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I just bought Dell 17R and would like to connect it to a docking station (ordinary one, not by USB).

How can I know if my Dell has a docking port? What does it look like?

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have you checked Dell's website and your product manual ? – Shekhar Oct 9 '13 at 16:18
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Googling on 17R dock leads me to Dell's website and from there to the page with the Dell USB 3.0 superspeeds dual video docking station.

Since is it USB there is not dedicated docking connector. It also lacks some features. E.g. you need to open the laptop, press the power button and then you can close the laptops lid again and start working from the devices connected to the dock.

This seems to be the only dock available for the 17R.
(which makes the short answer for you: There is no non-USB dock)

Alternatively, look in the manual. It will describe all the ports. If none of them are labels 'docking port connector' then you simply do not have one.

enter image description here

Note that for a 'real', non-USB docking stations you want business line. For Dell this are the Lattitudes. The same is true for other brands.

For the current generation Lattitudes, the docks and connector look like this:

enter image description here

And the connector on a E series Lattitude looks like this:

enter image description here

If you are intending on mostly using the laptop in a dock then I recommend contacting Dell and seeing if you can undo the order and get one with support for a real dock. And ask the current prices for the port replicator you want (there are 3 versions), and for the monitor stand. (The dock can be used alone or you can click to dock in a stand , in which case it looks like this:)

enter image description here

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@Ramhound It's described as connecting via USB, has no dedicated docking port connector, and requires a driver to enable the video, audio, and network ports. – Aaron Miller Oct 9 '13 at 16:33
@AaronMiller - It took looking at the instructions to determine that, despite that the screenshots being taken in such a way, it appears a laptop is "docked" to this product this is indeed (more or less) a KVM style type device. The XPS screenshot was what got me. Lets just hope Dell can improve their support now they are private. – Ramhound Oct 9 '13 at 16:42
Not 100% sure, but I am 99% sure since the product description contain this: *The Dell SuperSpeed USB Docking Station is universally compatible with USB-capable PC notebooks. For 100% certainty (well, actually not 100% since I had Dell techs give me false information before :) ) call Dell and ask them. – Hennes Oct 9 '13 at 16:47
@Hennes - The instruction manual is makes it pretty clear. There isn't any doubt the device is exactly what you describe. Your additional screenshots alsoreinforce that fact. – Ramhound Oct 9 '13 at 16:53
Aye. As does the "four USB ports" and one short USB3 cable. Pictures show it has 5 USB slots. One SS which is used to connect the laptop to this generic dock. Still, it is sleazy of Dell to take pictures with the dock beneath a laptop and to accidentally not show the top of the dock. – Hennes Oct 9 '13 at 16:55

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