Patent Number: 6,297,953

Title: Alignment mechanism for computer system having a portable computer anddocking station

Abstract: A computer system has a docking station and a portable computer. Thedocking station has a platform and a housing having a docking connector.The platform has one or more elevated rails. The portable computer has acomputer connector, a base unit having a top portion and a bottom portion,a display unit connected to the top portion of said base unit, and one ormore recessed grooves on the bottom portion of the base unit. The elevatedrail or rails on the docking station interact with the recessed groove orgrooves on the portable computer to guide the portable computer into aproper alignment with the housing of the docking station when the portablecomputer is placed on the platform and slid towards the housing so thatthe computer connector lines up with and connects to the dockingconnector. The docking station platform may have side walls or rotatablebumpers on the sides of the platform to provide coarse alignment betweenthe docking station and the portable computer, and to prevent the portablecomputer from sliding off the platform during the alignment process.Preferably, the recessed groove or grooves are flared at the back edge ofthe portable computer to further assist in the alignment of the portablecomputer with the docking station. The docking station of the preferredand alternate embodiments of the invention can accommodate portablecomputers of different form factors and thus do not need to be replacedeach time a new model of a personal computer is released with a differentform factor.

Inventors: Helot; Jacques H. (San Mateo, CA)


International Classification:

Expiration Date: 10/02/2013