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Using a Notebook as a 'closed case' Desktop

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Using a Notebook as a 'closed case' Desktop

Old 01-31-06, 01:26 PM
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Using a Notebook as a 'closed case' Desktop

I just got a Dell Inspiron 6000 notebook.

While home, I really want it as a 'closed case' desktop - I have a wireless keyboard, mouse, and a Dell 20" LCD monitor, as well as external speakers, tv tuner etc.

Seems a pain to hook so many items to the computer 'for life support'. Maybe a port replicator, but there are other issues as well.

1) How do I turn on the computer? Seems like I HAVE to open the case to access the power button.
2) Once you do that, it likes the built in monitor - looks like I need Fn-8 or a Dell Quickset function to move to the external monitor.
3) Haven't done the keyboard/mouse yet - I HOPE I can hook them into the monitor (which has usb ports) and use only one usb link to the notebook.


Given the external functions are there, you'd think this would be easy, but it seems like you have to hook up this/that/other whenever you leave or arrive, and even then, you have to 'convert' it from a notebook to a desktop every time you power up.

Thoughts? Is there a link to a way to make this as easy as possible?
Old 01-31-06, 01:53 PM
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The right port replicator will have a power switch on it. I'm posting from a laptop on a port replicator right now.

Edited to add: Ah, an Inspiron. I don't think there is a true docking solution for those, only the Latitudes.

Last edited by AGuyNamedMike; 01-31-06 at 01:58 PM.
Old 01-31-06, 01:59 PM
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You want the Universal Notebook Docking Station

Although it looks like the Power button might still be an issue.

Last edited by bralph; 01-31-06 at 02:03 PM.
Old 01-31-06, 02:12 PM
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Another fellow in my office uses his laptop in a dual monitor mode. He has the laptop on its replicator, opened up, set to one side. He has his monitor, keyboard, and mouse in front of him. The display settings are in dual monitor mode. He keeps his email and music apps viewable on the laptops screen and does everything else on the monitor. He swears by it.
Old 01-31-06, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bralph
You want the Universal Notebook Docking Station

Although it looks like the Power button might still be an issue.
Thanks - but it gets bad amazon reviews and supports only up to a certain resolution video - I'll have 1680x1050.
Old 01-31-06, 04:05 PM
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Why did you get a laptop?
Old 01-31-06, 04:54 PM
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It's for my wife - she wants to be able to run around the house with it, travel with it, etc..... BUT for day to day use - we have a trackball, keyboard, LCD monitor etc that she'd like to take advantage of while she's in the office.

Seems like the transition should be an easy one - but it is not.
Old 01-31-06, 06:39 PM
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I would say you should have bought the laptop with that in mind

Look at this

http://www.targus.com/us/product_det...sp?sku=ACP50US

and I understand you want to use your 20" monitor, but these are cool

http://www.xbrandproducts.com/sp-bin...=32&CATALOG=5#

http://www.oysterdock.com/oyster_home.html
Old 01-31-06, 07:07 PM
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Love my Oyster Dock
Old 01-31-06, 07:44 PM
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Understand all the messages - but I guess my point is -----

they add all the ports, then make it still hard to USE those ports efficiently.
Old 01-31-06, 08:21 PM
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The ideal solution for what you've described is a true docking station. You drop your notebook on it and it routes KVM, ethernet, USB, etc. all through the dock. There's no wires to plug/unplug at all and it charges your notebook while it's docked. Pick up the notebook and you're portable again.

Unfortunately, consumer models like the Inspiron lost their docking ports a long time ago. If you can't trade the notebook for another model that has a docking port, then your only option is to use one of those "universal" docks.
Old 01-31-06, 09:07 PM
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shoulda got something like an ibm thinkpad....
Old 01-31-06, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Seeker
shoulda got something like an ibm thinkpad....

Or a Dell model that came with a true dock option
Old 01-31-06, 10:36 PM
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still - seems counterproductive to provide a laptop that has the ports, but not the real capability ---- which is why i didn't give it a lot of thought at the time.
Old 02-01-06, 12:05 AM
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I can't imagine a scenario where it's too difficult to unplug 2 cables to use it portably when you mainly have it docked in an Oyster Dock.
Old 02-01-06, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Gallant Pig
I can't imagine a scenario where it's too difficult to unplug 2 cables to use it portably when you mainly have it docked in an Oyster Dock.
But you're assuming I want what you want - the oyster dock uses the built in screen and I want to use a 20" dell lcd monitor when it is 'in the office'.
Old 02-01-06, 10:29 PM
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Doesn't the Inspiron 6000 have a dual monitor / video out mode? Shouldn't be hard to hook it up to that in a cinch.
Old 02-02-06, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Gallant Pig
Doesn't the Inspiron 6000 have a dual monitor / video out mode? Shouldn't be hard to hook it up to that in a cinch.

Absolutely and if it were me, I would do that, but the wife doesn't want to use two monitors at once.

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