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Definition: port replicator

A device used to quickly connect multiple peripherals to a laptop. The monitor, printer, network, keyboard and mouse are permanently plugged into the port replicator, which connects to the laptop via the USB port.

A port replicator provides some or all of the functionality of a docking station, and the two terms are used interchangeably. However, a docking station uses a proprietary connector to the computer, whereas a port replicator generally provides a universal solution for all laptops via USB. See docking station.

Universal Port Replicator
The Targus port replicator connects to a single USB 3.0 port on the laptop. It also provides connections to two monitors, one via DVI and the other via HDMI. (Images courtesy of Targus Group International, www.targus.com)