recently I purchased - rather occasional, this story comes bit later - Port Replicator II by IBM (modell 74P6733) for my laptop T43p. While waiting for the device to arrive, I searched Google for the reviews and opinions - but found nearly nothing. This surprised me a bit, and I decided to
feel the gap and post a kind of review for the device. I don't want to be extremely precise and objective, I just tell you how it looks and feels like.
You may find the photos of the device (sorry for the quality, was made by the cell phone) in my album "My desktop / T43p & Co." on my Picasa page: http://picasaweb.google.com/andrey.grigorev
How it looks like...
So, as you may see, the Port Replicator II (74P6733) is quite small, black (what else should one expect from IBM???) and light. It's smaller than the laptop itself, so it's completely hidden when laptop is on the replicator.
All ports are on the back side, on the top of replicator there are 2 buttons - power on/off and undock/eject laptop.
The replicator raises laptop a bit (approx. 2 cm). It will make the typing more comfortable, if you use the internal keyboard of the laptop.
How it feels like...
Earlier, when I had to take my laptop away from the desk, I had to disconnect all the cables (and when I returned back, I had to plug them back). It was boring. Really. Network cable, boxes, eventually keyboard, power cable, external drive... All that stuff I had to pull out and then plug in again. Now, with the replicator, I have to press one button to release the laptop from all cables. And - what is more important - I need only one movement to attach all of them back. (Even PS/2 ports are recognized and "hot-plugged" - yesterday I tried it.)
As you may see on the photo, the replicator is equipped with the following ports: PS/2 (mouse + keyboard), COM, LPT, VGA, DVI, RJ11 (modem), RJ45 (Ethernet), USB 2.0 and port for the floppy drive (proprietary interface of IBM). Siince I have no external monitor, I could not test the VGA- and/or DVI-ports. But the rest just work - under both Windows and Linux.
Exotic ports - like Firewire - are not available, but - to be honest - when have you used any Firewire device for the last time?
Some people said, 1 USB 2.0 port was not enough. Actually, together with laptop you have 3 of them. Isn't it enough? Besides I have a USB 1.1 hub with 2 ports (in the form of PCMCIA card).
So, in total I have 5 ports - and I'm quite satisfied with it.
With this port replicator, you get a set of standard ports, which allow you to convert your laptop into desktop machine. If you are not satisfied with 3 USB 2.0 ports, you should think about
purchasing the Mini-Dock II (model 2878) - it has 4 ports.
The price you pay for it is a room on you desk. Port replicator occupies certain room.
So, that's all. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them - I will try to answer.
I've been silent for quite a long time... Due to the different reasons - private and my work... But I plan to post a couple of messages soon... I have something to tell... :-)
ya dolgo ne pisal, po raznym prichinam - lichnym + moya rabota... No ya hochu v blijayshee vremya napisat paru novyh postov...