Are there any other tablets with a dedicated dock like the SP?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dylanemcgregor, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I currently have an aging Thinkpad laptop with an Ultrabase dock that I love. There's a bunch I like about it, but I think the biggest thing is just the fact that means I always have a dedicated place on my desk for the laptop to sit, since I'm not going to be putting anything else on the dock when the laptop is not there. If it was just empty desk space then it certainly would eventually get papers stacked up in that space. So all the Thunderbolt or USB docks have the same deficiency, they take up my limited desk space and they don't "reserve" that space for my laptop. Consider that I can't find any dock with an optical drive in it and that means I've got to have even more peripherals floating around on my desk taking up space and adding wires.

    A semi-improvement from a Thunderbolt dock is the Surface Pro dock that holds the Surface upright. Still doesn't help with the optical drive, but at least it doesn't have much of a foot print on the desk and I'm not ever going to put something on top of it. I'd just get a Surface Pro, except that I hate the fact that the battery isn't replaceable. Considering the fact that I generally go through at least two replacement batteries for my laptops and keep them on average for about 7 years, no replaceable battery on something that expensive is a non-starter. So are there any other options, or do I just need to resign myself to having a mess of cords and a standalone box taking up space on my desk?
     
  2. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    This isn't meant as a solution but more something you may also consider as a way of reserving your devices desk space...have you thought about using a cooler pad? If you get one that allows for the angle to be adjusted and you're happy with using the device at an angle you could lose a hub or dock under the tray.

    Something like this may fit the bill and it includes basic cable management https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics...504188908&sr=8-2&keywords=basic+laptop+cooler

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    I haven't personally used one of these but it looks like you could probably tuck an external optical drive in the base?

    There are more elegant solutions that also take up less space, and may suit your needs better than the above example.
     
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  3. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    That's actually pretty cool. If I got something like the Thinkpad Yoga I could fold the keyboard behind the screen and put it on the stand, and have that screen be actually useful. At the moment I pretty much only use an external monitor when docked because the placement of the base makes the laptop screen too far away and small to be very useful, but something like this might make having a dual screen setup more practical. Thanks for the suggestion, it wasn't something I'd even thought about before.
     
  4. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    They can be very useful, I have one of a different design that I use with my Companion rather than the Companion stand. It gives me a wider range of positions and is easily adjusted. As you say it would be great to use with something like a Yoga in tablet mode. I will be using my Netbook 9 pro like that once it arrives in a couple of weeks.

    Some of the other designs have a base that allows for rotation of the tablet which maybe useful in a multi display arrangement? It's worth reading the comments in the Amazon reviews to see what complaints or benefits people describe with the different makes and designs.

    If you can find a good quality USB-C hub or dock and combine it with one of these stands you can build a useful setup. If you get one that can pass through the power to you tablet it would reduce the number of cables as well.
     
  5. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    So another thought, are there monitors that can effectively act as a dock these days and send power to the laptop over the USB-C or Thunderbolt connection? Seems like there would be no reason to have a separate box taking up room on the desk if you had a monitor that could do the same thing for just a little bit more money...but a quick search seemed to indicate it should be possible, but didn't turn up any actual products so far. So what's the deal?
     
  6. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'm not sure if there are any available right now? Manufactures like Dell and Lenovo will probably be leading the charge, as that would be useful for corporate markets. The big problem is USB-C is still a bit of a crap shoot, especially once you want to add power into the mix. If you find one you need to be sure that it will pass power through to your specific device imho.
     
  7. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks. That seems to be my impression as well. I thought with Thuderbolt being out for a number of years now there would be a lot of options on that level, but it seems hard to find many examples by searching. There was a pair of Lenovo monitors announced at CES in 2016, and supposed to be available in May '16. The 24" version for $400 sounds perfect, even including wireless phone charging in the monitor base, but I can't find any word of this since then.
     
  8. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Apple used to have the Thunderbolt 27" Display and it was an awesome device, but discontinued it a few years ago. I bought one with a Macbook Air. Eventually I think they realized its probably better to keep things simple and have the dock be a dock and the display be a display.
     
  9. Shizaru

    Shizaru Scribbler - Standard Member

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