In my opinion, the TR scarifies some important things in the name of mobility. One of those things is a dedicated docking station (port replicator) port. Since there is no Sony solution I went searching for a universal one.
SonyStyle sells the Kensington Portable Universal Docking Station for $129.99. Buy.com has it for around $89 shipped.
I wanted this device to plug in quickly and allow me to have use of extra ports. It delivered on one out of the two of those needs.
First, the pictures:
As you can see it is quite small for what it does. I used the mouse as a reference so you can really see just how compact this is. The unit came with an A/C power cord as well as a USB 2.0 Cable and the required software.
That leads me to issue #1, you need the software drivers even in XP. Not a terrible issue, I just need to make sure I know where the disc is at all times.
The ports that are included are:
1 PS2 Mouse
1 PS2 Keyboard
2 USB Type A
1 10/100 Ethernet
I liked the idea of the 10/100 built in so when I am docking I can get off wireless. I did not have any issues with the Ethernet port interfering with either my wireless or my onboard Ethernet.
I like the idea of expanding one USB port on the TR to 2 while leaving the other onboard USB aloneÃ¢â‚¬Â¦giving me a total of 3 available USB ports.
I connected a printer to the Parallel port and had no issues printing. I also connected a PS2 Keyboard and Mouse and again had no issues. I also tried a USB Keyboard and Mouse, both of which worked fine. I never tested the serial port.
As I said before I had two needs, the first giving me extra ports to use, the second allowing me to quickly plug this in. Obviously I got the extra ports I needed, however one port that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t included which makes my plug in and out times much slower was the lack of a VGA port. Most port replicators include this, however this one does not. Now not only do I need to plug in the docking station, but I need to plug my monitor directly into the TRÃ¢â‚¬Â¦it sounds insignificant but I would have liked everything off of one cable.
I am not 100% sure why a VGA port was not includedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦I am not sure if it would even work through a USB port, either way I would have liked the port included if it was possible.
Overall, I still like the product, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not 100% perfect but it does do most of what I need. I would buy it again because it does make it easier to connect to a full keyboard and mouse and it is very compact. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d rate it a 2 or 3 out of 5.