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Choosing a Docking Station for Laptops

Updated on September 29, 2011

What a Docking Station for Laptops Can Do For You

Docking stations for laptops can allow users to multi-task more easily. Many of them make it possible for users to connect to mulitple displays at one time. They may offer connections to other devices such as iPods and smart phones and may even charge them. These docking stations also provide easy connections to peripheral devices like printers, external hard drives, and speakers.

With a single connection, these device can allow you to quickly and easily access a traditional desk top monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers for full functionality when you return to your office. Others offer a built-in stand to provide a better ergonomic setup and access to peripheral devices even in the absence of a desktop model.

Buying Tips

There are a couple of important things to know and consider before buying a laptop docking station.

Some docking stations for laptops are designed and manufactured for a specific brand of computer. For instance, an HP docking station is specifically for HP and Compaq laptops. Others may be designed for more universal use. Therefore, when selecting one of these devices for your laptop, be sure to check compatibility with your operating system in the manufacturer's information.

One of the primary advantages of these devices is that they can allow you to easily and quickly connect your laptop to a variety of peripheral devices, from monitors, keyboards, and speakers to microphones, printers, and more. Thus, it is important that it offer the kinds of connections you need and in sufficient number. If you really want to reduce clutter, wireless connectivity is a must. For ease, it may also be important to you that it be "hot swappable", meaning that it allows you to connect or disconnect devices without having to re-boot.

Finally you also want to consider ergonomics. The best laptop docking stations should allow you to adjust the height, set your laptop screen at the right level and angle, and so forth, for comfort.

USB 2.0 Universal Docking Station

By just plugging this laptop docking station into your USB port, your computer will find the new hardware, download and install the drivers. It will find hardware components and let you access a full size monitor, keyboard, speakers, and mouse when you need them.

This device provides 4 USB ports, DVI/VGA connector, DisplayLink USB virtual graphics adapter, speaker/microphone ports, and 10/100 Ethernet RJ-45 connector. It measures 4.3" x 3.4" x 6.3". It supports up to 1920 x 1080 at 32bpp.

Toshiba Universal Docking Station

One cable connection from your laptop to all of your accessories allows you to multi-task effortlessly. This docking station is "hot swappable", allowing you to add and remove most devices without having to reboot. It features a built-in HD digital video card to support an additional monitor with up to 1920 x 1080 resolution. In fact, you can view up to 3 displays simultaneously.

It also offers 4 USB ports and Ethernet LAN. It's universally compatible with all Windows-based PC brands and measures 3" x 5.7' x 1.3".


This device allows you to set up your laptop more ergonomically as the wedge shape sets your notebook up on a desk and raises it to near eye level. Users can connect peripherals with a single USB plug and maintain their internet connection with the 10/100 Ethernet port.

This docking station features 5 always on USB 2.0 ports that allow you to charge connected devices even with the notebook powered off or disconnected. The raised position of the stand promotes cooling and it provides a built in copy holder to allow users to easily view print materials as they work. The translucent cover allows operation of the notebook's multi-media IR remote. It's "hot swappable", allowing you to connect and disconnect devices without rebooting as well. This device offers stereo output to connect to stereo, speaker systems, or headsets. It measures 16.5" x 8" x 17.5".

Sherpaq Oyster

This docking station will transform your laptop into a virtual desktop computer. It will conserve space and manage cable clutter in an attractive design. Sliding your laptop in and plugging in the connections will position the laptop screen for a comfortable, upright position while at your desk. It features an integrated 4 port USB 2.0 hub and comes with an AC power adapter for those times when you're using multiple USB devices without their own power.

This device measures 9.1" x 13.6" x 9.4" and is compatible with most Windows and Mac laptop computers.

Kensington sd300V

Users can connect their laptop to a PC/Mac monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse, external hard drive, and other peripheral devices with this laptop docking station. It offers plug and play simplicity and is hot swappable allowing users to connect and swap devices without shutting down or rebooting. It also offers a security slot and the ability to connect to 2.1 stereo speakers and headsets.

This station has a space saving, tower type design and measures 7" x 3" x 10".

HP QuickDoc

This HP docking station for laptops offers 6 powered USB ports, ethernet, component, SVGA, Composite, and VGA video out, coax digital audio out, analog stereo mini-jack out, and microphone in connections. It allow users to connect to power and peripherals with ease while decreasing the clutter on and around their desk. It will even charge your laptop battery while docked.

HP Media

If you have an HP or Compaq laptop, this device may be right. It allows you to easily adjust the viewing height of your laptop screen for improved comfort. It provides one easy connection with access to peripheral devices via it's 6 USB 2.0 ports, an RJ-45 (network) jack, microphone (audio-in) jack, and headphone connector. It features a powerful integtrated Altec Lansing 2.1 speaker system, integrated HP Media Drive storage bay for a clutter-free back up option, and includes a full sized wireless keyboard and wireless optical mouse for cable free use while at your desk.


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    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      Interesting stuff that I did not know about. Thanks

      Love and peace


    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 7 years ago

      My son built his docking station and it's comfortable and ergo correct. Docking Stations are a must have if your laptop is the only computer in the house…