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Targus laptop docking station is gateway to peripheral pleasures

A single USB port lets you connect quickly to peripherals, a network, and external display.

On lower-priced laptops and Netbooks, something typically sacrificed is the ability to link up with an external display through anything but a VGA output. With the Targus USB 2.0 Docking Station with Video (aka the ACP51US) it doesn't even matter what, if any, display output your notebook or Netbook has, though.

Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 systems, the wedge-shaped dock uses DisplayLink technology to connect to an external monitor up to a resolution of 2,048x1,152 pixels. A single USB 2.0 port on your laptop is all that's needed to add an external monitor, up to four USB devices, Ethernet, speakers, and a mic. Two of the four USB ports are powered, too, in case you need an always-on option for charging a couple USB devices like your cell phone or MP3 player.

This kind of connectivity doesn't come cheaply, however. The docking station will set you back roughly $160.