If you are satisfied with a simple setup and use your laptop or desktop PC as they come, you may not be familiar with a docking station. Why do people need a docking station? Mostly, it is used for laptops – to enhance their connectivity and make use of more peripherals.
You may be planning to give your setup an upgrade. In this blog, we’ll explore the reason why people use docking stations and the benefits. This information will help you sort out whether you would need one.
Why Do People Use Docking Stations?
A docking station serves as a centralized hub that connects all your peripheral devices such as a webcam, speakerphone, monitor, portable hard drive, printer, etc. It simplifies the connection by integrating them into one workstation. Instead of plugging/unplugging all the devices, you can make use of them all just by attaching the docking station to your laptop with ease. A docking station can be friendly to cable management as well.
There is also a type of docking station that supports the KVM switching feature – a KVM switch docking station. It’s a docking station that can be linked to more than one laptop or computer, and you can easily switch among and work on any one of them. In the meantime, you route all the devices on the docking station to the system you’re working on with just one click.
Sometimes a docking station is needed for a more practical reason. For example, you need to connect an external HDMI display to your Macbook or you want to use a wired network for your laptop which has no LAN port.
A docking station can offer a variety of ports that may not be supported by your laptop or desktop PC. The KVM switch docking station launched by AV Access is a typical model for connectivity enhancement. It integrates 12 ports altogether for 2 systems (a USB-C laptop and a desktop computer) to switch between a resourceful dual monitor setup.
It’s understandable that enhanced connectivity can bring up productivity as well. People use a docking station to connect more useful devices to their laptops and build a more productive workstation. The most direct one is to connect more external displays to your laptop. A dual monitor or multi-monitor setup would be much more friendly to a multi-tasker who requires a big screen and enough space for smooth work.
Benefits of Using Docking Stations
Discussing the why has already explained the benefits. Simply put, a docking station enables you to have more ports and connect to more devices to your workstation. It does bring more flexibility as you can very likely find a docking station you need to make it up even though your laptop does not support the connector type you need.
How to Choose the Right Docking Station
Make sure the feature you want from the docking station is compatible with your laptop or computer. Sometimes this could go so detailed and tricky. Maybe this checklist would help.
- Connectivity: This is a basic consideration. You shall learn about the ports’ specs to make sure the docking station will bring down your workstation’s capacity (eg. USB standards).
- Resolution: If you’re having fun with an HDMI 2.1 setup, using an HDMI 2.0 docking station could spoil it all. Check the video connectors’ specs carefully and if you’re interested in a feature like MST, make sure your system supports it.
- Power delivery: Most docking station offers power delivery. Check the spec. – 100W and 30W could be a big difference if your laptop is not good at power endurance.
People use a docking station to improve their workstation and make it more versatile and powerful for a single system setup. Nowadays, more and more are working on multiple computers or laptops for different purposes. This is also why a product like a KVM switch docking station is created. This could be a smart option to build a powerful workstation open to multiple systems.