If you use a notebook computer or a Tablet PC as your main computer then you really need a good docking solution so you can connect all of your peripherals with one connection. Unless you spring big bucks for a proprietary docking solution designed especially for your particular device you are stuck with a generic dock that usually connects via USB port. These docks work OK but are usually a bit skimpy on the graphics side due to the relatively low bandwidth of a single USB port.
Belkin aims to change all that with the very attractive Notebook Expansion Dock. Besides having a nice design the dock achieves a first by connecting to the notebook through the ExpressCard slot. This is significant since the ExpressCard connection provides four times the bandwidth of a single USB 2.0 port. The dock makes good use of all that bandwidth with a plethora of connections:
- High-resolution, DVD-quality video output through VGA or DVI ports
- 5.1 surround-sound support through optical or 3.5mm outputs
- Five (5) USB 2.0 ports, including 2 top-load USB ports for easy access by thumb drives
- 10/100Mbps Ethernet access for instant connection to multiple external devices
The Notebook Expansion dock has its own GPU unit and since it doesn’t use any of your notebook’s USB ports leaves them free for other things, in case the 5 ports on the dock aren’t enough. The dock is compatible with Windows XP and Vista and will appear in late November for $200.