We’ll start seeing more and more of these universal notebook docking stations (I’m currently reviewing one by StarTech) but Sony gets out of the gate quickly with the somewhat-expensive VGP-UPR1 USB docking station with DisplayLink technology.
These USB docking stations are basically glorified USB hubs with external VGA or DVI graphics adapters, audio and microphone inputs, and Ethernet ports built into them. So you plug everything into the dock and then plug the dock into your laptop via USB.
All in all, if you have a multi-monitor setup at your desk, yet you like to use your laptop in portable scenarios as well, a universal dock might be a good option for you. I currently use a USB hub with a DisplayLink USB adapter plugged into it. When my laptop is at my desk, I plug the USB cable from the hub into my computer and get access to my keyboard, mouse, and an extra monitor.
I don’t get an Ethernet connection – I just my wireless connection — or another set of speaker and mic inputs. My entire setup cost me under $100, though, and is basically the same amount of work.
Sony Ships VAIO Notebook Dock With Embedded DisplayLink USB Graphics Technology
Dock Makes Multi-Monitor Computing Easy for Mobile Professionals
PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DisplayLink Corp. today announced that its network display technology is now available in the new Sony VAIO® USB Docking Station, a USB-based universal notebook dock that’s now shipping to customers in the United States, the European Union and Japan.
The result of a collaboration announced at CES earlier this year, the new docking station allows Sony notebook users to connect an analog or DVI display to a laptop using USB 2.0 – enabled by innovative multi-monitor computing technology from DisplayLink.
The Sony VAIO dock can be used with any display with an analog or DVI connector and a resolution up to 1600 x 1200. This, combined with the universal USB 2.0 connection to the PC, makes it possible for corporate IT departments to deploy these universal docking stations to any worker with a Sony VAIO or any other brand of notebook.
“USB connectivity makes this dock the most convenient yet in the Sony portfolio, ensuring that graphics images can be smoothly displayed through a familiar USB plug-in,” says Hamid Farzaneh, DisplayLink president and CEO. “The Sony VAIO dock with embedded DisplayLink expertise brings a powerful combination of productivity, simplicity and style benefiting both busy workers and consumers alike.”
With Ethernet, audio connections, four USB ports, headphone and microphone ports, and DC in, the Sony VAIO dock also is an ideal complement for the constant traveler or mobile professional, allowing people to easily connect and disconnect from all the peripherals they need, such as an additional external monitor, mouse, keyboard and printer. The Sony VAIO dock supports Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit, including support for the Windows Vista Aero interface.
The Sony VAIO Docking Station (model number VGP-UPR1) is available now and retails for $199.99. For more information or to order, visit www.sonystyle.com; click on “computers” then “accessories and extras.”
DisplayLink Corp. is a network display chip and software company that helps people create simple connections between computers and displays – via USB, making the benefits of expanded visual workspace available to everyone. Using universally accepted wired or wireless networking protocols and proprietary software compression techniques, graphically rich content can be transmitted easily between a single device and multiple displays over a network. Leading global manufacturers have integrated network display technology into an array of consumer electronics including USB-enabled monitors, video docking stations, display adapters and projectors. More information is at www.displaylink.com.