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Lenovo ThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3 (Europe) (45N6693) – Cut Rate

Lenovo ThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3 (Europe) (45N6693)
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  • FOR THINKPAD T400s
  • Lenovo
  • 45N6693
  • 45N6694

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One Response to Lenovo ThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3 (Europe) (45N6693) – Cut Rate

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    3 Out of 5 Star Rating

    Lenovo ThinkPad Mini Dock Plus Series 3 (Europe) (45N6693) (Personal Computers)

    I got this from a different seller for a much better price. At 110, is way to expensive for something which is almost legacy in terms of standards.

    I have a ThinkPad and as years passed, I realized I could booster its capabilities by purchasing one of these. Since I wanted to make a sound investment, I went for the Mini Dock Plus Series 3 docking station. In terms of connectivity, this one offers the following:
    6 x USB 2.0 ports
    2 x Single-Link DVI-D digital monitor supporing up to 1920×1200
    2 x DisplayPort monitor supporting up to 2560 x 1600 resolution
    1 x VGA analog monitor supporting up to 1920 x 1200 resolution
    1 x Audio jack 2.5
    1 x Microphone jack 2.5
    1 x e-Sata connector (3GB/s)
    1 x Ethernet port (RJ-45)

    In terms of capabilities, the board can extend your screen by three more monitors (if you have a dedicated video card) or by two monitors if you don’t have one. I’ve only tried one monitor and it works but many people report having issues with using more monitors as the monitors seem to randomly disconnect…
    I actively use the Ethernet port when my notebook is docked and I can confirm it supports 1Gbps connections.
    The microphone and audio ports are awkwardly placed on the right side of the docking station which make them difficult to access if you have a 15” notebook docked.
    In terms of stability, it’s quite poor. I’m not sure what is going on but sometimes the external HDDs or the memory stick which are docked into the dock’s USBs are not detected. It looks like the dock is not powered at all sometimes so it requires a notebook restart. Then everything behaves fine. Furthermore, the docking station seems to disconnect momentarily if you press harder on the right side of your notebook… it has to do with the docking pins which might lose contact with each other.
    If you want to plug in your mouse dongle in the dock’s USBs, think again. It sometimes works, sometimes not. It will always work if you restart the notebook or if you do a cold start but I almost always have problems with my mouse when I dock it in when is already on. Btw, I have a lenovo thinkpad mouse as well. Another thing that I don’t like is the fact that the USB ports are so stiff. It’s difficult to plug anything in and is even more difficult to plug anything out, especially if there’s a low profile dongle…
    Something to think about which I enjoy is the fact that the notebook is capable of switching automatically between the Ethernet LAN and the WiFi when both docked or undocked while on. It sometimes briefly disconnects but it works in most cases.
    Build quality is great but it does look overly complicated for what it should do. Too many switches and springs and contacts but this is just the thinkpad way I guess. They should definitely refine the design. Also, I really like the fact that it is a power on button on the dock but to work, the power lead has to be connected to the docking station and not the notebook.
    In terms of ventilation, it’s really badly designed. I don’t understand why they had to place the lateral bump in the dock just in front of the notebook’s fan exhaust. It’s just bad design. They took some care in making a mesh which allows to redirect the flow to the back of the docking station but still…. this is quite bad the more I think about it.
    Docking the notebook in and out is fairly easy but you do have to align the left corner for it to plug in.
    In terms of compatibility with thinkpads, this is the list as of Oct 2015: L412, L512, L420, L520, T400s, T410, T410i, T410s, T410si, T420, T420i, T420s, T420si, T510, T510i, T520, T520i, X220.
    Unfortunately, I have the feeling that Lenovo is slowly ditching this approach to docking stations. The latest T550 series notebooks are non-dockable if they have a dedicated GPU card which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. I mean, the people with more graphical processing power are the ones more interested in making use of the monitors connectivity. Lenovo slowly goes towards these USB docking stations which have an appalling performance – just read the reviews on their platform…. quite disturbing to be honest.
    Also, keep in mind that there are two other versions of this docking station from the same series, the port replicator and mini dock station, both with inferior connectivity compared to the mini dock station plus.

    If you found my review helpful, I would greatly appreciate if you could please press yes. If you didn’t find it sufficiently clear and informative, please comment to this review and I’ll make sure I answer all your questions. Thank you very much 🙂

    Kind Regards

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