Docking laptops: Worth it?

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When buying a laptop how much weight do you give the
ability to be used with a docking station?

How important in your mind is the docking station to a

It seems most of the Insprions can not be used with a
docking station and I'm not sure if that's a deal
breaker in a laptop or not?  Hence the question.

I'm assuming that with the Insprions you can hook up
external monitors and peripherals but I guess a docking
station makes this MUCH easier, correct?

I'm dumb abt docking station capabilities so can you
give me a feel on whether you think it a necessary
thing in a laptop..a deal breaker?

Re: Docking laptops: Worth it? wrote:
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It's more of a personal decision. As for me, they are nice but not
really necessary. I don't have one and I only hook up the external
monitor and USB devices.

Re: Docking laptops: Worth it?

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I actually want the Dell 640m more.... but wonder if I
will miss the docking station option that comes with

Re: Docking laptops: Worth it? wrote:
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And, for the billionth time, personal preference.


Re: Docking laptops: Worth it?

On Thu, 31 Aug 2006 10:21:15 -0500, wrote:

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It depends on what the docking station capability is and what you use
it for.

I have an IBM T43 at work with a full-blown docking station that
includes a power button, video, USB, network, and some legacy ports,
and it's very useful and easy.  It's driven by an extension of the
internal data bus.

It allows me to pop the laptop out without disconnecting anything
(with one exception - the headphones) and carry it off with me.  If I
leave it docked, I never have to open the laptop, since there's a
power button on the dock.  The audio output on the docking station
sounds absolutely awful, so I plug headphones directly into the

My new Dell E1505 at home works with a Kensington USB docking station
that's of limited use.  Dell sells these for about $90, but you can
get the exacts same thing on ebay for around $30.

This one doesn't control power or have video, and the network
connection is a USB network adapter.  It's basically a USB expansion

This means you have to open the laptop to power it on and off, and you
still have to unplug multiple connectors to un-dock the laptop (video
and USB at a minimum).  I don't like USB network adapters in general
because of the increased CPU load, and I've found them to be less
reliable than a good hard-wired network adapter.

I'll admit, after I got it, I never even hooked it up, once I figured
out how it works, so I don't know how the audio port sounds.  I'm
really glad I didn't pay Dell's price for it!  I'll be putting it back
on ebay soon.

Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer

Re: Docking laptops: Worth it?

I had a docking station for my laptop  which I connect it when I am at
home  and use that unit  like a normal PC .
BTW I don't use a desktop but a laptop or we call I call a desktop
replacement system due to its similar capabilities..

But when I am on the road, bulk and weight is an issue so I use my
laptop without it.. wrote:
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Re: Docking laptops: Worth it?

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If it's a laptop that I expect to spend "most" of its life as a "desktop"
machine (rather than a travel machine), I think a docking station is well
worth the ~$100 or so.  Without it, the average person ends up hooking and
unhooking the power cord, monitor cable, Ethernet cable, at least one USB
cable, and at least one audio cable -- enough that, for me, I'm willing to pay
the money to avoid the hassle.

It *probably* wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me, but there would be a definite
reduction in my "perceived value" of a laptop without a docking station...
again, under the assumption I actually planned to keep it docked on regular

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