A platform into which you can install a portable computer. The docking station typically contains slots for expansion cards, bays for storage devices, and connectors for peripheral devices, such as printers and monitors. Once inserted in a docking station, the portable computer essentially becomes a desktop model computer. When it is taken out, it becomes a portable computer again. Most importantly, the same data is accessible in both modes because it resides on the portable computer's drives. The idea behind docking stations is to let you simultaneously enjoy the expansion possibilities of desktop model computers with the portability of notebook computers. In addition, the docking station enables you to use a full-size keyboard and monitor when you're not traveling.