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Definition: docking station

(1) A cradle for a portable media player that serves to charge and connect the unit to a receiving device. See Apple dock and Android dock.

(2) A base station for a laptop that turns it into a desktop system. Instead of plugging multiple devices into a laptop to make it desktop ready, the keyboard, mouse, monitor and printer are permanently plugged into the docking station. In order to switch from portable to desktop use, the laptop snaps into the docking station via USB or a single special-purpose connector. In addition, the docking station may have built-in peripherals such as an optical drive and speakers. See port replicator and wireless dock.