Laptop docking stations..?

Discussion in 'computers, web and general tech' started by Bahnhof Strasse, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. So getting BB1 a laptop, but want her to be able to use it as a full PC, with a proper screen and keyboard; is a docking station what I need to do this? If so, any recommendations?
  2. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    You don't need one, it just means it's one connection to plug in into rather than separately (dis)connecting mouse, keyboard, monitor etc.

    If you want one, it will depend on what make and model of laptop it is, because a lot of them are proprietary.
    Bahnhof Strasse likes this.
  3. 2hats


    Or just plug in suitable display of your choice (check the video connectors) and use bluetooth keyboard, mouse/trackpad.
  4. maomao

    maomao 四月她爹

    Do you have any desktops setup already? You can just get a kvm switch and let her plug in to someone else's set up when she needs to.
  5. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    Don't bother, waste of money, spend 30 seconds connecting stuff.
  6. We have two PC’s set up, but we want her to be able to work in her room rather than the lounge or my office.
  7. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    Ergonomically they're good in my opinion.
  8. joustmaster

    joustmaster offcumdun

    If you're moving between the desk and else where everyday, they are worth getting.

    Get a 2nd hand one though.

    What model laptop is it going to be?
  9. Idaho

    Idaho blah blah blah

    Another vote for just plugging in a keyboard, mouse and monitor.
  10. strung out

    strung out (",)

    I use a laptop with a docking station for work and it's so much better than just plugging/unplugging everything each time I move.
    PaoloSanchez likes this.
  11. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    Another vote for this setup even though I've never personally had it for myself.

    No mention of budget and what the laptop would be used for?

    Last year I bought on eBay. 2 Lenovo T430 Core I5 laptops for my progeny, for £180 each, then separately bought the (excellent) docking stations for them @ £15 each. The docking stations have external monitors mouse/keyboard and speakers plugged in. It's definitely a lot less faff using a docking station compared to plugging in and unplugging every time you sit at your desk. Very happy with those purchases and would deffo recommend it for all round general purpose use.
    editor, mango5 and Bahnhof Strasse like this.
  12. Looking at this laptop: Lenovo V110 Laptop - Laptops at ebuyer

    It's for her GCSE work which is starting soon, she currently uses a PC which is in the lounge, but there's too much noise down there for her to concentrate. We figured though that an actual PC in her bedroom would be used for gaming rather than working, so get a laptop that isn't powerful enough for the gaming she's in to, but with a real keyboard and screen..?
  13. ruffneck23

    ruffneck23 Well-Known Member

    what model laptop is it ? i may be able to find a dock you can have

    ETA , doh didnt read the post above.....

    damn if i was at my old job we had loads of docks for that model , il make a call and see if anyone i used to work with has any spare
  14. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    I'm a bit of a snob so anything less than a Thinkpad from Lenovo would not really be on my radar (even for my kids). One of the minuses for me with that model that you're looking as is that it's a bit sparse on the USB front with only 2 ports which will leave no free ports if they are occupied by an external mouse and keyboard.

    It should be fine for GCSE work (assuming it doesn't involve lots of video editing). As some of the other posters have said, you don't really need a docking station, especially at the price point for the type of laptop you're thinking of buying, however having one is a bit more convenient and saves plugging/unplugging HDMI cable, mouse, keyboard, power cord every time you sit down/leave the desk.
    Bahnhof Strasse likes this.
  15. Would you say going for something like this would be a better buy? Lenovo ThinkPad E570 Laptop - Laptops at Ebuyer
  16. Magnus McGinty

    Magnus McGinty Wh♂️

    They can give you more USB ports which is sometimes desirable.
  17. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    tbh it's hard to say whether it would be a "better buy" for you as I don't really know what your requirements/circumstances/preferences are. My opinions are based on my own preferences and bias which may or may not match yours. I have a bias towards higher quality materials in laptops and a particular nerdy fondness to Thinkpad T series laptops. (T430 being my sweet spot). The E series Thinkpad is at the budget end of the range and some purists don't consider them to be proper Thinkpads. They are made with cheaper components and plastics and don't have the ease of docking capability of the T series Thinkpads.

    Here's an example docking setup shared by an enterprising American student using the same laptop and docking station combination that I bought for my kiddos (and they love it)...

    As far as I know only Thinkpads, some business Dell/HP laptops have this kind of super convenient docking setup, and they tend to be more expensive than regular consumer laptops (unless you're buying second hand). The alternative type of "docking" is either a usb or thunderbolt type where you plug in the docking station to the usb port on your laptop. That kind of setup never really interested me.

    If you're looking to spend as little as possible then the V110 might be ok. I imagine that the E series Thinkpad would be slight better quality but maybe not worth the extra money. I tend to take time to research the particular models on my shortlist and check out reviews before buying. If you're not that way inclined or find the tech talk a bit confusing (like Jen in the IT Crowd), then tbh you can't really go far wrong with any modern mid priced laptop, and nearly any of them will "get the job done".
    Bahnhof Strasse likes this.
  18. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    As a curve ball, how about a desktop PC (with no graphics card) and a chrome book? Cost would probably be the same or less and she gets a proper portable laptop as opposed to one of those beasts.
  19. We've decided, she can have a PC and we'll trust her to behave...

    She already has an old Samsung Series 9 laptop for when she needs something portable, that'll do her for a few years, I guess...

    Thanks for all the input.
    ruffneck23 likes this.
  20. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    So, why does she need a separate desktop pc if she already has a Samsung Series 9 laptop? You can just buy a 24/27 inch monitor, and wireless mouse and keyboard. (similar to my current setup). I presume the Samsung is a reasonable spec machine that should work fine for GCSE level stuff, spreadsheets, powerpoints, even a bit of photoshop. If the Samsung has "WiDi" then you should even be able to connect wireless to a suitable monitor.
  21. It’s getting on a bit as was my old one, she deserves something fresh...
  22. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    lol, last year I bought my kiddos second hand 5 year old laptops. Looks like your daughter is getting star treatment. How old is the Samsung?
  23. 4 years old, but well used, and any new stuff I buy I get a rebate on...
    ruffneck23 likes this.
  24. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    Well I hope she appreciates the generosity of her parents, lol.

    wrt buying a PC, I would still lean towards getting a laptop rather than a desktop PC assuming that there's no gaming or heavy video editing needed. The laptop can easily be used like a desktop by plugging in a keyboard mouse and monitor (or having a docking station as in your original question), but also maintains the flexibility to take it anywhere. My 5 year old laptop has almost exclusively been used in "desktop" mode, and if you have a wireless keyboard, mouse and monitor you don't even have to bother with a docking station.
  25. Chz

    Chz Stark Raving Sane

    For what it's worth, the vast majority of consumer laptops don't support a dock. It's one of those features they use to upsell the business models.

    Also, having recently shopped around, the cheapest new not-shit laptop around was this one:
    LENOVO IdeaPad 320s-14IKB 14" Laptop - Grey

    Only downside being 4GB vs 8GB of RAM, but the memory is replaceable - not soldered - so it can be upgraded once this RAM price silliness settles back down to normal levels.
    Bahnhof Strasse likes this.
  26. Chz

    Chz Stark Raving Sane

    Ah, it's up to £400 now. Still a decent price for a decent laptop, but not the steal it was at £329. Currys does still have the "Trade in basically anything for £50 off", as well.

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