In case you use your laptop mostly stationary and you want to connect many peripheral devices such as printer, mouse, keyboard or external screens, a port replicator or a suitable docking station can be a very useful extension. As a result, the peripheral devices are no longer connected directly to the laptop and thus the common mess with all the cables can be avoided.
Found Port Replicators / Docking Stations
In the first place, the two differ in the way they are connected to the laptop. Port replicators are connected via USB, whereas docking stations have an internal interface. This means that the laptop can be connected quickly and easily with a docking stations. However, most docking stations are therefore not compatible with each other and are limited to a specific laptop series. On the other hand, a port replicator would be a better choice for a workplace with different laptops.
Port replicators, that are connected via USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 form a third category, that unifies the advantages of the other two. Both connections are standardized and present on more and more notebooks and they also both have a high bandwidth. Therefore, they can easily be used to connect a plethora of USB-devices, card readers, LAN and so on without any problem. Additionally, these connection can also carry a DisplayPort signal, which allows for the connection of multiple high-resolution displays. USB Power-Delivery also allows you to charge the Notebook using only one cable. Additionally, many USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 port replicators have an on/off button and therefore also allow you to use the notebook with the lid closed.
With its numerous ports, a connection of two external displays is possible. On top of that this Dell docking station has a port for an E series monitor stand. Furthermore, there is an users manual, as well as a 130W power supply included in the delivery. The docking station is suitable for both the Dell Latitude E5420 and E6420.
This perticular docking station is suitable for Lenovo ThinkPad L and T series. Depending on the type of docking station (Basic, Pro or Ultra) it is possible to connect up to 3 screens. Beside that, a plugged in AC Adapter will charge the laptop in the dock. The special highlight of this docking station is a USB 3.0 connection with a constant power supply, which means that you can charge your smartphone or tablet even if the laptop is not in the dock.
This HP docking station has an integrated anti-theft device and also offers two different locking mechanism for theft protection. Adding onto that it also has a USB 3.0 port with a constant power supply which can charge mobile devices. The docking station is suitable e.g. for the HP EliteBook 750 G-Series or the ProBook 640 G2. Included in the scope of supply are a user manual as well as a 65Watt power supply.
With its sleek and thin design, the Fujitsu docking station doesn't strike you immediately when attached to the laptop. Two monitors can be connected to this docking station. Besides, you can connect up to four more USB 3.0. Lastly, it's suitable for many devices, including the Fujitsu LifeBook E-Series and Celsius Mobile H730.
If you want to extend the display from a tablet to external screens, you are well served with this port replicator. The laptop you want to connect has to have an USB-C output. On top of that, with this port replicator you can also connect your smartphone or tablet. In order for that to work, the mobile device must have a USB-C port and must support the function to duplicate the display.