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.
After over a year of waiting, Belkin has finally released its Thunderbolt Express Dock. It was originally announced last year in January and was slated for a September 2012 release, but that obviously never happened. However, Belkin just launched the $299 dock yesterday, and we’ve taken the time to give it a good look-over and test it out for ourselves. Personally, as a MacBook Pro user who is constantly docking and undocking my laptop at my desk, I wanted to see if Belkin’s Thunderbolt Express Dock would make the whole process easier. Let’s find out how it fared.
It's taken a while - a very long while - but Belkin's Thunderbolt Express Dock has finally hit shelves, offering Mac users a simple way to hook up a workstation's-worth of peripherals by stringing a single cable. First announced back in January 2012, and clearly missing its original release date in September of the same year, the $299.99 Thunderbolt Express Dock offers three USB 3.0 ports, gigabit ethernet, and a pass-through Thunderbolt connector of its own, among other things.
Dell has unveiled the world's first wireless dock based on WiGig, a wireless technology that is up to 10x faster than regular wireless networks. By utilizing this technology, Dell says its Wireless Dock will give users "unparalleled" connectivity between multiple devices and peripherals. The device is compatible with the Latitude 6430u Enterprise ultrabook.
Sometime early next month, ASUS will be launching a docking station for the Nexus 7. The device is the first of its kind, and is priced at 3,480 Yen, which is about $40USD. The pictures show the Nexus 7 being docked in landscape mode, with an audio port and micro USB port on the back of the unit.
A new Smart Dock for the Samsung Galaxy Note II has surfaced, turning the stylus-toting smartphone into a mini desktop setup with plentiful connectivity for a display and wired peripherals. Listed at Samsung US' site as well as at UK retailer Clove, the $99.99 accessory has three USB ports and a full-sized HDMI output, squirting up to 1080p Full HD onto a TV or monitor.
Details of Dell's upcoming Windows tablet pair continue to leak out, with the latest talk suggesting the Latitude 10 Windows 8 model due in mid-November will be preceded by a Windows RT version. The Dell Latitude 10 launch will bring a new docking station with extra ports and charging, according to Neowin's source, while the Windows-on-ARM tablet - name currently unknown - is tipped to arrive in October.
The HP pre-CES gush wraps up today with a trio of new displays, the HP Compaq L2311c 23-inch Notebook Docking Monitor along with the LV1911 and LV2011 LED Backlit LCD Monitors. Of the three it's the L2311c that's the most interesting, using a single USB connection to add a second display to your laptop along with a USB 3.0 hub, webcam and more.
Barnes & Noble's NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet are set to take another step closer to the desktop this month, with the launch of a new third-party Docking Station for the 7-inch slates. ReaderDock's NOOK Docking Station charges the ereader-tablets as well as adding stereo speakers; the cradle can rotate for portrait or landscape use, handy for watching video clips or streaming from Netflix.
There are a bunch of notebooks out there today that have at least one USB 3.0 port. If you are using one of those machines, you might want to check out the new docking station from Targus. This universal dock is the first from the company to rock USB 3.0. That means the single USB 3.0 connection has the bandwidth needed for video and more.
I mentioned last week that Intel was said to be working on a new wired docking device for the Ultrabook lien that is tipped to be using Thunderbolt. This week we have another new rumor that points to Intel working on a second docking system for Ultraboosk, and this one is wireless. The new docking station uses WiGig tech that offers more bandwidth than 802.11n.