Here at Digitaledge we see an awful lot of gadgets, devices, and peripherals. And, let's be honest here, an awful lot of them are crap. Too many peripherals, in particular, are overpriced crap. But every now and then one comes along which is useful, and ingenious, and which we love.
Samsung's Central Station is one such peripheral. Now, when we hear the phrase 'Central Station' our first thought is of a rather kinky King's Cross gay bar, but rest assured this is nothing related. No, this is a brilliant solution to the thorny problem of laptop docking. Not any other kind of docking, just so we're clear. Ahem. [Careful now! - ed.]
Anyone who uses a laptop along with a home monitor and keyboard - which lots of us do - knows how fiddly it can be. You plug in the monitor, and the keyboard, and the mouse, and the stereo, and the printer... before you know it you're drowning in wires. Some posh laptops have 'docks' available, which take all the wires and let you easily plug your laptop directly in. But lower-cost laptops don't have docks available, and you have to leave it lying on your desk, still with loads of wires sticking out of the back. Wouldn't it be amazing if you could keep it all under the desk and have it communicate with your laptop wirelessly?
Well, you guessed it - that's just what Central Station does. It's a monitor, with various inputs for USB accessories and so on, that communicates wirelessly with your laptop whenever it comes in range. We'll let CNET explain:
'First, connect your desktop peripherals (keyboard, mouse) via USB to the Central Station's base. Then, insert the included wireless USB dongle into your notebook's USB 2.0 port. Now, whenever your laptop comes within a 5-foot radius of the Central Station, it will connect wirelessly to all of your desktop peripherals as well as the 23-inch monitor, without the need to touch any cords or adjust any settings.'
Doesn't that sound great? Central Station is out now in the US, and should be in the UK soon, though we don't know how much for yet.