HP xb2000 notebook expansion base
It's heavy and takes up more desk space than any other setup we evaluated, but the $250 HP xb2000 notebook expansion base is a fairly complete docking solution that will turn your laptop into a true desktop PC. The 12-pound xb2000 incorporates high-quality speakers, a wireless keyboard-mouse combo, and a bay for a high-capacity hard drive. It's also compatible with a half dozen different HP Compaq notebooks (HP Pavilion models zx/zv5000, dv1000, zd8000, and ze2000, as well as Compaq Presario models M2000, R3000, X6000 and V2000).
Once the notebook is hooked up to the xb2000's large connector--something of an awkward operation--you'll still have access to your notebook's keyboard; this came in handy when we wanted to use the Pavilion dv1000's QuickPlay feature. The expansion base can be tilted up to 45 degrees backward, and you can also adjust the height between 6 and 10 inches so that the display is at eye level. On the downside, we found the whole setup somewhat wobbly.
At the base of the xb2000 sit a pair of Harman Kardon speakers, with a prominent thumbwheel to control volume and a mute button. If you're already using one of HP's multimedia notebooks that features Harman Kardon speakers--the Pavilion zd7000, zd8000, or dv1000, for example--the speakers are overkill; if not, you're sure to get richer sound than you'd get from your system's built-in speakers.