Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Dock laptop for desktop comfort

Desktop computers have all of comforts of a full-sized keyboard, mouse, and big monitor. Don t try to slip one into a backpack or brief case, however, when you re on the move.

You can do that easily with a light-weight laptop or notebook computer. With a laptop, you need only one computer for home, office, school, a vacation cottage or anywhere else you can imagine.

However, many people don t like the downsized features that come with all but top-of-of-the line desktop-replacement laptops. Those include a downsized keyboard, a touchpad pointing device instead of a mouse, and a smaller monitor.

I ve been using a wonderful solution to that comfort-or-portability dilemma at work. It is a computer docking station that transforms an ultra-light laptop into a full-sized desktop.

A docking station is a platform or frame into which you install a laptop computer. The laptop slides into the docking station and plugs into a master connector. That one connection gives the docking station full access to the computer.

You don t have to connect or disconnect a power cord or Internet cable, for instance, every time you dock and undock the laptop.

Docking stations also contain outlets for connecting a full-size keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, printer, and other devices. Some have built-in CD and DVD drives, enhanced sound systems, and other features.

Once inserted in a docking station with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, a laptop essentially becomes a desktop. Undock, and you ve got a portable computer with all the files ready to go.

Some people own one laptop computer, but have docking stations at home, in the office, in a dorm room at college, on a vacation home or boat. It s just like owning several desktop computers.

Different kinds of docking ports are available in local stories and online outlets.

Basic models cost under $100. Prices can soar, especially if you have to buy a new monitor, keyboard, speakers, and mouse to use with the docking station.

Many old monitors, keyboards, speakers, and mice will work just fine with a new docking station. Keep that in mind when you re trying to decide what to do with old computer gear. Why not plan on re-purposing the gear? Store the old equipment in case you do decide on a laptop and docking station in the future.

The old gear may seem clunky. However, it may be perfect for a second or third docking station in a rarely used location like a summer cottage.

Pay special attention to security if you decide on the docking station solution. I mean the physical security of the hardware. Both the laptop and the docking station can be inviting targets for thieves.

Don t make yourself an easy target. Secure the docking station to a desk. For the laptop, buy a security cable a lockable steel cable that connects to a slot in the computer s case.

Keep the cable locked whenever you are away from the desk.

Michael Woods is a free-lance writer.

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2018 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…