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View Full Version : MBA dock with 2 video ports?




vivithemage
Apr 3, 2013, 11:15 AM
Does a dock system exist to plug in a system to 2 monitors at all, and has a few USB ports?



LeeM
Apr 7, 2013, 05:48 PM
all im aware of is the matrox http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/dh2go/digital_me/#close
and add a usb 3 hub. not sure theres a dock out there but you could combine the matrox with a henge dock effectively creating your own, wont look as nice though but all the wiring and boxes could be hidden under the desk

jkim13
Apr 7, 2013, 11:57 PM
I only found several working docks in my search for a MBA docking station. One of my requirements were a way to hook up two monitors. Unfortunately, none of the available docks had the ability to hook up two monitors without additional hardware. All of them only had 1 displayport or DVI/HDMI connection. I also tried a couple USB 3.0 docking stations at work, Lenovo and Kensington, and I couldn't get the display to work. I'm sure it was driver related but I didn't want to spend too much time trying to figure out the problems. Odd thing was that I had the DisplayLink driver already installed and the USB 3.0 docks were based on the DisplayLink tech. I knew a USB 3.0 dock wouldn't be useful anyways because when you close the lid, the MBA would go to sleep without a third party software, rendering the MBA and dock useless even when connected to power. I may be wrong about this but I believe it will only wake when connected to the display port and connected to power.

So...here are the docks I found that would allow it to wake from sleep

Matrox - http://www.matrox.com/docking_station/en/ds1/
Belkins - http://www.belkin.com/us/F4U055-Belkin/p/P-F4U055
Henge Docks - http://hengedocks.com/order_mba.php
LandingZone - http://landingzone.net

Matrox...if you read on the Matrox forum, there are driver issues currently. I'm sure it will eventually be sorted but there are problems it right now that haven't been fixed yet. I was ready to purchase this one until I found the Matrox support forum.

Belkins...looks nice and I'm sure it'll be a good product but it hasn't been released yet. I'm assuming they're also experiencing the same driver issues as Matrox since it's based on the same technology.

Henge Dock...haven't been able to find any negative reviews or problems. Only thing is it only offers 1 displayport and only 1 USB port. You still have to manually plug in a power cable and 1 USB wouldn't cut it for my needs. I also needed an ethernet port for my work network.

LandingZone...this is what I ended up purchasing and been using for a couple weeks. When doing my research, I was unable to find any negative reviews. I got the 2.0 Pro model, which offers 4 USB 3.0, ethernet, and displayport. With this dock, I have nothing to plug in when I connect the MBA. When I go to my office, I just plot the MBA on the dock and push the sides in and I'm connected which makes it very convenient for me and well worth the $200 (since my company is paying for it...lol). The other docks, you still need to connect 2 cables, the thunderbolt and power. With this, no cables to mess with

To get the dual monitor setup, I also purchased this USB 3.0 to HDMI/DVI adapter that I have connected to one of the USB 3.0 ports on the LandingZone dock. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007L6NYAO/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

DisplayLink updated their drivers a few months ago so anything based on this should work now. It works find for my usage at work. No lag or problems when viewing 1080p videos on both monitors, web browsing, and heavy spreadsheets. It puts a heavier strain on the CPU but it's not anything that I notice in my use.

vivithemage
Apr 8, 2013, 12:02 AM
Thanks jkim13! What MBA do you have exactly that allowed you to do 2 monitors with the lid closed?

jkim13
Apr 8, 2013, 12:14 AM
2012 MBA. I can keep the lid closed because there's a monitor hooked to the display port and powers connected. I dont think the USB 3.0 docks will work because the USB ports power down when the MBA goes to sleep and won't wake (I think...haven't tested this)

vivithemage
Apr 8, 2013, 11:04 AM
Crazy, I heard that you could not run two external monitors with a 2012 MBA~! What resolutions?

jkim13
Apr 8, 2013, 01:54 PM
yeah starting 2012 it was possible due to the HD4000. I heard it was possible before with the HD3000 but was restricted by Apple.

Both monitors are running 1680x1050, limited by the 22 inch monitors I have here at work. At home I can ran both my 24 inch monitors at 1080 to test it before bringing it to work but I haven't connected it again so I can't comment on the performance of it other than it worked.

vivithemage
Apr 8, 2013, 02:03 PM
That is right, mid 2012 had HD4000

Panch0
Apr 8, 2013, 02:07 PM
You could always get two TB displays, or one TB and one MDP Cinema Display.

vivithemage
Apr 8, 2013, 02:11 PM
You could always get two TB displays, or one TB and one MDP Cinema Display.

Can you on a 2011 MBA?

Panch0
Apr 8, 2013, 03:04 PM
Can you on a 2011 MBA?

No, has to be 2012. TB chip on the 2011 only supported one display channel. You can add a second display using a USB connector though.