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View Full Version : Kickstarter - MBA Dock




ZipZap
Nov 24, 2011, 06:08 AM
New Kickstarter effort:

Landing Zone (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/29222207/landingzone-the-docking-station-for-the-macbook-ai)

Looks nice...I'm in.



DannyBres
Nov 24, 2011, 08:29 AM
What a waste of money!

Only adds a 10/100T and a 4 port USB hub.

No Thunderbolt support to add 4 full speed USB 2.0 + Gigabit Ethernet. No sale.

Chillviper
Nov 24, 2011, 09:02 AM
Damn high production value on that video. That's where all that KickStarter money will go ;-)

Looks pretty cool - may have to get one. Will probably warp the Air though with my luck :-)

Internaut
Nov 24, 2011, 09:22 AM
With utmost patience (and it looks like I'm going to need a great deal of patience).

tanhm
Nov 24, 2011, 09:38 AM
it is quite expensive :(

DannyBres
Nov 24, 2011, 10:49 AM
* Rear port extensions (10/100T Ethernet, 3x USB 2.0 ports) are all driven via Air's right-side USB port. 1x USB 2.0 port on the left side of the LandingZone is a direct pass-through USB port from MacBook Air's left side USB port.

* Thunderbolt is NOT supported. None of the Thunderbolt devices will work with LandingZone. That'll be our top to-do engineering work next year as soon as Intel starts expanding its Thunderbolt licensing program.

From the creator! :(

very expensive too fifth os the price of the thunderbolt display for a fraction of the functionality.

ZipZap
Nov 24, 2011, 09:24 PM
Many of use have no need of thunderbolt.

paulrbeers
Nov 24, 2011, 09:31 PM
Many of use have no need of thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt is basically THE connection for future docking stations for Mac. Look at the 27" Thunderbolt display, it is basically a docking station with a beautiful 27" screen attached to it. This is a glorified USB hub.

DannyBres
Nov 25, 2011, 06:48 AM
Many of use have no need of thunderbolt.

What?! No need?! So you want all 3 of your USB ports and your ethernet to be limited to the speed of a single USB 2.0 port?

Thunderbolt is basically THE connection for future docking stations for Mac. Look at the 27" Thunderbolt display, it is basically a docking station with a beautiful 27" screen attached to it. This is a glorified USB hub.

Exactly! :)

TheJing
Nov 25, 2011, 07:05 AM
How much does it cost?

maximaxi
Nov 25, 2011, 01:11 PM
It gives you four USB ports, an ethernet connection, and the ability to lock up your MBA with a Kensington lock. And, the form factor is tiny... compared to everything else on the market... your desk isn't dominated by the dock; and, it's cool looking... unlike everything else on the market.

Not sure why anyone would say "waste of money" or even "expensive"... it's only $160 on Kickstarter right now and for $300 you can get two. What else compares to that?

Looks good to me (i'll take two!).

my two cents.

paulrbeers
Nov 25, 2011, 01:49 PM
It gives you four USB ports,

So does a USB Hub


an ethernet connection,

That will be slower than the wifi (100mbps ethernet max vs 300mbps wifi)

and the ability to lock up your MBA with a Kensington lock.

True, but at $160 bucks, that's a lot to spend for a place to lock your MBA (alternatives exist)

And, the form factor is tiny... compared to everything else on the market...

Like what? Most Docks I've ever used barely take up anymore space than the laptop they are connected to. How is this any different?

Edit: Oh and USB Hubs can take up almost no space on your desktop....

and, it's cool looking... unlike everything else on the market.

Completely subjective. I'll grant you, it does look nice, but I'd rather have function over form (especially if form = no function).

Not sure why anyone would say "waste of money" or even "expensive"... it's only $160 on Kickstarter right now and for $300 you can get two. What else compares to that?

Well if it was a true docking station, I would say it is spot on for cost as most go for $150. But for $150 docking station, I expect it to have multiple USB, a Gigabit Ethernet, and at least one (if not multiple) display connectors. This has multiple USB and that is it.

Using USB 2.0 as the back bone of this device, just limits it too much. I'd pay $200 and maybe even $250 if it had all the above.

maximaxi
Nov 25, 2011, 02:24 PM
I expect it to have multiple USB, a Gigabit Ethernet, and at least one (if not multiple) display connectors. This has multiple USB and that is it.

It does have a MiniDisplay Port and it lets you lock it up too. So, for me it works out great because it solves several of my needs in one small package.

