When compared to a brand / model specific docking station, the cost of Toshiba Dynadock U3.0 is quite a bargain. After looking around for Lenovo docking stations for our W701ds we found several online, most costing around $250. The W701ds dock uses USB 2.0 technology and has about a third of the features of the Toshiba unit we tested today. The one item that the Lenovo unit has that is lacking on the Dynadock U3.0 is an eSATA port. This may be an issue for some users, but given that USB 3.0 is mature and plentiful (i.e. cheap), you can purchase a basis USB 3.0 enclosure for around $30 and not look at eSATA again.
The ability to use the Dynadock U3.0 with any host system is a big plus in our book and it makes your previous docking stations obsolete for the most part. The Dynadock will not power your notebook though, that would of been quite a treat, but electrically impossible without adding a significant amount to the overall cost and power draw from the wall socket.
The issues that plague the Toshiba Dynadock U3.0 weren't specific to the desktop as we also had them with our notebook as well. Hopefully most if not all of these issues can be corrected with driver modifications or easy to achieve firmware updates. We spent some time on Toshiba's website looking for newer software bits, but didn't find any. Also, there is not a software interface for the Dynadock U3.0, as you might expect. All of the configurations are changed in the normal Windows locations so you don't have to learn new software or be a genius to get the results you desire.
When it comes to pricing, I feel the difference between the $130 online price and the more common $180 retail price is quite significant. For me, I would pay $130 for the Dynadock U3.0 after the odd behavior was fixed, but at $180 I think I'd pass until these hit the bargain bins with closeout pricing. A big part of that statement goes back to the enthusiast in me who already has the capability of running three monitors from my expensive video card. My system also has gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports galore, 5.1 surround sound and every other feature offered by the Dynadock U3.0.
On the other hand, if I only had a notebook or ultrabook, the tables get turned. No one likes to put a notebook on their lap that has 10 cables running back to desk accessories. The single USB 3.0 cord is appealing when it comes to notebook use and the additional functionality provided by the Dynadock U3.0 isn't found in most notebooks, especially the ability to run two additional monitors and surround sound audio. So, on the notebook side we can easily see where the Toshiba Dynadock U3.0 can be a must have product... even with the current issues.
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