Introduction to Docking Stations
Docking stations allow a laptop user to connect to more peripherals than he might otherwise be able to. In essence, a docking station allows a laptop to be hooked up to the device as a full-fledged work station when in the office, while the user maintains the portability of a laptop when he disconnects the computer from the device.
The docking station is a piece of hardware that contains the ports that will be needed by the machine to perform certain tasks such as printers, plotters, monitors, and many other computer controlled devices. Often, the docking station plugs into the USB port on the back of the laptop when the device is connected to the computer.
How Docking Stations Operate
Docking stations allow more ports and sometimes peripherals. They are often made by third party manufacturers to supplement the more popular models of laptops, but as the market for these devices increases, more notebook manufacturers are offering them. Electrical power is supplied to these units either through the laptop itself, or through a power supply included with the docking station. Docking station drivers control the operation of the device and the peripherals attached to it.
Extra Peripherals for a Laptop and the Mobility
One of the more popular uses for a docking station is to connect netbooks (a class of computer officially known as Ultra Mobile PCs) to larger monitors or to allow a laptop. Gamers find the docking stations convenient to attach a notebook with their favorite games on it to a monitor capable of higher resolution than their laptop screens.
The idea of the docking station is to combine the greater expansion capabilities of the desktop computers with the portability of the laptop. When the peripherals that are attached to the docking station are no longer needed or the user needs to go, he can unhook his laptop from the docking station and take his notebook with him.