Docking Solution for Unibody Mac Laptops?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jonesh, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. jonesh macrumors newbie

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    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    #1
    I apologize if this is a duplicate of other threads, but I work at a college in Wisconsin where myself and others have been fairly successful in switching many of our faculty members to Macintosh computers. Due to many professors using their laptops for design, etc, the call for Macbooks and Macbook Pros has risen by a LOT over the past year. Is there a docking solution for either the Macbook or Macbook Pro that would allow our faculty members to keep a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers available at their desks with just 'docking' their Mac laptop, leaving them the ability to take it and leave whenever necessary? I hope that provides enough description.

    At this point, it seems that the 24" Cinema Display option might work out the best, seeing that it has a display, speakers, and USB ports, as well as the iSight camera for conferencing. While that is definitely a viable option, we have many HP monitors that are still in rotation here that we could use to save a little money before they're out of cycle. Would it be possible to have a simple docking solution with ports for connecting these kinds of external devices, or would it just be best to go the Cinema Display route from the get go?

    Feel free to post opinions, of course! I'd also be happy to clarify anything.
     
  2. Fidgetyrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    #2
    Not really one needed as all ports are accessible in the same spot. Take my "desktop" for example


    I have my keyboard and mouse plugged into my Dell LCD that way both (and any other USB stuff I need) can be plugged into the laptop via 1 single wire.

    When I come home, its plugin the DisplayPort Adapter, Power and 1 USB. Wake the machine in clamshell mode, and POOF a desktop.

    3 small cables is not really a big deal.
     
  3. PeterQC macrumors 6502a

    PeterQC

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #3
    Are you speaking about the new LED 24'' Cinema Display? They aren't compatible with older Macbooks, just the new unibody ones equiped with mini-display port. I think it would be better to get the last generation with 20 or 23 screens (the 30' are only compatible with the Macbook Pro). You should also think to buy the mini DVI adapters for the white/black Macbooks. This way, any laptop will be compatible with screens.
     
  4. jonesh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 29, 2008
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    Green Bay, WI
    #4
    The laptops we'd be ordering at this point would be completely of the new unibody design. We're in the process of doing 3-year rotations for some faculty members and quite a few opted for Mac laptops. I suppose it really is quite unnecessary for a docking station per se, but what my 'boss' was mostly interested in was trying to do a 'minimal amount of cables/effort' solution, which I guess means trying not to have to deal with 3-4 cables during every session. Not that it would be that big of a problem I don't think, but I believe he's mostly thinking of how our HP laptops, for example, can just be sat onto a docking station and work with the peripherals plugged into the station itself.

    Oh, and I was speaking about the new 24" display, yes.
     
  5. Fidgetyrat macrumors regular

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #5
    In that case, No. There is no official docking station and no docking port on Apple notebooks. One company (bookendz I believe) makes an extremely overprices "adapter" that basically acts like one giant plug that goes into all ports in one fell swoop, but not sure if they make one for this new model yet and honestly, its pretty dumb when all you need is 3 whole wires. Especially at the prices they ask.
     
  6. PeterQC macrumors 6502a

    PeterQC

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #6
    Yet, they use their laptop for design. I'm mostly sure they would prefer a matte screen over a glossy. The new LED 24'' is glossy, while the 20, 23 and 30 are, I believe, available in matte option.
     
  7. jonesh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 29, 2008
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    Green Bay, WI
    #7
    It seems most people are like 'Ooooh.... shiny....' while seeing the new displays we have for demonstration. Granted, they're not the 24" LEDs, but there seems to be a general consensus that glossy = pretty around here. Yes, I'm aware that some people will undoubted disagree here :D. I appreciate the responses, folks! I figure the best way to have a 'desktop' solution is to just install a monitor, USB keyboard, and USB mouse and let them go to their hearts' content. I suppose the biggest issue that I have now is fending off the swarm of people wanting to see the MBP I should be receiving tomorrow :p
     
  8. foodle macrumors 6502

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    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #8
    Sadly there's nothing for Macs similar to the docking stations for Thinkpads or HP machines.

    For my Macbook, I've taken to cable tying all of the necessary cables together in a bundle (MagSafe, ethernet, USBx2, DisplayPort, speaker) so there is a minimum of searching for plugs.

    As someone else mentioned, BookEndz makes some adapters, but they don't have anything for the new machines yet. Also, most reviews do not rate them very highly.

    Finally, there are some nice stands that keep the machine out of the way, but do not solve the port/plug/cable problem. For example, the Floater ( http://www.balmuda.net/v/products/c/floater/index.html ) which is very pretty, but by no means cheap ($300!).
     
  9. jonesh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 29, 2008
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    Green Bay, WI
    #9
    Ooh, that does look like it could at least elevate the laptop safely. Thanks for the link :)
     
  10. foodle macrumors 6502

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    May 14, 2008
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    Pennsylvania, USA
    #10
    Oops. Floater website says that it is NOT compatible with the new unibody MBs and MBPs. Sorry.
     
  11. jonesh thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 29, 2008
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    Green Bay, WI
    #11
    It's fine. I've been poking around and haven't found anything compelling. I'm thinking a cooling pad, keyboard, mouse, and monitor would be sufficient. Yes? No?
     
  12. craible93 macrumors newbie

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    May 31, 2009
    #12

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