I think it’s going to take me a while to work out the reason why this rather akward and cumbersome looking docking solution port is being considered for Ultrabooks. A common docking standard could be a good move though.
We know already that the 2012 Ultrabook platform will include support for Thunderbolt and that it is going to make a great single-plug docking system given a Thunderbolt station or hub. Ok, the price of the Thunderbolt hub/station or a Thunderbolt monitor is going to be expensive to start with but that price will come down if it is well adopted which it look like it could be. In the meantime we’ll have HDMI to carry the digital a/v and if you want a mouse, the usb port making a maximum of two connectors.
The new solution shown via VR-Zone is a single package, dual connector solution for Thunderbolt and additional ports.
In theory you’ll be able to transfer Ethernet and USB over this port which would be useful and lord knows, a standard docking connector is a good thing but the port appears to be large and, more importantly, is going to restrict a large area of important port real-estate. My biggest concern is that designers will remove individual ports and force users to carry a breakout cable for Ethernet and VGA. Yes, it beats carrying a set of adaptors but only if it becomes a well-adopted standard across all notebooks and only if Ultrabooks become so thin that standard ports just aren’t possible.
What do you think?