Proprietary notebook docks are things of the past. USB counterparts hit big time with its universal compatibility and more recently the addition of DisplayLink USB video. Kensington has just overhauled its aging sd200v notebook dock with two major upgrades: HD video output and auto install. The new dock, now called sd400v
, has been upgraded with DisplayLink's DL-195 to enable display resolutions up to 2048 x 1152. 720p and 1080p are supported if you add a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The $149.99 sd400v has a DVI-I for video output.
Auto-install is particularly interesting as the sd400v would no longer require users to first install software drivers before plugging in the dock (although installation does happen in the background). This makes the sd400v pretty close to true plug-and-play. You will find 4 USB ports, stereo sound jack, DVI and an 10/100 Ethernet on the back. The audio (headphone and mic) ports and 1 always-on USB port for charging mobile devices even if the notebook is shut down are on the front. This one won't support Mac out of the box, however. There's also model without Ethernet and auto-install that goes for $129.99.