A recently discovered Apple patent application called “Integrated monitor and docking station” shows a docking base that looks a lot like an iMac-like computer. The drawings show what looks like a hollowed out iMac (retaining its display, ports and connectors) with a large bay on the right side into which you could slide a notebook (say an ultra-slim that Apple could unveil at Macworld 2008 for example). Essentially, this works like other docking bases but features an integrated monitor and is oriented vertically rather than the more conventional horizontal setup.
Gizmodo has posted some step-by-step renderings that show how the docking base would work.
While the application was filed back in 2006, it was only published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office Thursday. With all the rumours floating about that Apple is about to introduce a sub-notebook, the timing would be quite timely to announce such an accompanying docking base.