A survey by the ABS in February of 2021 showed that two in five people (41%) worked from home at least once a week, compared with 24% before March 2020. This trend isn’t necessarily a bad thing; a 2019 study by Deloitte into Australia’s mobile technology habits found that one-third of respondents said mobile devices improved their work-life balance.
As you can see, it’s no secret that most of us lead mobile lives and this trend isn’t looking to slow down any time soon. As laptops become almost standard–issue for workers across the country, a new conflict is born — how do you reconcile the trade-off between a laptop’s portability, and the limitations of one, small screen?
Generally, people bridge this gap by connecting their laptop to other monitors via a docking station or through a USB-C monitor.
Why is this important?
Laptops, especially, have become relatively ubiquitous across Australia’s offices. Modern working conditions mean we often need to work remotely or at least have the ability to take our work home with us, making the portability of a laptop a no-brainer.
Obviously, the major downside to laptops are the small screens and lack of on-screen real estate to multitask and work to your capacity. To remedy this, most employers will provide a monitor or two to hook your laptop into.
As you know, however, slimmer laptops mean fewer ports. This may result in you having to trade off which devices/displays to connect to, against which you will have to go without. Unless, of course, you opt for a docking station or a USB-C monitor to make connecting easier.
What is a docking station?
In the simplest terms, a docking station is a piece of hardware that simplifies the process of plugging your laptop into power and other common devices.
Docking stations provide a power supply and ports for connecting your devices, as well as ports to connect extra monitors, keyboards, printers, speakers, hard drives and other peripherals.
Docking stations act as an intermediary between a fully mobile laptop and a stationary desktop computer, allowing you to work and collaborate remotely, as well as have a permanent place of work.
What are the benefits of a docking station?
There are several benefits to purchasing a docking station, including:
- Able to connect with older devices that lack USB-C
- Preferred option if you are working on 3 or 4 screens separate to your laptop
- Both Microsoft and Dell make their own stations
- Newer models let you swap out modules and future proof your dock
- Allows you to connect several devices and peripheral
- Docks usually come with 1 year’s warranty
What are the downsides of a docking station?
Downsides to purchasing a docking station include:
- Multiple cables can quickly become cluttered
- Can be expensive
- Connections between screens may be compromised if something goes wrong in the station
- Poor-quality data transfers
What are USB-C monitors?
New monitors, or USB-C monitors, are becoming increasingly common and readily available. As their name suggests, these monitors are built on USB-C connection, and connect with your laptop via a single USB-C cord, which in–turn connects to other displays. This is known as daisy-chaining.
What is daisy–chaining?
Daisy–chaining simply refers to connecting a series of monitors or displays to a computer, connecting the monitors in a series via cord, instead of connecting individually to the computer.
In other words, your laptop connects to your display and transfers video, data and power using one cord.
What are the benefits of daisy-chaining?
The top benefits for daisy-chaining through a USB-C display include:
- USB-C port charges and displays simultaneously
- More reliable transfer of data, video and sound
- Fewer cables and less clutter on your desk
- Free up valuable ports
- 3-year advanced replacement as a Monocera-supplied device.
What are the downsides of daisy-chaining?
- Does not support connecting to older devices without USB-C
Monocera’s recommendation – docking station vs. USB-C monitor
Everybody uses their laptop differently, and the nature of your job will also dictate how you use your computer. As a whole, however, we recommend USB-C and daisy-chaining your displays for several reasons.
First, new monitors and displays are generally trending towards becomingly uniformly USB-C, so it’s only a matter of time before there’s one on your desk.
Secondly, not only is daisy-chaining simpler, and transfers data, video and sound more reliably between devices, but the price is comparable between the two.
If you are interested in exploring your USB-C display options, get in contact with Monocera. Not only can we offer qualified advice on your specific situation, but you’ll also get a 3-year advanced replacement warranty unavailable from other retail stores.