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Belkin's new universal laptop dock

Belkin's new universal laptop dock

More popular in ye olden days when laptops didn't have all the ports and connections found on newer systems, the lowly laptop dock has largely been relegated to users who just need a mechanical interface for connecting to a full-size desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Belkin aims to make the laptop dock useful again, with its universal ExpressCard Notebook Expansion Dock. With a router-like form factor, the dock uses your laptop's ExpressCard slot (which, honestly, probably wasn't being used anyway) to connect, providing much more bandwidth than a standard USB 2.0 connection, particularly useful for playing back high-res video.

Key features include:

  • High-resolution, DVD-quality video output through VGA or DVI ports (up to 1,600x1,200)
  • 5.1 surround sound support through optical or 3.5mm outputs
  • Five USB 2.0 ports, including two top-load USB ports for easy access by thumbdrives
  • 10/100Mbps Ethernet access for instant connection to multiple external devices.

    It's compatible with Windows XP and Vista (sorry, Mac fans) and should be shipping in North America in late November for $199.