What are Universal Docking Stations? Universal docking stations are charging and interfacing stations designed with various makes and models of phones, tablets, mini-laptops and gaming devices in mind. Unlike a charging station, where more cables and haphazard stacking of devices is involved, universal docking stations provide cradle slots that MP3 players, phones and tablets can fit vertically into.
Also unlike charging stations, docking stations can often provide a mounting interface to connect these devices to landline internet, computers as external drives, or televisions as streaming sources.
These docking stations also often have additional SD card slots, and built in speakers or speaker interfaces, allowing any mobile device to be converted into an entertainment center or boom box stereo.
Most universal docking stations forward Bluetooth pairing and USB connections as well, meaning that some may find them a useful way to convert a larger tablet into a small TV or gaming device with a USB joypad or keyboard plugged in. Of course, only the higher-end stations have such accoutrements. Universal can be a loose term, as Apple’s fixation with ridiculous proprietary interfaces makes it hard to support them alongside sane designs.