Upgraded Plugable Universal Docking Station

The Plugable Universal Docking Station is getting some minor but nice upgrades to the latest chips for each function. All new units shipped from March 1, 2010 forward have these new features:

  • Upgraded the DisplayLink DL-160 to the newer DL-165
    • Previous maximum resolution was 1680×1050, now 1920×1080
  • Moved from two 4-port NEC USB hubs internally to a single FE 2.1 7 port USB hub
    • When using as a terminal, previously could daisy-chain 2 docks, now up to 4. All devices attached to the dock show on the same hub
  • Upgraded ASIX AX88772 ethernet chip to newer AX88772A
    • Auto-MDX support (automatically detects straight or cross-over cabling)

We’ve also shrunk the paper package size for less waste, and a have smaller connector for the (otherwise same) AC adapter.

The size and look of the docking station itself hasn’t changed, and all the same adapters, cables, and other hardware are included.

To the laptop docking station user on Windows or Mac, the changes won’t be immediately obvious, as the same drivers support both versions of hardware.

On Linux, both old and new chips have the same in-kernel support. In the terminal case, the USB configuration is now simpler (all devices are off the same USB hub), and that means a change in the udev rules for devices plugged into usb ports (keyboard and mouse are one hub less deep). Look for a future post on that.

So, with the new version, here’s the Windows Update experience you’ll see — without using any driver disks first, just plugging into a fresh Windows 7 machine with its own network connection up, letting it find and download drivers automatically.

Win7 first connect experience. Mouse and composite keyboard also attached

If you need to distinguish the versions from the outside (e.g. so you can make sure to give a newer one to someone who wants 1920×1080 resolution), the model number on the bottom of the older units all start with 0920J1.

Enjoy the upgrades on the new UD-160-A docking stations, and as always make use of our public problem reporting and support at http://getsatisfaction.com/plugable any time.

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