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Laptop Docking Stations Buying Guide

A guide to laptop docking stations and laptop port replicators.

  • For business users.
  • Useful for those who use a laptop as a primary workstation.
  • Not needed for everyone.

Laptop Docking Stations & Replicators
dell laptop docking station port replicator

Docking stations in brief are a laptop accessory that many laptop computers use to quickly connect to a desktop monitor, keyboard, mouse, network connection, printer, and more.  In a nutshell this allows you to pretty much turn your laptop computer into a desktop computer within seconds. 

A docking station sits stationary on your desk already connected to your input/output (mouse, monitor, keyboard, etc.) devices, and via a special connector on the bottom of your laptop you simply plug the laptop onto the docking station.  Now you can use your laptop like a desktop via desktop input/output accessories.  Sweet!

If you use your laptop as a primary computer and your always on go back and forth from home to remote locations then docking stations can be very useful, though if you only occasionally take your laptop out a docking station isn't really going to be very beneficial to you.

Laptop Docking Stations & Port Replicators For Business or Home

Laptop docking stations are a very useful accessory for many, though most consumer tailored laptops actually do not offer docking station capability. 

Where you will see docking station connectors is on business line laptops such as the Dell Latitude, IBM ThinkPad, and others.

There is however other docking station alternatives for consumers so keep reading to find out more.

Of course as we just mentioned the typical consumer style laptop completely lacks a docking station connector so what are connectivity options then for home office laptops?

Honestly consumer laptops have just about any port you could ever need to individually plug your devices in so this isn't too much of a concern in our opinion. 

Typical consumer laptops such as the Dell Inspiron, Toshiba Satellite, and HP Pavilion series laptops have monitor connections and multiple USB ports which should be enough for the vast majority of individuals connectivity needs.  

If you personally feel you need or even simply just want the added convenience of a laptop docking station you could always look into purchasing a business line notebook or even check out one of the many port replicator devices offered on the market.  A port replicator is more limited than docking stations though they are much quicker then plugging in multiple devices.

So what is a port replicator?

In a nutshell a port replicator is a laptop accessory that allows you to connect multiple devices (keyboard, mouse, etc.) into your laptop typically by way of a single USB connection.

Port replicators are similar to docking stations in which they also allow you to connect many devices into them such as a printer, keyboard, mouse, etc. for faster connectivity. 

The main difference between docking stations and port replicators are that replicators typically have less connectivity compared to the average docking station and they also connect to your laptop via an available USB port instead of the proprietary laptop docking station connector found on the bottom of laptops with docking station capability.

Buying Docking Stations and Port Replicators:

Laptop docking stations and port replicators are laptop accessories that you keep at your desk.

Your laptop fits securely into docks or connects via USB to a replicator and your laptop becomes more like a desktop computer when it's used at your desk.

Many big businesses rely on docking stations for the busy professional is constantly on the go, back and forth from the office, and client locations and more.   

Time is money after all and a laptop docking station can be a very convenient for employees always on the move.  A docking station is very beneficial for companies on a whole and they are a necessary for big business accessory in our opinion.  

In comparison to business laptops consumer laptops typically lack docking station connectors but fortunately there are a plenty of connectors (USB, VGA, etc.) on most laptops to handle the average consumers needs. 

But if you truly feel you need the capability of a docking station you always have the option to purchase a business notebook over a consumer line or even pick up one of the many laptop port replicators on the market for they are a great alternative to a docking station. 

And we're happy to inform you that there are a ton of port replicators on the market from Targus, Addlogix, Teac, Cables To Go, Dell, iConcepts, Getac, Gamber-Johnson and many other big name laptop computer accessory manufacturers so choices are plenty.

Online Shopping Specials

Port Replicators, Docking Stations, AC Adapters, Laptop Computer Accessories & More

Online Vendor Shopping Category Vendor Rating
Amazon.com Computer Accessories  A+
Amazon.com Laptop Batteries A+
Amazon.com Laptop Battery Chargers  A+
Amazon.com Docking Stations  A+

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