And, you're right that it is subjective whether you like the design. From my perspective, the others i've seen haven't put as much energy into how it actually looks on your desk... especially when the computer isn't there.

I'm not trying to convince you to buy it, I'm just saying it works for my needs and my guess is that there are a lot of other people like me out there.

best,

m

ZipZap
Nov 25, 2011, 05:42 PM
Some clarifications:

1. Cost is $139 for early adopters
2. If you have a 2010 MBA you dont need Thunderblunder
3. So a $1000 monitor is a better buy?

Bottom line, dont like dont buy.

swishyfresh
Nov 27, 2011, 11:57 PM
There's a design flaw here that I can't get over.

MBAs automatically go to sleep when you close the lid. This function cannot be disabled natively because there is a very real risk of damage due to heat reaching the screen.

So, taking their video as an example. You plug the MBA in to the dock to watch a movie on the big screen. Your MBA heats up quite a bit due to the high processing occurring for video playback and damages the screen and or other components when left for an a certain amount of time.

I like the idea, but I can't risk that.

theSeb
Nov 28, 2011, 12:38 AM
There's a design flaw here that I can't get over.

MBAs automatically go to sleep when you close the lid. This function cannot be disabled natively because there is a very real risk of damage due to heat reaching the screen.

So, taking their video as an example. You plug the MBA in to the dock to watch a movie on the big screen. Your MBA heats up quite a bit due to the high processing occurring for video playback and damages the screen and or other components when left for an a certain amount of time.

I like the idea, but I can't risk that.

This is not correct. The MBA will operate quite fine with the lid closed. If you connect it to a monitor and close the lid it will stay on and not overheat or melt, just like every other apple laptop.

DannyBres
Nov 28, 2011, 02:53 AM
I am not saying it will melt but he does have a good point.

The MacBook Pro has vents at the back to suck/blow air.

The MacBook Air does it through the keyboard

andothfc
Nov 28, 2011, 03:56 AM
Just too expensive for me. I have my Air plugged into a monitor all day at work and have no need for a Thunderbolt port so this would suit me perfectly, but $160 (with international delivery) isn't something I can justify.

JoeG4
Nov 28, 2011, 04:14 AM
Nah, the MBA has a fan near the keyboard, but it blows the hot air out the back by the hinge as the rest of the mac laptops tend to.

On the PBG4s and MBPs, the vent is behind the hinge in a way that some of the air goes out the back and some goes straight up. If the screen is closed, that air could just sit around under the LCD, but it'll go out the back anyway (path of least resistance!) There really isn't enough room to vent air out through gaps in the keyboard, and even if there was, they'd clog up too easily. Shoot, that means you'd be killing your machine with those silicone covers! Knowing that those are very popular, I doubt Apple would build a machine that exhausts through the keyboard (lol). If they did, the keys would be made out of some kinda mesh anyway. Right?

convergent
Nov 28, 2011, 11:43 AM
I think this is a fail without Thunderbolt at least as an option. Companies don't succeed launching new products targeting older versions of products... just never seen that succeed. This thing ends up being a very overpriced USB hub.

And, to the guy that said you can't run the MBA with the lid closed, that's just crazy talk. MBA + TBD + Bluetooth Keyboard.... works fine.

raftr
Nov 28, 2011, 02:43 PM
This is not correct. The MBA will operate quite fine with the lid closed. If you connect it to a monitor and close the lid it will stay on and not overheat or melt, just like every other apple laptop.

This is how I've been using all 4 MacBooks I 've had, including the i5 Air I am writing this on now. My Air 95% of the time is a desktop computer, lid closed, driving a 30" Apple Cinema Display. Unless there are a few Flash banners running simultaneously in a few browser tabs, the processor stays around 50-60C and the fan is quiet around 2000 RPM.

JoeG4
Nov 28, 2011, 07:59 PM
I don't get why people keep blaming the manufacturer for not having thunderbolt. As said in the product's description that is a future goal but they haven't been able to license it from Intel yet.

ZipZap
Nov 29, 2011, 06:16 AM
I don't get why people keep blaming the manufacturer for not having thunderbolt. As said in the product's description that is a future goal but they haven't been able to license it from Intel yet.

I agree. All the wining here without thinking it through.

paulrbeers
Nov 29, 2011, 07:54 AM
I don't get why people keep blaming the manufacturer for not having thunderbolt. As said in the product's description that is a future goal but they haven't been able to license it from Intel yet.

