Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am looking for a universal dock of some kind that will allow me to connect my desktop, Windows Laptop, and Mac Laptop (not at the same time). The dock should allow for the support of at least three monitors, keyboard, and mouse. A nice to have feature would be the ability to easily switch between each device.

What are those called? Where should I start? If you already know of one that works, please list it in your answer.

Thanks

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

I'm not understanding what you are after. First, there is no "dock connector" on a Mac Laptop. If you have a new enough one you can use thunderbolt port as a "Universal connector." There are two or three thunderbolt docks that exist. You MAY be able to get three monitors to connect simultaneously if the MBP (Mac Book Pro) graphics card allows it.

You may be looking for a multi port KVM switch. Check here for recommendations. The catch is you will have to convert the connector on the MBP to whatever this uses (if the MBP has a thunderbolt connector). It also isn't a "universal dock," as it WON'T provide firewire or ethernet connections.

You could use a Universal dock with a KVM, and that MIGHT give you what you need. Let me know if you have any other questions.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not to beg the question, but why do you need a separate dock for keyboard and mouse? Aren't most keyboards and mice these days (if not all) USB? So essentially for your keyboard/mouse all you'd need is a USB hub...

For the monitors: modern hardware should allow you to daisychain several DisplayPort displays off of a single DP port. But in case you don't have modern hardware and don't want to upgrade, you can buy an external monitor adapter depending on which connectors your monitors use (or more importantly, which connectors are available on your laptop, mac, and desktop).

If all of your computers have a DisplayPort, Mini Displayport, Thunderbolt, or Dual-Link DVI output, you should be good to use a Matrix Multi-Monitor Adapter. If one or more of your boxes ONLY has VGA or Single Link DVI output, you might not be able to map all of your monitors at their native resolutions, due to limitations in how much data can be driven over those more limited connectors.

share|improve this answer
    
Maybe he wants to use the same three monitors, keyboard, and mouse on all three devices (Mac Laptop, Windows Laptop, and desktop). –  Everett Jul 24 '12 at 13:51
    
Correct, I just want to be able to come in, plug in the laptop and work with the same monitors, keyboard, and mouse. Then tomorrow I come in with my other laptop and do the same thing. I just don't want to keep changing Monitor cables from one computer to the next. –  Jonas Stawski Jul 24 '12 at 17:19
add comment

They are called port replicators. I have had a lot of success with a Toshiba Dynadock that allowed me to connect an ethernet connection, VGA & DVI monitors (at the same time), HDMI, several USB 2.0 and 3.0 devices, analog audio out (headphones/speakers), digital audio out (toslink/optical), and connect them all to my computer with one USB connection. There's even a less-functional wireless version but the latest is still under $200:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006ZGWJU2/?tag=hyprod-20&hvadid=19399867776&hvpos=1o1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6350980051795634128&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&ref=asc_df_B006ZGWJU2

As far as multiple computers, perhaps a software solution is what you are looking for: http://www.stardock.com/products/multiplicity/

share|improve this answer
    
How is your recommendation going to work with a Mac/OS X? According to Stardocks site, it won't. –  Everett Jul 24 '12 at 16:12
    
How were you able to connect a VGA & DVI monitor at the same time if the replicator only has HDMI and DVI? –  Jonas Stawski Jul 24 '12 at 17:20
    
I've owned 3 different Dynadock models. When I was using the Dynadock U, I was able to use a VGA and a DVI monitor simultaneously. amazon.com/Toshiba-Dynadock-Universal-Connect-Docking/dp/… –  Peter Fitzgerald Jul 24 '12 at 19:28
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.