recently I compared the specs of the three "docking stations" that fit my R50p.
The Mini Dock's power supply is not integrated into the case, you need a proprietary external power supply that you cannot connect to the laptop directly. It has 120W compared to the standard power supply's 70W.
I think this is a big disadvantage over the Port Replicator II. According to the IBM specs, the Mini Dock is about 10% heavier (presumably the device only, the power supply itself should be heavier too), and it's only advantages are the USB hub and the key lock.
For me the Port Replicator II seems to be the better choice: Less expensive, lighter and no need to care about a second different(!) power supply.
The ThinkPad Dock II is a completely different league, it's a complex and heavy system extension.
Unfortunately, I didn't have one of these things in my hands yet. So can anybody here tell us about his/her real live experiences?
- I have several Port Replicator IIs, and saw an ad for the Mini Dock. Like yourself, the only real difference I saw was the built-in USB port.
The PRII locks the Thinkpad when a Kensington lock is connected--the unlatch key can't be depressed, so the MDII's lock isn't really an advantage (unless you consider being able to unlock the Thinkpad separately from the dock's Kensignton lock an andvantage).
The MD would have something going for it if the USB hub is powered. I don't know for sure, since I can't find a site that will tell me either way.
My Port Replicator is connected to a hub that is powered through an APC universal laptop charger that has a USB power port. The APC also has the advantage of being able to run off 12Volts, which is occasionally useful in the third world. However, if the MD has a powered hub, i might consider it--but only if I can get it used for the same price as the PRII+cost of USB hub+Thinkpad adaptor. The MDs biggest disadvantage is its price premium. Maccess 16:35, 11 May 2008 (CEST)