Date Joined: 12/16/05
Pros: One of the best features of the Thinkpad series is the dock. Multiple offices (i.e. home and workplace) each with a dock connected to stationary peripherals and a monitor/TV is a wonderful convenience. This is my 3rd such Lenovo setup. Although the quality seems to be lower with this combo, it's still a good option. Most features work as advertised, although I have not tried dual HDMI displays. One HDMI + One VGA does work. The 3 USB3 and 3 USB2 (with one always powered) is plenty for most desktop setups (and you can use the laptop usb at the same time, of course). This model had problems with the firmware when released, but these appear to be resolved. This unit had no monitor problems.
Cons: The laptop is a bit loose in on the dock; doesn't have that firm feel of say the X-series ultradock. Not a serious problem, but do avoid moving the laptop and dock while the pair is docked. Another minor quibble: the labeling of the USB ports is not clear when the dock is use; you need to remember that the USB 3.0 are the inner three. Also, the dock/laptop is not completely supported by the Linux drivers (I use Linux 95% of the time). E.g. I had to patch Alsa to get the audio port on the dock to work (although it does work after a simple firmware patch for one the Alsa modules). The most annoying problem is the finicky nature of the graphics driver support for TVs as monitors. I have one Viewsonic monitor that works perfectly (VX2357MH), one older Viewsonic monitor (VX2837WM) that overscans no matter what I do. We've tried several other TVs and but one overscan. Audio passthrough works on some, not on others. I'm sure that part of the problem is that TV manufactures are not adhering to the VESA rules (i.e. ignored edid handshakes), so I don't mean to pin this all on Lenovo. But I would like the industry to better on this as a whole. It is an issue for the consumer to be sure.