What is the difference between a port replicator and docking station?

Laptop

Laptop
Laptop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

What is the difference between a port replicator and docking station?

  • Hi There,
     
    Sorry, this might be a stupid question but I've been a "desktop" person forever and finally ventured into Laptop world so I'm still learning. 
     
    What is the difference between a port replicator and a docking station?  I am trying to figure out which would be the best option/accessory for the inspiron 6000.  I can see from previous questions posted that a designated docking station for this particular model is not available...what the heck do I buy?  I would like to hook up the AC adapter to it, along with an external mouse, keyboard and printer.  Nothing fancy.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
    Thanks for your help.
  • A docking station is more flexible than a port replicator - usually a true dock will have expansion ports, and possibly space for a hard drive and other things.

    For what you want to do, a port replicator is fine.
  • Were you able to find a port replicator for your Inspiron 6000? Wish I had known that not all laptops can be docked - would have bought a different model. The things you learn the hard way !

  • Hi There!! 

    Yes, I did.  I ended up getting the Kensington port replicator that Dell offers.  It's fine I guess, it didn't even dawn on me until after I purchased the laptop to check into docking stations.  Live and learn is right.   Oh well..I am however happy with it otherwise. 

     

  • I nearly ordered the Kensington replicator that you are using, when I noticed in the tech specs that it does not support external monitor.  Is it true?  I will not be able to use it if I cannot connect a large monitor.
  • My big monitor is an old clunker and needs a 'female' plug in. The Kensington only has a male serial port, so I wasn't able to plug in the monitor. I guess it depends on your monitor. 
  • My monitor is a brand new Dell flat screen, but it also requires a female serial port, and Dell 6000 does not support a deck station, so it appears this model is just not fit for a dual laptop/desktop usage.  Buyer beware.  I guess my next computer will be a Toshiba...