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The Cost of Connectivity


The Cost of

Devices have become smaller, thinner and more powerful over recent years.

As connectivity options fall away with the rise of ultra slim line designs and models, how do you maintain a productive, portable and affordable workspace?

Scroll through the ages to find the key to modern connectivity.

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  • CD ROM

  • Ethernet

    Introduced: 1980

    About: Used to connect devices on local area networks, ethernet cables were available 9 years before the world wide web came about.

    Present Day: Still in use,
    especially in offices.

  • Floppy Disk

    Introduced: 1981

    About: Single-sided, single density floppy disk drives were used to store files externally.

    Present Day: Though replaced by larger 1.2 MB dual-sided floppy disks, the floppy disk was superceded by the CD and now cloud storage.

    Cost: A pack of 10 double sided floppy disks cost $70. Now, you can purchase floppy disks for less than $1.

  • Computer Screen

    Introduced: 1981

    About: The Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) was introduced in 1981 by IBM.

    Present Day: A 4K Ultra HD monitor offers 8294400 pixels (3840x2160).


  • Keyboard

    Introduced: 1984

    About: The external keyboard soon became a standard inclusion.

    Present Day: Keyboards are necessary additions to desktops, integral to laptops, but optional to tablets.

    Cost: A Microsoft Surface keyboard costs $59.99.

  • CD ROM

    Introduced: 1982

    About: The 1994 IBM ThinkPad was the first laptop to feature an integrated CD-ROM.

    Present Day: The integrated CD/DVD drive is commonly found on laptops and PC's.

    Cost: An external CD-ROM drive originally cost around $1000.

  • Security Lock

    Introduced: 1982

    About: The first Kensington Security Slot was integrated into a laptop in 1982.

    Present Day: Industry standard - found on everything from conference phones to computers. Kensington Mini Slot - unveiled in 2015, allowing locks to be used for devices less than 12mm thick.

    Size: The Kensington Security Slot is just 3x7mm.

    How to Lock a Dock

The era of the tower quickly gave way to the laptop.

A smaller device meant less space for external ports and connectivity options.

Did this damage the productivity of the workspace?

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  • Headphone & Mic

    Present Day: Although wireless versions are available, these ports still exist on many laptops.

  • Bluetooth ™

    Introduced: 1994

    About: The name Bluetooth was only officially adopted in 1998.

    Present Day: Bluetooth connectivity is now a standard connectivity option. Low energy Bluetooth has served to increase of many accessories.

    Cost: The MacBook Air® with integrated Bluetooth currently costs from $1,299.

  • USB

    Introduced: 1996

    About: The iMac G3 was the first Macintosh computer to have a USB port, rendering the floppy disk obsolete.

    Present Day: USB 3.0 can reach speeds up to 4 Gbps, which is faster than the limitation of most hard drives. Each previous USB was retired due to limiting transfer speeds. USB 1.0 cables were able to transfer up to 12Mbps, 2.0 was able to transfer up to 480 Mbps.

    Cost: The first computer with a USB port cost $1299.


  • Cloud

    Introduced: Cloud computing began to become popular in 2006.

    About: Popularity was heightened by companies such as Google and Amazon. People began to access software, computer power, and files over the Web instead of on their desktops.

    Today: As we turn to the wireless cloud for personal and workplace needs, the connectivity options of our devices are changing. E.G Office 365, Google Docs.

  • DVD

  • DVD

    Introduced: 1997

    About: The Toshiba Portege M100 was the first laptop to adopt the slim DVD drive.

    Cost: Originally, from $700 to $1,200

  • HDMI

    Introduced: 2002

    About: HDMI provided
    people with an interface
    between any audio/video
    source for the first time

  • HDMI

    • Single cable digital audio/video connection with a maximum bitrate of 4.9Gbps.
    • Supports up to 165Mpixels/sec video (1080p at 60Hz or UXGA)
    • 8-channels of 192kHz/24-bit audio (PCM).
  • Present Day: Each new version of HDMI has adapted to suit the ever evolving features of technology and most specifically, video and visual capabilities. HDMI 2.0 was released in 2013, which was compatible with 4K video.

  • USB Mouse

    Introduced: 1998

    Present Day:

    Cost: $195.

We have entered an era of single port devices in preference of slimmer, lightweight technology.

But can you efficiently set up a productive desk space using just one single connection?

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  • USB-C

    About: Type-C eliminates the need for mini and micro ports as well as the need for Type-A and Type-B connectors so that there is just one size for computers and smartphones.

    The latest MacBook® sports just one single USB Type-C port. The latest Microsoft Surface also offers just a single USB connectivity port.

    Cost: From £1,299.

  • iPad®

    Introduced: 2010

    About: The iPad® still has a single port used for charging and connectivity.The iPad 2® added Bluetooth and today, all iPads sport the Apple Lighting connector


The Solution …

If laptops are already down to offering just a single port, what does the future have in store?

Connections are key – USB expansion hubs and docking stations offer the connectivity options demanded by the modern workspace, enabling you to work efficiently while keeping up with evolving, slim line technology.

Learn why a Universal Laptop Docking Station is a better investment.

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Sources: Radio Shack Catalog, Web Urbanist, Apple.com, IBM Technology, The Daily Mail, WSJ Online, PC World, Bluetooth.com, Technology Review, Extreme Tech, Google Books