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Docking stations used to be fairly niche accessories, matching a specific brand of computer and connecting via a proprietary port. Universal docking stations have changed this, and Toshiba's dynadock V is a fine example of a modern universal dock. The compact device connects to a Windows XP, Vista, or 7 computer system via a single USB connection.
A docking station is designed to allow you to connect your notebook computer to a slew of accessories via a single cable connection. With many users eschewing a desktop system in favor of a more versatile notebook system, docking stations have become more common and offer enhanced functionality when compared to older accessories.
Housed in a compact enclosure, which takes up only 3 x 1.5" of desk space thanks to its vertical orientation, the dynadock V sets itself apart from the crowd thanks to an internal video card, which allows it to drive a display -- up to 1920 x 1080 in resolution -- via a digital DVI-I output. A DVI to VGA adapter is included with the dock.
Most notebooks will allow you to output a video signal to an external display via an analog VGA connection; you can use the dynadock V to output to a digital display, or to supplement your notebook's video output in order to drive dual external displays. You can even use your notebook's built-in display for a triple-monitor configuration, giving you more screen real estate than you can shake a proverbial stick at.
The dock also features four USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, a headphone jack, and a microphone jack. One of the USB ports is front-facing, and supports Sleep-and-Charge. This technology allows you to use the port to charge a portable device, such as an iPod or cell phone, even when the computer is not connected to the hub.
The dock is very easy to setup. An installation CD is included with the device, which installs all the necessary drivers for Windows XP (32-bit), Windows Vista (32/64-bit), or Windows 7 (32/64-bit). You'll need to restart your system once the installation process is complete. Everything you need to use the dock -- the desktop stand, DVI to VGA adapter, universal AC adapter, and USB cable -- is included with the dock.
The dynadock V is a great accessory for notebook owners who would also like to use their system in a desktop configuration. There's no need to connect a plethora of devices -- display, keyboard, mouse, external hard drive, speakers, microphone, iPod dock, printer, and the like -- individually. Simply connect the dock to your notebook via a single USB connection and you're ready to work.