Tablets and ultrabooks are nice because, if for no other reason, of their sheer portability. With that portability comes some trade-offs, however, primarily in how effective they are as a day-in, day-out workstation device for the home or office. That is where docking stations come in, of which Belkin has just announced two – one for tablets, the other for ultrabooks. Both offer dual-video for multiple monitors, as well as a host of ports.
Officially called the Dual Video Docking Stand for Windows 8 tablets and the Dual Video Docking Stand for Ultrabooks, both utilize DisplayLink and a USB 3.0 plug-and-play cable. Belkin is aiming the docking stations at just about anyone who needs to turn their tablet or ultrabook into a workstation, with the company specifically mentioning contractors, professionals, and hot-desk environments.
The Dual Video docking stations – both varieties – offer several peripheral ports, allowing users to connect all of their items to the station itself while having the ultrabook or tablet only being tethered by a simple-to-remove-and-replace USB cable. There are slots for a printer, keyboard, Ethernet, additional USB ports, display ports, and more.
In addition, because having so many devices connected to a central station on your desktop can cause clutter, it also has integrated cable management. The tablet version of the docking station supports all slates running Windows 8 with Atom and Intel core-i processors. The ultrabook docking station, meanwhile, supports Windows XP through Windows 8. Be advised, however, that neither support devices running Windows RT.
There’s no word on pricing or availability yet.
Mobile Trax’ Principal Analyst J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., said: “Greater mobility and the need for an improved user experience are increasingly important to organizations that care about worker productivity and its impact on overall efficiency. Belkin has developed an interesting set of docking stands that really optimize the functionality of Ultrabooks, and particularly Windows 8 Tablets, in the business environment. This is a great step forward for mobile computing at the enterprise level.”