Lab – Research Docking Stations and Port Replicators (Answers Version)
Answers Note: Red font color or gray highlights indicate text that appears in the Answers copy only.
A docking station uses proprietary connectors that turn laptops into a desktop system by connecting to other peripheral devices, such as mice, keyboards, and external monitors. A port replicator can provide some or all of the functionality of docking station; however, it usually connects to the laptops via USB or Thunderbolt connection.
In this lab, you will research the specifications for a proprietary laptop docking station and a generic port replicator for a specific laptop model. Be prepared to discuss your decisions regarding your choices.
For the proprietary docking stations, navigate to the major computer brands’ websites to search for their recommendations. For the generic port replicators, they can be found on websites of major computer brands or computer electronic stores.
Answers Note: You may choose another laptop docking station to research. The answers below are specific to the Lenovo P51s. Laptops can use the manufacturer’s proprietary docking stations and/or port replicators that are connected via USB.
Step 1: Choose a laptop with an associated docking station.
The major computer brands that target the business market will most likely sell laptop models that use proprietary docking stations.
Navigate to the web site of a major computer brand. Search for a propriety docking station suitable for your laptop model. Review the provided information and answer the following questions.
- What is the model or part number of the docking station?
Answers may vary. The model is ThinkPad Pro Docking Station – 90W. The part number is 40A10090US.
- What is the approximate cost?
The cost is $215.
- What are the dimensions of the docking station?
Height: 2.19 in (55.6 mm)
Width: 13.58 in (345 mm)
Depth: 6.40 in (162.5 mm)
- How does the laptop connect to the docking station?
The laptop has a docking station connector on the underside of the laptop, which attaches to a connector on the docking station.
- List some of the features available with this docking station.
3x USB 2.0, one supports always-on USB charging, 3x USB 3.0
10/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, supports enterprise manageability
1x DisplayPort 1.2 (Exclusive use with DVI-D), 1x DVI-D (Exclusive use with DisplayPort), 1x VGA
Driver-free, perfect video quality
1x Stereo/Mic Combo Audio Port
Security lock hole
Convenient eject button for one-step system removal
Charges your ThinkPad
- Is this docking station compatible with other laptop models?
Yes, this docking station works with ThinkPad T, L, X, and X1 Series laptops. For a specific laptop model, some of the manufacturers may have a finder: https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/docksSearch/
Step 2: Choose a port replicator.
In this step, search and review the technical specification for a port replicator that is compatible with your laptop model. Answer the following questions.
- What is the model or part number of the port replicator?
Answers may vary. The model is ThinkPad USB-C Dock. The part number is 40A90090US.
- What is the approximate cost?
The cost is $190.
- What are the dimensions of the port replictor?
Height: 1.28 in (32.5 mm)
Width: 6.73 in (171 mm)
Depth: 3.15 in (80 mm)
- How does the laptop connect to the port replicator?
The port replicator supports any laptops with full function USB-C port.
- List some of the features available with this port replicator.
2 x DP
1 x VGA
3 x USB 3.0 – 1 provides always-on mobile device charging
2 x USB 2.0
1 x USB-C (data only, provides 5V, 3A power)
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
1 x Stereo/Mic Combo Port
1 x Security Lock Slot
- Is this port replicator compatible with other laptop models?
Yes, it supports laptops with full function USB-C port, not just Lenovo laptops.
Now that you have chosen a docking station and a port replicator for your laptop model, which is your choice? Explain your choice and list some of advantages and disadvantages.
The docking station is only compatible with specific vendors and models and usually slightly more expensive. The port replicator can be used with laptops of different brands or models, as long as the laptops have the correct connections. For choosing either docking station or port replicator, verify that the monitor has the correct connections, such VGA, DVI or HDMI.