There's an ultra-mobile PC, a keyboard, a monitor, a mouse, an optical drive - but what's missing? The connection between them, naturally.
My TabletKiosk eo v7110 does not have a simple dock at this time (but does have a port replicator) and my incoming HTC Shift does not have a dock port. I needed a solution. I know Frank from ultramobilepc-tips covered this before, but I decided to give the Targus Universal Docking Station with Video a once-over. It is clearly a box made for notebooks (hence the size and shape) but is attractive enough to look good on a desk by itself as long as the cables are well organized nearby. Refurbished, it was $25 on woot.com with $5 shipping. I couldn't pass that up.
The simple box provides four USB ports (two with extra power,) an Ethernet jack, stereo sound, microphone, and serial ports as well as a VGA port. The last black dot on the far side is a power button.
The solitary upstream USB port makes one wonder if all these devices can share the bandwidth of a single port. The video below shows the results (and a lot more) so start watching. The video was made after installing the (Vista compatible) drivers and unplugging it several times so load times were typical.
I will restate the opinion in the video: Attaching it is faster than plugging in each device individually and allows you to organize your cables better, but it is still not fast. Disconnecting it is very fast and seamless. Every device (USB, serial, Ethernet, and sound) work but sound quality is disappointing and video is nearly unusable. I would keep open documents, Email, instant messages, and maybe notes or reminders on the 2nd display, but wouldn't even want to scroll through web pages on it.
Conclusion: I have to agree with Frank on this one: worth every penny I spent on the refurbished unit, but wholly not worth the MSRP on Targus's site.