Home is where the expandability is

February 11th, 2010 in .Laptops & Netbooks .Products


Netbooks and clouds. Clouds and netbooks, it seems the health craze has finally made it to computing and everything has to slim down or outright vanish into thin air.

Technology is doing its part to accommodate demand, with icons like the Eee PC  range pushing the boundaries of what can be done by such compact machines. But of course, no one can say a netbook or mini laptop can really accomplish everything a bigger unit does. This is where common sense comes into the picture in the form of a peripheral many take for granted, and many more yet don’t really understand.

What’s up, Dock?

Docking stations aren’t just for the international space station, they’re the middle ground for people who want the lightness and style of a proper netbook but still crave the expansion potential of a full size laptop or, dare we mention them, desktops. A docking station fills a very obvious gap.

While outside and moving about in the world, users benefit from not having to lug a huge chunk of hardware, which bodes well for shoulders everywhere. Plus today’s mini-laptops are more than good for the essentials of daylong computing, like going online, word processing, emailing, media and so on. But upon returning to home base, users may find they suddenly don’t mind the extra ports and connections – actually, they may very well miss them.

Docking stations like the ASUS PortBar  connect to any portable PC with ease, take up very little space and add functionality far beyond what their humble form may suggest. Right off the bat, users get an extra 4 USB 2.0 connectors and both VGA and DVI ports. This means even the most slender netbook can pump out 1920X1080 visuals onto a bigger screen all of a sudden. There’s even a spare headphone jack for sharing music in private – no need to disturb anyone, after all.

This kind of extra connectivity bolsters the capabilities of a netbook, putting it on a more even keel with its pricier, heavier and bigger siblings. We’re just pointing out the self-evident here, but it’s something that’s easy to overlook. Technology will keep packing in more and more features onto smaller slabs of material, making laptops even more efficient, but in the meantime, docking stations are a solution to keep in mind.

Dock 'em

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