Dell Wireless Dock brings wire-free computing closer

Dell Wireless Dock ships with five USB slots and HDMI, VGA and mini-DisplayPort ports

Dell's updated wireless dock, when paired with new Latitude laptops with WiGig chips, is a step towards reducing reliance on cables and ports in PCs.

The PC maker on Thursday starting shipping the Dell Wireless Dock, which removes the need for compatible laptops to be cabled up to peripherals like displays, monitors, external storage drives and printers. The peripherals need to be wired to the dock, but the laptop interacts with them by linking up to the dock wirelessly.

This is Dell's second wireless dock after the Wireless Dock D5000 shipped in 2013. The HDMI port has been updated to version 1.4a, which provides video and audio upgrades. A mini-DisplayPort port replaces a full sized DisplayPort slot. A new addition is the VGA port, which is used in enterprises for presentations. It also has five USB ports.

Like its predecessor, the new dock is based on WiGig technology, which is faster than Wi-Fi and can transfer data at 7Gbps (bits per second). WiGig also has faster transfer rates than wired connectors like USB 3.0, which has transfer speed of 5Gbps. A laptop can link up to two monitors via the wireless dock.

The dock comes at a better time, as Dell just started shipping its first laptops with internal WiGig chips from Intel. For now it will work with the a few Dell Latitude 7000 and Latitude 5000 laptops, which are offered with optional WiGig.

Intel has indicated that laptops based on its upcoming Skylake chip will have wireless charging and wireless technologies. Beyond clearing cable clutter, Intel also wants to get rid of connector ports from laptops with the help of wireless technology.

A price for the dock wasn't immediately available.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

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