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(Pocket-lint) - Like the Kodak range of camera docks Hewlett Packard also offers a docking station for its R-Series range of digital cameras. The dock, unlike the Kodak offering, is small and compact, but while some docks simply offer a way to connect your camera to your PC for charging the HP R-Series Photo Dock has a couple of gems hidden up its sleeve.

The first is the inclusion of a second battery in the box so you've always got a spare. It's a nice addition to the kit and means that you can keep shooting for longer after your first battery, shipped with the camera, runs out. Even better is the ability to charge this battery at the same time as the one in the camera with the addition of a charging bay. A small light on the top of the docking station tells you whether or not you've got a fully charged battery or one that is charging. Next to the light are two buttons that either activate the transfer to the PC or turn on the television mode.

The dock, aside from offering a permanent connection to your PC or Mac via a USB2.0 connection to the docking station, also comes with the necessary cables to connect it to a television. If you do go down this route you can also use the included remote to control basic functions such as play, pause, forward, backward, magnify and thumbnail images. It's useful if you want to show your photos off without having to crouch by the television to flick through the images on the camera.


As an optional extra the camera dock certainly adds an ease of use to what is already a good package. The slideshow button is aimed at the novice likely to opt for this camera and one that will certainly make is easy to review your images once you come back from a party or an outing. It might be restricted to only R-Series users, but this is one optional extra worth upgrading to if you can afford.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 31 January 2005.