back to article Kensington Universal Notebook Dock

Laptops invariably lack a port you’ve been used to on a desktop. You have to buy a suitable adaptor or work around the missing connection. Kensington, maker of peripherals you never thought you’d need, has come up with a solution: a universal dock, needing just one USB connection to your portable. Kensington Universal Dock …


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  1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Tough row to hoe

    I have had to support two Kensington universal USB docks with various laptops. The experiences were horrible. The drivers would often either crash or not allow the laptop to sleep. In the case of a crash, somehow the driver crash would cause the entire office network to stop operating if the dock was jacked-in.

    I hope Kensington has corrected its driver issues, as ours were never updated and the docks now discontinued.

    Paris, jacked-in, discontinued, and never updated.

  2. hammarbtyp

    Wot no serial...

    A serial port would of been nice, so few laptops(or PC's) come with them anymore. And some of us do still use them

  3. Jonathan Mills
    Thumb Down

    The video output supports resolutions of up to 1280 x 1024

    is that really enough in this day and age? my laptop is 1920*1200 native on it's 15.4" screen, i'm sure i wouldn't want to go to 1280 on a 19" 4:3 screen.

  4. Jamie Kitson
    IT Angle

    Dual Screens

    > or configure them as one big desktop, where you can drag objects between the two. This mode takes some getting used to

    wtf? You do know you're writing for a technology mag, not CBeebies?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Mmmm, leafy

    Ooooo, a PR puff piece thinly disguised as a review.

    I had one of these things for a while and the assessment of video performance here is slightly misleading. The CPU has to compress all display output and this significantly damages performance with video playback of any reasonable resolution. Games were just a joke - perhaps the drivers have improved since, but I was unable to play any DirectX games at all.

    Video over USB confuses me. Most, if not all, laptops have VGA out, so why would anyone want to use a slow, compressed data link instead?

  6. Tim Miller

    The point of the USB ports ...

    ... is surely so you can plug in a keyboard, mouse, phone/PDA dock, and so on, so that you don't have to keep plugging these into the laptop itself.

  7. Edwin

    Not nearly the first

    I seem to remember Targus had one of these a few years ago, though perhaps not as cheap.

  8. Lionel Baden

    this is news how ??

    these have been knocking round for a while !

    i have used 1 find it kinda annoying Much prefer the proper dock though because this misses one of the most important cables

    Power !

    p.s. no flame intended sorry if it came over like that

  9. Tom Smith Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    And thumbs up from here

    Been using these at work for about a year now (since my boss ordered a bunch of laptops without making sure they had dock connectors...) and they work fine. Training a user to understand which screen is which and what they have to do if windows decides not to enable the extra screen is still a problem of course, but as a universal dock it works well.

  10. Alex Walsh

    £50? You'll be lucky

    A quick squizz at Amazon Market Place shows a lot of sellers flogging older models (some dating back to 2006). If you can find this one for £50, please let me know :)

  11. Anonymous Coward


    Can't find any mention of Linux drivers - target market diminished somewhat?

  12. Dylan Brandes

    This product is shite dont buy it

    I bought this twice from 2 seperate places and vga broke on it both times (message came up in windows saying there is a problem with USB device and it cannot be recognised).... Waste of 80 quid. It is meant to be a good bit of kit from a respectable manufacturer. Disapointed. Thats all i have to say.

  13. Mage
    Thumb Down


    In the start of the article it's correctly mentioned that the value of a dock is to give the laptop the missing ports that are on a desktop.

    This gives audio, USB, ethernet and VGA.

    Virtually every real laptop has those. The USB expansion can be done with £4 hub.

    What about firewire, serial, parallel, HDMI, PS/2 ports? Any or all of those would be useful. I think this is a waste of money.

    A Dubious value USB to Video (you won't play games or run Aero Glass or decent video on that), basic USB audio, USB to ethernet, which is a usually really poor and a 4 port USB hub.

    This is not a a dock but a dodgy USB gadget.

  14. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Down

    Re: Ports

    I concur with Mage. It's a glorified USB-hub. There is not even a digital audio interface. If this had the full slew of legacy ports (add ADB for the occasional vintage Mac device) and FireWire it might be more interesting, but FW would of course kill the "one cable" approach. I also fail to understand what it interesting in video over USB. It might be "fun" for ultramobile devices that come without dedicated video ports, but that's about it. I think it spells trouble and the comments so far substantiate that thought.

  15. richard tanswell

    Wake up HP

    I use a lot of high end HP business laptops and their advanced docking solutions. However, despite being told to the contrary by HP, the docking solutions do not support dual screens (ie the docking solution has a VGA and DVI port but only one works at a time). You can use the laptop screen and an external monitor but not 2 external monitors.

    Our solution is a VGA/DVI to USB adapter but for the price that Kensington solution, HP must be able to factor something similar into their docking solution, considering they are nearly 3 times the price!

    Dual screens are becoming more of a requirement these days, together with mobility, the docking solution should support this requirement!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    What other posters said - and also...

    ...'Listening to both classical and rock tracks gave a good balanced stereo stage and a plenty of presence.'

    Oh, FFS. "Plenty pf presence"? For chrissakes get over yourself. That one line eliminates any residual technical credibility you might have had.

  17. jai

    re: Wot no serial...

    no, you're the only one who does


  18. Scott Mckenzie


    10/100 Ethernet, no DVI

    Come back when they've got something useful!!!

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