Plugable’s New DC-125 USB 2.0 Docking Client

Today we’re launching the Plugable DC-125 USB 2.0 Docking Client.

We’re really excited about this product. It has a clean, simple design. Power-sipping, so it can be powered by a standard USB 2.0 connection alone. Because it’s “just” a collection of USB 2.0 devices, it’s enormously flexible. And because of the simplicity, we’ve been able to hit the $64.95 price point, available now with next day shipping on Amazon.

The most common uses for a USB dock like the DC-125 are:

  • You have a laptop, but would like to use it “like a desktop” when you’re at your desk. The DC-125 gives you quick dock/undock with a single USB cable driving an extra full-sized monitor (driven by DispayLink DL-125 chip, capable up to 1280×1024 / 1440×900), speakers, keyboard, and mouse already on your desk. The extra monitor can either mirror or extend what’s on your laptop screen.
  • You want to save time, money, and power by leveraging one PC to support many users. The DC-125 is supported out of the box by Userful’s Multiseat Linux 2011™ and with available drivers on Windows Multipoint Server 2011™

If you’ve never heard of Userful or WMS2011, take a look at those links. Both require a software license (not included with the DC-125). But it’s amazing what’s possible with the enormous processing power of today’s PCs and the flexible and simple connectivity of USB 2.0 devices like this. It’s possible to realize huge cost savings with a similarly large power/environmental savings.

But most of our users will probably start with the simple benefits of laptop docking via USB. So here’s a video for a quick walkthrough of what the DC-125 offers in terms of functions:

Check out http://plugable.com/products/dc-125/ for much more detail. And if you have any questions, we’d be glad to answer them at http://support.plugable.com/

10 comments on “Plugable’s New DC-125 USB 2.0 Docking Client”

  1. Anon Reply

    Does any device like this exist which supports higher resolutions, such as 1680×1050, or 1920×1080?

  2. Bernie Thompson Reply

    Thanks for the post.

    Our Plugable UD-160-A (UT-1 when sold as a terminal) is the big brother of the DC-125, and it supports 1920×1080.

    Note, though, that if you’re interested in the multiseat scenario, having a lower resolution limit is a feature — it scales out to more terminals more consistently, in terms of load on the USB bus.

    For more information, see
    http://plugable.com/products/ud-160-a/
    http://plugable.com/products/ut-1/

  3. Anon Reply

    Not interested in the multiseat case; interested in extending a single desktop. In particular, one of these would help a great deal when doing development on Xorg screen hotplug functionality.

  4. Bernie Thompson Reply

    Yep, the only officially supported Linux distro at this time is Userful 2011. They’ve done a great job making everything plug and play (even more so than Windows Multipoint Server 2011). Just plug the DC-125 in, and it works, no extra drivers to install.

    That said, for all components of the DC-125, there is open source driver support in the mainline Linux kernel. The C-Media CM6300 audio portion has been supported for a long time. Support for the DisplayLink graphics portion is present in 2.6.31+ staging, solid in 2.6.37+, mainline in 2.6.38+, *but* it’s very hard to configure a USB device up at the Xorg level: requires manual xorg.conf editing, etc. that isn’t for mere mortals.

    That’s the background why we don’t recommend the DC-125 today for users who will install their own distro from scratch: they need something like Userful that makes the high-level configuration plug and play.

    It would be great to have that happen for other distros, and there has been some progress for use as a USB terminal (http://lucasnascferreira.wordpress.com/) but it’s not worth paying attention to yet for “normal” users.

    If you’re a developer and you’re interested, you can get more history by searching “udlfb”, looking at http://plugable.com/category/project/udlfb/ and reading this mailing list http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/libdlo

    Best wishes,
    Bernie

  5. Screwyluie Reply

    can you plugin a touchscreen and have it work? forgoing the keyboard and mouse entirely for the screen?

    • Bernie Thompson Reply

      I’m sorry, we haven’t tested this ourselves scenario yet. So we’d recommend putting in a quick query to Microsoft and/or Userful to see if their systems support this. If they do in general, then it will work with the DC-125 in particular (as we’re just a normal set of devices).

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