good-way-docking-station
Good Way DU2781 Docking Station

Several of the companies showing off netbook-related products at CES 2009 weren’t demonstrating new computers, but accessories to extend the functionality of these low power laptops. Good Way Technology and Glory Mark Electronics are two Taiwanese companies offering docking stations that add audio, video, and USB connections to notebooks and netbooks.

The Good Way DU2771/DU2781 docking station offers a 4 port USB hub, an Ethernet port, a VGA or DVI output, mic and headphone jacks. It supports vido resolutions of up to 1680 x 1050 and will allow you to either clone your netbook desktop on a larger display or set up an extended display with separate content showing on each screen.

Good Way is an ODM, which means you may see this docking station show up under a different brand name. A Good Way rep told me the docking station typically retails for between $160 and $180. The company also sells a line of USB hubs, USB VGA and DVI adapters, and data migration cables for syncing files between your computers.

Glory Mark, meanwhile is pushing its GDS-5120/GDS-5160 docking station which adds a DVI port, a PC to PC link, 4 USB ports, and 5.1 channel audio to notebooks. The GDS-5120 supports monitors with display resolutions up to 1400 x 150 pixels, while the GDS-5160 supports screens up to 1680 x 1050 or 1600 x 1200. Glory Mark also makes a line of tiny media player boxes, USB hubs, and flash card readers. A Glory Mark rep at CES said the docking station retails for around $120 to $150.

Honestly I’m not convinced most netbook users need these types of docking stations. Most netbooks come with 2-3 USB ports and if you need more you can pick up a cheap 4 port USB hub for a few bucks. And most netbooks also have a VGA out port. If you have a monitor that needs a DVI connection you can usually find an adapter for much less money than one of these docking stations. But if you’re still interested, you can find a few more pictures after the break.

Update: DisplayLink also has a USB docking station with support for audio, video, and LAN connection. I didn’t get a chance to see it in person, but you the press release is online.

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2 replies on “The netbook docking stations of CES 2009”

  1. Given that these all seem to attach via USB (as the only expansion available to mortals), video/network performance is likely to be pretty terrible, and sound performance severely impinge upon what limited potential USB hub performance remains. Bringing netbooks to the desktop with these will cause frustration, not flexibility.

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