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What Are Port Replicators and Docking Stations?
PC Port Replicators
Port Replicators are devices that enable more than one computer peripherals to connect to a single computer at the same time. Computer peripherals are hardware devices such as keyboard, mouse, printer, and Scanners etc. To put it shortly, a port replicator connects peripherals to a laptop.
Port replicators consist of serial and USB ports that allow for a smooth connection between a peripheral and a laptop in cases where you need more than the number of ports available on your laptop. They offer means of connecting a laptop to the internet through dial up capabilities or Ethernet controller. With PC port replicators, there is always a port for more peripherals.
A laptop replicator and a docking station almost perform the same functions. In fact, some computer users regard them as the same device. The docking station is versatile. A docking station requires direct physical contact with the laptop whereas a port replicator connects to the laptop and peripheral via cable wire.
Docking stations are usually placed on desks to add extra functionality to a laptop. With a docking station, laptops are docked to a more ergonomic position for convenience. The usual inbuilt keyboards on laptops, due to its small size, may not appeal to a certain type of work or play. With the docking station, you can use a bigger keyboard and desktop alongside your machine for great user experience. I do this a lot and it's quite a treat.
In addition, you can decide to add not just a normal keyboard but also a mouse, scanners, mobile hard drives, and a full-size monitor all at the same time. There are four types of docking stations. The two most common types are the mobile docking stations, used in cars; and the computer stand, which comes in different stylish designs. Moreover, a combination of a docking station and a laptop is a superb alternative to a desktop.
In conclusion, laptops usually have a good number of firewire or USB ports to cater for all your casual wants, however, the situation often arises that requires a big screen monitor, normal keyboard, and more. As a computer user, you may want to connect your computer to normal peripherals with the help of a docking station or a port replicator.
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