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docking station[′däk·iŋ ‚stā·shən]
A device that connects a portable computer with peripherals such as an external monitor, keyboard, and so on, allowing a portable computer to function as a desktop computer.
A desktop mains powered unit into which a laptop or other portable computer can be connected via fixed connectors at the rear of the computer to provide quick and convenient connection of peripherals not normally used with a laptop. These can include power supply, expansion cards, additional storage, an external monitor, network card, CD-ROM, full-size keyboard, printer, and mouse. The alternative would require each of the above to be connected to the laptop individually.
docking station(1) A cradle for a portable media player that serves to charge and connect the unit to a receiving device. See Apple dock and Android dock.
(2) A base station for a laptop that turns it into a desktop system. Instead of plugging multiple devices into a laptop to make it desktop ready, the keyboard, mouse, monitor and printer are permanently plugged into the docking station. In order to switch from portable to desktop use, the laptop snaps into the docking station via USB or a single special-purpose connector. In addition, the docking station may have built-in peripherals such as an optical drive and speakers. See port replicator and wireless dock.