The vast majority of notebook docking stations have traditionally been nothing more than port replicators or breakout docks that give users the ability to quickly connect their portable computers to desktop-bound accessories, like keyboards, mice, and monitors. Sure, there have been some hybrid docking stations that have allowed for increased expansion options on some notebooks, but they are the exceptions, not the norm.
I think it's time for that to change. Notebook sales have been outpacing desktops for quite some time now, but that doesn't mean all of those notebook buyers have chosen a portable machine over a desktop. Some of them, perhaps most of them, bought a notebook as a compliment to a desktop PC. Regardless of the convenience of a notebook, for some there's just no substituting for a large screen, quality input devices, and the performance of a desktop PC. With that in mind, I think it's time to take the notebook docking station concept up a notch to better appease these users, and equip the devices with capabilities that can morph the notebook into something much more powerful, while also offering additional functionality to other PC users in the home (or office).
A number of current notebooks offer hybrid graphics subsystems that give users the ability to switch between low-power integrated graphics and higher-performing discreet solutions. The technology already exists to allow for switchable graphics, so why not integrate the higher-performing discreet graphics into a docking station--which will be connected to a larger screen--to allow for higher performance when connected?
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