We aren't wining, we are pointing out that without Thunderbolt, it makes this nothing more than a glorified USB Hub. There isn't an integrated power supply, and the Ethernet and USB ports are just run off the USB connectors. I can accomplish all of this with a cheap 5 dollar hub and just plug that one hub into my Macbook Air. We get that the inventor doesn't have licensing to add Thunderbolt, but without it it doesn't do much good now does it? With Thunderbolt, you could have a full gigabit Ethernet, firewire, extra USB, high speed storage connections, etc... Otherwise again, this is just a fancy USB Hub.

Should we buy a product just because in the future other versions will do what we need/want it to do? That's asinine. It should do what it needs to do now. We shouldn't drop $150+ on a product that has a very limiited use. I'm sorry, not all inventions are a good one!

I'm starting to think Zip Zap is the inventor of this "docking station"....

----------

I agree. All the wining here without thinking it through.

Again, thinking what thru Zipzap?

That the Ethernet will run at a max of 100mbps which is slower than the 300mbps you can get with wifi? And that if I utilize the Ethernet, it will reduce my USB bandwith for all other devices (i.e. external drives?). I don't think you understand the limitations to USB 2.0... The MBA already is limited to USB, we need a docking station that will utilize the Thunderbolt port so we can have more connections, not just shove even more stuff thru the limited bandwidth ports (i.e. USB).

JoeG4
Nov 29, 2011, 01:24 PM
A power brick costs around $60-80 to begin with, you're right that you can do the same stuff with about $80-100 in components, but it'll be several sorta gimpy devices (then again, this dock isn't winning in that respect)

paulrbeers
Nov 29, 2011, 01:38 PM
A power brick costs around $60-80 to begin with, you're right that you can do the same stuff with about $80-100 in components, but it'll be several sorta gimpy devices (then again, this dock isn't winning in that respect)

Yeah, but this doesn't come with a power brick either does it? No. So you still have to spend 60-80 bucks on a power brick on top of the $150 for the unit....

So here's what it will cost you to buy the equivalent parts:

1. USB to Ethernet dongle - $7 (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10311&cs_id=1031102&p_id=6150&seq=1&format=2)
2. USB hub - $14 for a powered USB hub (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10307&cs_id=1030702&p_id=5328&seq=1&format=2)

Total cost = $21

I'll save the $129 and put it towards a nice night on the town with my wife.

Edited: I forgot that it is a powered USB hub (hence the power adapter that comes with the landingzone which by the way is NOT a magsafe power supply so I changed the hub to a powered one.)

dyn
Nov 29, 2011, 04:23 PM
What?! No need?! So you want all 3 of your USB ports and your ethernet to be limited to the speed of a single USB 2.0 port?

Well mr wiseguy in that case explain to all those MacBook Air 2010 owners how they can use Thunderbolt on their machine that has no Thunderbolt in it. Exactly, you can't so next time do some thinking before you do the typing!

This is a great dock for everybody with the 2010 model that does not have Thunderbolt. They now have a dock. For everybody with the 2011 model that does have Thunderbolt there is a much more expensive dock: the Thunderbolt Display. Another alternative would be the Belkin dock but that has not been released and might take several months before it does.

MacModMachine
Nov 29, 2011, 04:27 PM
Well mr wiseguy in that case explain to all those MacBook Air 2010 owners how they can use Thunderbolt on their machine that has no Thunderbolt in it. Exactly, you can't so next time do some thinking before you do the typing!

This is a great dock for everybody with the 2010 model that does not have Thunderbolt. They now have a dock. For everybody with the 2011 model that does have Thunderbolt there is a much more expensive dock: the Thunderbolt Display. Another alternative would be the Belkin dock but that has not been released and might take several months before it does.

so you are to cheap to upgrade and i should suffer?

nope , thunderbolt or no one will buy it.


simple , you do not have an option to not include what you want, as a creator they will simply fall behind when someone comes with a cheaper dock with thunderbolt.

good luck with your dock.

ZipZap
Nov 30, 2011, 05:39 AM
We aren't wining, we are pointing out that without Thunderbolt, it makes this nothing more than a glorified USB Hub. There isn't an integrated power supply, and the Ethernet and USB ports are just run off the USB connectors. I can accomplish all of this with a cheap 5 dollar hub and just plug that one hub into my Macbook Air. We get that the inventor doesn't have licensing to add Thunderbolt, but without it it doesn't do much good now does it? With Thunderbolt, you could have a full gigabit Ethernet, firewire, extra USB, high speed storage connections, etc... Otherwise again, this is just a fancy USB Hub.

