Belkin's new universal laptop dock

Belkin's new universal laptop dock

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
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.