Kool Tools: Matrox Thunderbolt docking stations
If you own an Apple laptop and want to turn them into full-fledged desktop computers, you can pretty much do this with the DS1 series of Thunderbolt docking stations from Matrox.
Thunderbolt is, of course, an interface for connecting peripheral devices to a computer via an expansion bus. Developed by Intel and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple, it's included on all recent Mac models.
From a single Thunderbolt connection, you can add multiple peripherals including either a large DVI or an HDMI display, a full-size keyboard, and a mouse. A gigabit Ethernet port provides connectivity to a wired corporate network, enabling data transfers 18 times faster than Wi-Fi.
The docking stations also save you time; you don't have to constantly be disconnecting and re-connecting all your devices. One Thunderbolt connection does it all.
The docking stations also boast a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, located on the front of the unit, plus two USB 2.0 ports, a microphone input, and a speaker/headphone output. With its solid aluminum construction and space-saving design, Matrox DS1 is great for use in student residences, corporate environments, and home offices.
Two versions are offered, one for use with DVI monitors and another for use with HDMI displays. Priced at US$249, Matrox DS1/DVI and Matrox DS1/HDMI are now available in the Americas through a network of authorized dealers. Worldwide availability is scheduled for early January. For more info go to http://www.matrox.com/docking_station/en/ds1/ .