?Stands, Docking Stations and Port Replicators What Is The Difference?
Lets start by getting some terminology straight. Various terms such as Laptop Stand,
Docking Station and Port Replicator are sometimes used universally in one capacity
or another. To be clear here is the way I define them:
Laptop stands are exactly what they sound like, a stand that you can set your laptop
on. They are normally angled so that the back of the laptop is higher than the front
similar to the effect you get from the legs on a keyboard. This angling is important
because the less you have to extend your wrists to reach the keys, the less chance of
The impetus behind a laptop stand is to minimize overheating. As I once read re:
laptops; You dont use them on your lap if you want to have kids.
Most laptop stands portable devices, they collapse, fold up, and can stow easily inside
a carrying case.
If you have a dedicated place for using your laptop, you may want to upgrade from a
stand to a docking station. Stands support a laptop while a docking station is more
elaborate. They feature ports for an external monitor, mouse, keyboard, as well as
Ethernet, phone, and USB ports. The docking stations are definitely a step up and its
reflected in the price. Where a stand can be found for $20 or less, youll be hard
pressed to find a good docking station for less than $100. For some examples of
Docking Stations try Googling HP XB 3000 or HP XB 4000.
Port replicators take the port replication features of a docking station and offer it as a
standalone package. They feature attachment points for an external monitor, mouse,
and keyboard, as well as Ethernet, phone, and USB ports. HP made a number of Port
replicators including the KN744 that also powers the laptop. This was a good end run
solution to power laptops that has lost their AC port ability as it ran off the #2 or #3
Port. However in recent years HP stopped including the large ports on its laptops
removing the KN744 laptop power option. However, all is not lost as there is still a
number of Universal Port Replicators such as the HP VY843AA which will run on
any laptop with a USB port. While it wont power up the laptop, the ports are
replicated using the USB port.
For additional information try visiting and search any of the above SKU numbers.