Transferring files from one computer to another can be a hassle, especially if you're not a fan of the cloud (cloud-based computing, we mean). But, thanks to docking stations, and the fact that data transfers are getting faster and faster every day, it's becoming not so much of an issue anymore. And let's face it: USB 3.0 is going to make that so much easier, just as the Thermaltake BlacX proves.
When it comes to working for a notebook all the time many people end up wishing they had a larger screen, full size keyboards, and a different mouse. You can add these things to your notebook but removing them each time you need to take the notebook with you can be a pain.
While you don't get much in the way of extras in the box with the iPad, Apple sent us away with a bag full of official accessories to play with. Apple have a range of six items intended to be used with your iPad, though not all of them will be available on launch day. After the cut, check out our unboxing video, gallery and some hands-on impressions with the iPad Dock, iPad Keyboard Dock, iPad Case and iPad 10W USB Power Adapter.
Hoping to pick up one of Apple's more useful iPad accessories along with your iPad preorder? Unfortunately it looks like early-adopters will have to suffer with the onscreen keyboard for a while, as according to the Apple Store the iPad Keyboard Dock - while available to purchase now - won't ship until mid-April 2010.
Remember Gigabyte's BookTop M1405, the docking-station equipped notebook that not only gained extra ports when locked into place, but an external graphics card? Gigabyte have been demonstrating it at CeBIT 2010 this week, and it looks an interesting prospect. In fact, there are two new BookTops, the M1405 - with a 14-inch display - and its 13-inch M1305 partner, packing a choice of Celeron ULV, Pentium or Core 2 Duo processors. Inside the dock, meanwhile, there's an NVIDIA GeForce GT220 with 1GB of its own DDR3 memory.
Video demo after the cut
While we spent twenty minutes grabbing hands-on video with the Apple iPad yesterday, something we didn't get to play with were the official iPad accessories. Over at iLounge they've had better luck, giving some first impressions and pricing details for the Apple iPad Keyboard Dock, Apple iPad Case, Apple iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter and Apple iPad Camera Connector Kit.
We kept screaming for Nexus One accessories and now, finally, we have one. Google have pushed their Nexus One Desktop Dock out of the door, and as expected it does more than merely charge your smartphone and keep it out of the dust and crumbs on your desk. Dropping a Nexus One into the Desktop Dock automatically kick-starts the Clock app (with time, weather, alarms, photo slideshows and media playback), and there's also an audio-out connector that allows you to hook the dock up to a speaker system and easily play music from your phone.
Last week we asked where all the Google Nexus One accessories were hiding, and with still no sign of any official peripherals for the handset we're happy at least to see official confirmation of the upcoming Nexus One Car Dock. Commenter Chris Roberts flagged up mention of the Car Dock in Google's online documentation for the Nexus One, where it's tipped to be "coming soon".
Details of a second official accessory for the upcoming Google Nexus One Android 2.1 smartphone have emerged, this time courtesy of the FCC. HTC - who are manufacturing the handset - have submitted the Nexus One Desktop Dock CR B410 for approval, which seemingly includes Bluetooth wireless.
It's been a rainstorm of Archos 5 Internet Tablet newness over at UMPC Portal today, with our friend Steve Paine taking delivery not only of the Archos 5 Mini Dock but the latest firmware which has also released today, v1.3.07. Together they've taken the Android-based Archos 5 even closer into MID status: USB host support means that you can plug a full-sized keyboard and mouse into the Mini Dock's USB port, while the new firmware now supports full-screen YouTube HD playback together with outputting that content, via HDMI, onto your TV.
Video demo after the cut
Gigabyte have always thought a little different with their ultraportables, and their latest model is no different. The Gigabyte Booktop M1305, like the Booktop M1022 we reviewed back in June, comes with a desktop docking station; however, the M1305 is a 13.3-inch 1,366 x 768 machine and uses Intel's CULV processors, rather than the paltry Atom N270, and squeezes an NVIDIA GeForce GT220 GPU with 1GB of DDR3 memory into the dock for improved graphics performance.