Question Need Information for Windows Laptop Computer And Docking Station Compatibility

Jun 6, 2022
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There are many reviews on laptops and docking stations independently, however I am unable to find any reviews that discuss the docked configuration and how the computer and dock work together.

In the "olden days", the laptop computer had a socket on the bottom that interfaced with the docking station. The docking station was then used to control the laptop. The Windows configuration could detect the docked/un-docked state and arrange the windows for either the single screen or the dual screens. This was very convenient as I docked and un-docked the computer often.

Fast-forward to present time, I find myself in need of an updated laptop. The docks currently available mostly interface through a USB-C Thunderbolt connection. However, in the versions I have looked at, the docking arrangement is less than useful.

The docks I have seen do have a power button, but it seems that this is only to turn on the dock. To turn on the computer, the lid must be opened and the power button on the keyboard pushed. Once the computer is up and running, the lid may be closed and the dock takes over.

This has several undesirable issues with it:

• The start-up process is very cumbersome and time consuming. Each time I start the computer, I have to

• The computer does not seem to recognize the docked configuration with regard to window placements when docked. They show up in the same place last used.

• The screen resolutions (if different between the dock and monitor), must be adjusted each time the unit is docked and un-docked.

Are there any reviews, blogs, discussions, etc. That cover the configuration of a computer and an attached dock? (e.g. how they work together?)
 

mrmike16

Honorable
Mar 10, 2016
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Unfortunately, from what I have seen these past few years "docks" are no longer the docks that you are talking about. They have lost the critical functionality of real docks - Turning a mobile PC into a desktop. The new ones are usually just hubs, adding more ports to your device. I have a Surface Dock, and while I do use it to transform my Surface Pro 4 laplet into a secondary screen, it isn't the same. And it doesn't even have USB 2-3.1 ports on the front, only USB Type-C (As if every device is USB Type-C all of a sudden).

That said, they do still make USB Type-C docks that come close your description, with power buttons that reportedly (according to reviews on Amazon) turn the laptop on and off. There are a few of them on this article - The 10 Best Usb C Docks With Power Button (2022 reviews) - Why We Like This - USA

As for the resolutions, that probably depends on the driver for the dock. My Surface does switch automatically.
 
Reactions: JGreg777
Jun 6, 2022
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Thank you for the input. At least I know what to expect.
It seems that the more sophisticated computers get, the fewer usable features are included.
 
Reactions: mrmike16

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Most corporate laptop models have docking stations that do turn on the laptop with the lid closed. Usually the dock from the same brand as the laptop works for power on with the dock, generic or cross brands do not work well with that function.

I also hate the move to USB C / Thunderbolt for the docks, the connectors are too flimsy for constant use. That is a large failure point now, the ports or cables failing.
 
Reactions: mrmike16
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