For ease of installation and use, a laptop that provides a docking station will allow you to install and remove the device, as well as power it on, without having to mess with a bunch of cables. This is important when using a laptop. If you are not going to move the computer in and out, why use a laptop in the first place?
I use an older IBM R51 with a dock. Kinda big, especially since I mounted the dock and computer in a foam lined (gun) case, but works well and safely mounts my laptop.