In computing, a docking station or port replicator (hub) or dock provides a simplified way of "plugging-in" a laptop computer to common peripherals. Because a wide range of dockable devices—from mobile telephones to wireless mice—have different connectors, power signaling, and uses, docks are not standardized and are therefore often designed with a specific type of device in mind. This technology is also used on the Nintendo Switch hybrid video game console.
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (November 2020)
A dock can allow some laptop computers to become a substitute for a desktop computer, without sacrificing the mobile computing functionality of the machine. Portable computers can dock and undock hot, cold or standby, depending on the capabilities of the system. In a cold dock or undock, one completely shuts the computer down before docking/undocking. In a hot dock or undock, the computer remains running when docked/undocked. Standby docking or undocking, an intermediate style used in some designs, allows the computer to be docked/undocked while powered on, but requires that it be placed into a sleep mode prior to docking/undocking.