To USB or Not to USB


USB 3.0 Docking Stations Replace all Others – Starting Now

The Fujitsu, ThinkPad, and Targus USB 3.0 Docking Stations represent the first of future Docking stations.  These units will completely replace the existing docking stations on your desktop within the next 3 years.


USB 3.0 Docking Stations Cost Less

Existing laptop docking stations use PCIExpress Bridges. If you have one, that docking station on your desk works only with your existing laptop.

When you update or upgrade your laptop PC every 2-3 years, you need to replace the docking station and the power brick/supply.


The smart IT department would be smart to start using USB 3.0 Docking Stations or Port Replicators.  This is because your company will not need to purchase a new docking station for at least 5 years, maybe 10. 

The math is simple.


New PCIexpress Docking Station every 3 years at about $130 each over 9 years is $390.

New USB 3.0 Docking Station lasts 10 years, is about $170 now (My guess is the price comes to to $130, so choice will be clear).

If your company is more than 100 people, this adds up quickly.  For the moment, you need to take the long view on this to make your money back, but within a year I think it becomes a no-brainer when USB 3.0 docking stations are everywhere.


Good IT departments will know what to do.

Bad IT departments don’t read this blog.

In fact, I think within 2 years, the older docking stations using PCIExpress will be not be manufactured.

Keep in  mind, the same docking station could be used for a Tablet PC.

If an iPad had a docking station like this, you could use a full monitor, mouse, keyboard.  But I don’t know if these exist today for Tablets, they might in some strange form for some Win7 tablet.  But I’m sure other than these 3, they aren’t USB 3.0 based.

More importantly, the USB 3.0 Docking station could be used with TI OMAP 5, Ivy Bridge, or Samsung Exynos 5 based tablets.

Read these 3 blogs for more.

1) TI OMAP 5 Block Diagram and Picture of Hardware

2) Ivy Bridge

3) Samsung Exynos 5 and Block Diagram 


USB 2.0 is good enough for older monitors and PCs.

Even in USB 2.0 mode, these docking stations can support video across 2 monitors using Adaptive Compression.  So you could replace your existing docking station with a 3.0 Docking Station, and it will be forward compatible.  You will get better performance with 3.0, and you can support fancier monitors, but 2.0 will be sufficient for resolution.

This might seem to argue you don’t need USB 3.0.

That still isn’t true.

You want and need USB 3.0 to connect to your 3 Terabyte Hard Drive sitting under your desk for main storage. 

You need the USB 3.0 connection to the docking station to get to your wired Ethernet  Gigabit per second so you have fast access to your network.



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Flippant Blogs

A reader told me my immediately previous blog was too flippant.

I’m glad people are actually paying attention, enough attention to actually comment on my blog.

So this little addition is add more substance to the previous blog.

And to be less flippant-y.

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