DisplayLink is a popular technology at TrustedReviews. For those that don't recall, it's that nifty tech which allows you to drive a monitor from just a humble USB port, opening a world of simple, multi-monitor productivity to devices (specifically laptops) that would otherwise miss out. Another product segment that's benefited is the humble docking station, making it possible to get networking, audio and display data - not to mention peripherals - all travelling down one cable.
Our first taste of such liberating convenience was the original Toshiba Dynadock that we reviewed last year. It was a very promising product back then, but one that wasn't without some problems. It's now been updated, though, adding a new iteration of DisplayLink's tech and with it support for 1,920 x 1,200 resolution displays. Given the popularity of 24in displays and increasing adoption of 'Full HD' 22in monitors, it's an important addition.
There are one or two other changes, too. Toshiba no longer sells separate DVI and VGA versions, combining the two into one unit, but has done away with the legacy Serial port as a consequence. As consequences go it's a very palatable one! Not that you can use both at the same time; that's as yet beyond DisplayLink's technology. However you can still effectively enjoy a triple display experience from one laptop: one monitor connected to the Dynadock, one to the laptop and the laptop's own display being the third.
This is a nifty trick to pull, but chances are most people will simply use the Dynadock to add docking capabilities to a laptop that doesn't have its own propriety dock connection. Given more and more people are choosing to use laptops instead of desktops, it's a fair bet plenty of people are in just such a situation.
The Dynadock U10 is compact and discreet. It sits vertically on a detachable base, standing just shy of 25cm tall and weighs 490g. Despite its relative slightness it feels pretty well made, while the gun-metal grey and gloss black finishes give it an understated, unobtrusive appearance.
Connectivity is extensive, comprising six USB ports (4x rear, 2x front), DVI and VGA, optical audio and stereo jack outputs, a 10/100 Ethernet port and the upstream USB port for connecting your laptop. There are also headphone and microphone jacks on the front, while the two front-mounted USB ports will charge connected devices even when the dock isn't active. One final notable feature is the button at the top of the station that undocks your laptop at a single press.