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Docking Station Options

By john.fischer ·
How well/fast does the VGA signal travel through a USB docking station to an external monitor? I need to use an external monitor along with my laptop's LCD screen. But I have other peripherals to attach to the laptop, too. So I need a docking station rather than plugging each cord directly into the laptop.

Here's the background on my question:

I am in the market for personal purchase of a docking station or port replicator, for use with my company-owned Dell Latitude when working from home. The company provides me with the Dell D/Port docking station at my office desk. It's great -- every port you could dream of. But it's dedicated to this Dell laptop, (and any future models that Dell makes, that follow the same docking configuration: Big, detailed port on bottom of Latitude).

But since this will be a personal purchase, I'm inclined to go with something USB-related, so I could use it with different/future laptops. There are two such devices I've found on the market that might serve my needs:

Targus ACP50US
Belkin F5U216

Both of these have VGA & Ethernet ports, which are the two essential ports I need on a docking station. They each have a variety of other ports; the Targus more than the Belkin.

I have an older model Targus Port Replicator that worked just fine for an earlier personal laptop. But it didn't have VGA, and that is a critical issue for my current need: I must have good, fast data-transfer to the external monitor. I know that USB 2.0 is considerably faster than 1.1. But does anyone have experience with such a docking station? I need to be certain the VGA signal transfers adequately via the USB connection between the laptop and the external monitor.

Thanks for any help and advice you can provide!

John Fischer,
Portland, Oregon

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