Should we buy a product just because in the future other versions will do what we need/want it to do? That's asinine. It should do what it needs to do now. We shouldn't drop $150+ on a product that has a very limiited use. I'm sorry, not all inventions are a good one!

I'm starting to think Zip Zap is the inventor of this "docking station"....

----------



Again, thinking what thru Zipzap?

That the Ethernet will run at a max of 100mbps which is slower than the 300mbps you can get with wifi? And that if I utilize the Ethernet, it will reduce my USB bandwith for all other devices (i.e. external drives?). I don't think you understand the limitations to USB 2.0... The MBA already is limited to USB, we need a docking station that will utilize the Thunderbolt port so we can have more connections, not just shove even more stuff thru the limited bandwidth ports (i.e. USB).


I'll clarify for you:

This dock is not for 2011 MBA owners as it does not have thunderblunder and therefore cannot support the faster data connection types that all 2011 MBA owners now want.

I am not the inventor.

I agree the same thing can be done with dongles and a USB hub, but I dont want dongles and a USB hub.

I am sure that any regular TB dock that FINALLY hits the market will be way down the road and EXPENSIVE. Presently the only available dock for MBA 2011 is $1000 (and yes it doubles as a monitor but is still ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS). Subtract away the monitor cost of oh lets say $300 to $500 and you're still buying a pretty expensive dock.

----------

Yeah, but this doesn't come with a power brick either does it? No. So you still have to spend 60-80 bucks on a power brick on top of the $150 for the unit....

So here's what it will cost you to buy the equivalent parts:

1. USB to Ethernet dongle - $7 (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10311&cs_id=1031102&p_id=6150&seq=1&format=2)
2. USB hub - $14 for a powered USB hub (http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10307&cs_id=1030702&p_id=5328&seq=1&format=2)

Total cost = $21

I'll save the $129 and put it towards a nice night on the town with my wife.

Edited: I forgot that it is a powered USB hub (hence the power adapter that comes with the landingzone which by the way is NOT a magsafe power supply so I changed the hub to a powered one.)

This is a perfect approach for YOU. I want to spend $139 for the dock.

dyn
Dec 6, 2011, 05:23 AM
so you are to cheap to upgrade and i should suffer?

Or you could stop being so enormously selfish. The world will be a much better place without people like you. You are not the only one on this planet, try respecting the others as well. Not everybody has money to buy a new Mac each year because that is exactly what you are requesting. It is also very unnecessary if the machine still does what it needs to do.

Btw, the only cheap person is you. You are too cheap to buy the thunderbolt display that is intended as the thunderbolt dock for the Air 2011. Why should everybody else with an older model suffer because you are too cheap to buy the dock for your Mac? ;)


nope , thunderbolt or no one will buy it.

If you open your eyes and look at what other people are saying you'd notice that there is quite a lot of people wanting to buy the current one and not the thunderbolt one. This one works with their machines. There is a place for both though. Currently there are is a very good offering from Apple itself for a dock. It contains a display and a charger making it much more attractive as a dock. It also has a much cleaner look to it. For quite a lot of people this makes the thunderbolt display much more attractive than the dock from this 3rd party company with thunderbolt. They have to compete with Apple which is one of the most hardest things to do. Having a dock Apple hasn't it makes things a lot easier.

LeandrodaFL
Dec 6, 2011, 07:18 AM
The dock would be better if it were alluminum and acutally include USB 3.0, esta and firewire 800 with daisy chaining.

ZipZap
Dec 6, 2011, 08:49 AM
The dock would be better if it were alluminum and acutally include USB 3.0, esta and firewire 800 with daisy chaining.

Did you even read th thread?

You cannot get USB3 from a USB2 connection.

Now if you are speculating about what you would want for a 2011 MBA, then start another thread as its been pretty well established that this dock is for MBA 2010s or earlier.

GekkePrutser
Dec 8, 2011, 05:10 AM
This is not correct. The MBA will operate quite fine with the lid closed. If you connect it to a monitor and close the lid it will stay on and not overheat or melt, just like every other apple laptop.

Don't forget to mention that it needs external power to work in clamshell mode. Without it it will go back to sleep when it's woken up with the lid closed. It's just the way Apple designed it.

paulrbeers
Dec 8, 2011, 07:42 AM
Now if you are speculating about what you would want for a 2011 MBA, then start another thread as its been pretty well established that this dock is for MBA 2010s ONLY.

Fixed that for you....