You might not know the uses and benefits of a laptop docking station until you start using one. By design, laptops have fewer ports, allowing you to connect to a handful of peripherals. For instance, a laptop may have only two USB ports, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and an auxiliary audio port. These aren’t enough to enable you to perform certain functions, hence needing a docking station.
What Is A Laptop Docking Station?
A docking station (dock) is a device with multiple ports for connecting laptops to different peripherals. You can connect a mouse, keyboard, printer, monitor, and other peripherals simultaneously. Because of that, it gives a laptop the functionality of a desktop computer.
Laptop manufacturers like Dell and HP may build docking stations specifically for their laptop models. In that case, the docking station would have a unique input port, connecting only to a parallel port on the manufacturer’s laptops. Whether it is proprietary or universal, a docking station provides various USB ports, Ethernet ports, and HDMI ports to connect monitors.
How a Docking Station Works
The best laptop docking stations work by allowing connectivity of multiple peripherals through various ports. Universal docking stations work with various laptop models as there is no restriction to a specific brand. Thus, you can use them with Dell, HP, or Acer laptops without running into trouble.
However, some laptop manufacturers insist on making docks for their laptop models. That type of laptop docking station would have proprietary ports for connecting only to their laptops.
A docking station is powered directly through the connection with the laptop. However, some docks may need plugging into an electrical outlet through an included power supply. It operates through built-in drivers that enable the seamless connection of all peripherals.
What Is The Purpose Of A Docking Station?
Picture this – you are seated in a plane, traveling to a holiday destination. With a docking station, you can connect your peripherals and carry out tasks on the go. However, it’s in the office that a docking station takes entirely on its purpose. That’s because you can keep your dock on a desk and connect to various peripherals without moving your laptop. Thus, it quickly gives a laptop the versatility of a desktop computer.
What Is The Function Of A Docking Station?
A laptop docking station serves multiple functions. Since it is a static device that sits on your desk, you can use it to connect various peripheral devices to your laptop. The following are some of the peripheral devices you can connect to a dock:
- A mouse
- Ergonomic keyboard
- Wired internet
Benefits of a Laptop Docking Station
A laptop docking station comes with many benefits, especially if it is for universal applications. The following are some of the benefits you will enjoy from a universal laptop docking station:
1. Providing Universal Compatibility
A universal docking station can work with various laptop brands, including HP, Dell, ASUS, Acer, and MacBook. They also help provide connectivity for tablets and smartphones. Regardless of the type of device you have, a docking station can help you connect it to a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and wired internet. That means they operate across operating systems, including Windows, Android OS, iOS, etc.
2. Multiple Ports
Universal docking stations come with several types of ports to help you hook your laptop to various peripherals. It is not uncommon to find docking stations with USA Type-A, USB Type-C, HDMI, VGA, DVI, Ethernet, and Thunderbolt ports. Thus, it doesn’t limit you to the types of peripherals you can connect to your laptop.
3. Multiple Displays
Did you know that you can use a docking station to display your laptop’s contents on multiple screens? That way, you can easily switch from one functionality to another without shutting down the computer. Some docking stations efficiently provide display over four HD monitors for your convenience.
4. Clean Workspace
Do you easily get annoyed at the sight of entangled cables and wires hanging from your computer? You only need one cable with a dock station to go to your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Thus, your desk and workplace will remain clean and clutter-free just because you are using a docking station.
Docking stations provide a convenient way for you to connect your laptop to all the office peripherals. For example, if you have an online meeting, you will view a bigger and better display over an HD monitor. You can also use the other ports to print, type, or point using a mouse conveniently.
Uses of a Laptop Docking Station
Related to the benefits of docking stations are their many uses. If you are wondering why you should buy a dock station, the following are the various uses to which you can subject it:
1. Connecting Multiple Devices
With a docking station, you can connect your laptop to devices like mice, keyboards, printers, and scanners. Due to having only two USB ports, most laptops can only connect to two peripherals at a time. With a dock station, you only need one connection to the laptop to hook more peripheral devices. When you finish, you can simply disconnect the docking station from the laptop – no entangled cables and constant plugging and unplugging.
Docking stations provide you with the option to plugin gaming accessories when you need to. For that reason, you don’t have to plugin gaming adapters to connect your mice, keyboards, speakers, and other related accessories. Besides, it is convenient as it only involves attaching (or detaching) the docking station to (or from) the laptop.
3. Easy Transition from Home to Office
A docking station makes it easy for you to transition from your home to the office (and vice versa). You should set up a docking station in the office and attach it to the peripherals you use. When you arrive in the morning, plug the docking station into the laptop, and you are good to go. With that, you do not have to connect each peripheral separately.
4. Connecting New Devices
You possibly haven’t used all the devices available in the market because of the limited ports on your laptop. With a docking station, you have the opportunity to try out newer gadgets. For example, you could try out digital cameras, flat-panel displays, ergonomic keyboards, and so on.
5. Turning a Laptop into a Desktop
If all you have is a laptop, a docking station can help you give it desktop functionality. Therefore, you don’t have to buy a desktop to enjoy its functionality. Even so, the cost of a new docking station is only a fraction of that of a standard desktop computer. Therefore, you will have an easy way to connect numerous peripherals to your laptop at a lower cost.
6. Larger Display for Gamers
Gamers can use docking stations to connect high-definition displays to their laptops. Given how advanced computer monitors have come, you will have a more immersive gaming experience than only using the laptop screen.
Would you buy a docking station?
A laptop docking station is necessary if you want to enjoy desktop functionality without buying one. So, it is worth buying. It can help you connect your laptop to a larger display, ergonomic keyboard, and a better mouse. Docking stations are suitable for workers looking to transition between the home and the office setting quickly.