StarTech 4-in-1 USB VGA Docking Station review

By Julio Franco ยท 4 replies
Feb 26, 2009
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  1. There's an ever increasing trend that for many the laptop has become the new desktop. Whether that's because of the affordability of low-end notebooks and popularity of netbooks, or because the more costly laptops can nearly replace a desktop in pure performance terms, many users are no longer relying on a desktop system for their computing needs.

    The major advantage this poses is portability, being able to take your computer with you and use it anywhere, though once you are settled in at home or your office this same factor can play against you. Anyone who has used a notebook for an extended period of time knows that a small screen, cramped keyboard and touch pad can be frustrating and really slow you down. To remedy home/office situations like this, StarTech has developed the USB 4-in-1 Docking Station with VGA, a KVM-like device that allows you to connect commonly used peripherals and an external monitor all through a single USB cable.

    Besides simplifying multiple USB connections which you could manage using a simple hub, the docking station can also pass-through your audio and even video output using a single USB port for painless operation.

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  2. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 860   +67

    We had a couple of USB docking stations purchased and they were not adequate - because the video signal goes through usb, the docking station itself has its own image processor which reduces the resolution (in the case of ours it was only capable of showing 4:3).

    If you want to output to a decent 20 inch widescreen, you really need to look somewhere else - the image quality from a standard port replicator would be much better.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 6,908   +10

    We very much like the Star Tech 4 in 1. We use them everyday in our shops. They are rugged and simple... handy for a number of issues and rescues.
  4. - Standard port replicator - yes, because it's connected to mother board directly not throuh "slow" and lossy USB / VGA conversion.

    - if the laptop doesn't have port replicator (majority non-business laptops don't have one) you can try an Express card docking station, which is done by Targus, Kensington, Toshiba as well as MTC (see my post below).

    - If you don't have any of these, and you don't want to run a VGA or DVI or HDMI cable sticking out of your lappy then you are stuck with VGA through USB.

    - I don't know uch about the UWB, perhaps this standard will allow to push it more to the limits but according the USB specs, wireless USB is also mited to same max speed a wired USB. See more here.... But you can certainy try it, there are UWB docks available...

    These are your options.
  5. hmmm, doens't display links in my last post. Something went wrong.

    This is the manufacturer of te above dock... StarTech is not the manufacturer, just a reseller...

    Since I have the same issue with the vertical blurry lines on my external monitor (Dell, 1680x1050 native res.) I sent them an emai. Let's see if they have a fix for it.

    I do like the MCT dock, but if there is no fix or this issue then you might want to look around and consider Targus or Kensington or Toshiba docking station.

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