I've been using an HPnx9420 laptop as my pretty much sole personal system for some time now. its used for work, which requires various multimonitor activities, virtual machines (lotsa memory), cpu-intense and sometimes gpu-intense software.
there are a few things I'd like to change about its behaviour when docked
- drive two or more digital monitors (will only do one digital one analogue)
- be better cooled - running performance intensive stuff, its internal noisy fan kicks in.
[ I have tried to mod with external fan under the dock but its not a great solution.]
- be faster (more cores / faster clock rate)
- more memory available (tend to run really memory intensive stuff only when docked)
As a design question, is there any laptop or add-on manufacturer which can give you a decent "portable" behaviour when on the road (decent battery life, not too heavy etc), but then with a docking device of some sort give you a performance boost (not just "port replication") when stationary:
- add graphics power (desktop class PCI-X card of whatever spec you decide)
- add cpu power (facilitate higher clock rate via better/quieter cooling and/or enable more cores)
- add memory slots
I've seen the odd so-called graphics dock adapter in the market, but none of them seem to really be driving at this. What I am more after is effectively bus docking it to a desktop chassis that contains the additional powerful components built however you choose, they can be fast and quiet, but still "preserve the identity" of the machine inside the laptop chassis so you can pick it up and go at any time.
To my knowledge, this doesn't exist. While there may be a market for it...think about what you just said. Trying to make one would be an epic challenge, but trying to standardize the docking station for a range of notebooks (which is what it would take to be economical for business) would be impossible.