does not allow you to adjust the viewing angle but you can rest assured that it provides you with a comfortable viewing level.
Sherpaq features an integrated 4 USB 2.0 ports and it comes with an AC power adapter that enables you to use it when plugging in multiple devices that requires extra power. Other than that, it does not have other ports for your devices.
This laptop docking station measures 9.1" X 13.6" X 9.4" and it is compatible for both Windows and Mac. Click here to check out this docking system.
HP xb4 Notebook Media Docking Station
Well, as the name suggests, this is the laptop docking station for HP and Compaq notebook. This is a quite good docking system as you can easily adjust the viewing angle as according to your need and comfort ability. It provides one easy connection with access to peripheral devices with it;s 6 USB ports, an RJ-45 LAN network port, microphone jack and headphone connector. All these is done via the HP proprietary expansion port 3.
To make this system even more interesting, a powerful Altec Lansing 2.1 spearker system is built into it and so you can enjoy your favorite music while doing you stuffs on your laptop. On top of that, the integrated HP Media Drive storage bay provides you with a clutter free backup option. Included with this system is a full sized wireless keyboard and wireless optical mouse that offer you a convenient and comfortable control while at you desk.
This laptop docking station is compatible with the following notebook series: Pavilion: dv4, dv5, dv7, dv2000, dv6000, dv9000, tx1000, tx2000 Presario: CQ45, V3000 and V6000. Make sure that your laptop model is included before proceed with your purchase. Not forget to mention, this is a good buy from HP.
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TechGeek on March 14, 2013:
Docking Station works great if you have quite a number of device needed to be connected to your laptop or else it is just a waste of money. Though it might serves you well by concentrating everything at the hub. A desktop computer should have all the things you needed.