Hewlett-Packard created a series of business-class notebook computers designed to be the ideal mobile office tools. Docking stations were among the main accessories for these notebooks and afforded a series of additional ports and connections to make your business laptop compatible with nearly every office location. The 120W and 230W Advanced Docking Stations are both high-end models and have more similarities than differences.
The body of the 120W Advanced Docking Station and the 230W Advanced Docking Station are exactly the same. Both feature the same ports and buttons in the same locations. Both devices measure 2.60 inches high by 10.65 inches wide by 10.24 inches deep and weigh 3.61 pounds. These dimensions make either of the Advanced Docking Stations suitable for everyday travel purposes.
Being able to connect to a myriad of office, network and audiovisual setups is essential to a mobile office, and both the 120W and 230W models feature a wide range of media and network connections. Both units contain six USB ports, five of which are always operational, regardless of the state of the laptop, and one of which will only function when the laptop is powered on and not in sleep mode. The docking stations have one VGA connection and two DVI-D connectors, allowing you to hook up to multiple monitors if necessary. The devices also feature “legacy” connectors that allow you to connect a serial mouse, keyboard or printer. You can also connect to a local area network via Ethernet cable through the Advanced Docking Stations.
While neither station can be upgraded, both feature an upgrade bay that allows you to install an extra hard drive. If you choose to install the extra drive, you will add additional gigabytes to your current laptop storage space. However, if you choose to take advantage of the extra space, a standard hard drive will not fit in the upgrade bay. HP offers a 500GB hard drive specifically designed for the upgrade bay on the 120W and 230W; you would need to order the upgrade hard drive through HP.
The 120W and 230W docking stations differ in two realms: compatibility and power. Both units are compatible with HP’s ProBook b-Series, the EliteBook 8440p, 8460p and 8540p, and the EliteBook 8440w and 8460w Mobile Workstations. The 230W, however, is also compatible with the EliteBook 8540w and 8740w Mobile Workstations. Also, the 120W Advanced Docking Station provides 120 watts of power, while the 230W provides 230 watts of power; the additional power in the 230W allows you to successfully operate more peripheral items at a single time.