Docking station for unibody macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by bobman15, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. bobman15 macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2009
    Is there any option for a unibody macbook docking station?
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    no, docking stations died a while back due to the number of laptops out there. apple's line of computers is probably the only ones that could have docking solutions. other companies simply release too many different sized laptops. what kind of function do you need for a dock?
  3. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008

    Are you just looking for a port replicator system? (and if so, why?)
  4. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    LOL! :D Many laptop makers (HP, Dell, Lenovo, ...) offer dock support, especially in their high-end laptops. Saying dock is dead is simply... wrong. I know many people who use them every day.

    Well, the MacBook honestly doesn't have a large number of ports. On a port-replicator, you usually get everything you could have on a desktop machine of the same kind, so in the case of a MacBook, I would wish for FireWire, VGA, DVI, perhaps Modem and definitely some more USB plugs.

    But that aside, it's not really about port replication. The main feature is the dock itself - the simplicity of taking your laptop with you on the road/to work without having to unplug half a dozen cables every time you do it (and replug when you get back).

    Look at it this way - people buy docks for iPods. There is a maximum of two cables you can plug into an iPod, but people still want to make it simpler. It definitely makes even more sense on a laptop.

    To answer the author of the topic - Apple doesn't provide a dock connector, but some companies still offer third-party dock-like devices. They usually look like a big connector that plugs into all of the connectors on the side of your laptop at once. They already announced one for the unibody MacBook.
  5. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    The thing about port replicators and docks is that they can't invent hardware that isn't there. Unless you find some kind of Firewire to USB bridge, you'll never get firewire on a unibody.
  6. sleepingfaster macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2009
    Whilst it's not strictly speaking a docking station how about one of the new monitors with the USB hub and pass through?

    This is the option I've opted for.

    It doesn't allow network docking but i'm using wireless on my notebook anyway.

    USB from Mac to monitor. Monitor with two ipods, keyboard and mouse.

    That way when you get back to base you're just jacking in your power, usb and mini display jack.

    It's not an ideal solution but I'm assuming if you're after a docking station you'll want to run a monitor as well?
  7. Harmless Abuse macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2008
    They actually have USB -> Firewire adapters already I think, but you're not going to get the consistent speed of firewire I believe. At least you can use it?

    The MacBook is lacking in ports, so a dock with added USB ports would be great. I can use more than 2, and not to mention I can only use 1 if I'm going to use my thumbdrive, which I can't use if I use my mouse. Bluetooth mice are somewhat laggy so I don't enjoy using them, and the idea of having more spaced out USB ports would even be amazing. The one thing I absolutely hate about my MacBook is the lack of ports.

    To the OP, you can try getting a stand or making one, and going through the option of getting a USB extender and whatnot. Sort of make your own dock.
  8. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040


    Sep 28, 2008
    From what I've seen, there's only one FW400-->USB dongle on the market, and it only has a PC driver-pack available.
  9. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    If you want an Apple notebook with a docking station, you'll have to go back a little more than a decade and grab yourself a PowerBook Duo :)
  10. grubber1000 macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    This is really weak.

    I'm in the market for an OSX laptop as couple of clients apple based.

    I just assumed they would have a dock. I've used a Viao for past 3 years and dock/undock at least 4/5 times a day to take into meetings/home/office.

    This is really putting me off, esp as hardware is so much more than PC. I'll be looking into hackintosh option first then.
  11. kdum8 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    I have been looking for a solution to this as well. I have a MBP which I take to work with me everyday. I also use it as my main computer at home in clamshell mode with a large external monitor. The home setup requires every one of the MBP's ports to be filled up which is a real time-consuming pain to unplug & re-plug twice everyday. Is there no solution at all? Belkin make this docking station ( but they don't offer Mac support annoyingly otherwise it would be perfect. Why hasn't anyone else made an Expresscard 34 docking station for the MBP? Is it because it is technically not feasible? You would think that there would be a market for such a device frankly... :(

    Any thoughts appreciated.
  12. grubber1000 macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2009
    I've just found a Kensington port replicator with beta mac drivers for a (connects via a single USB)

    Review here

    But only supports 100MB ethernet + VGA 1280x1028 Max. Which will put offer most power users.

    You would think someone will bring out a solid and affordable bank of port replicators like the left box in the thing 'KnightWRX' posted above (only $200 cheaper and prettier).
  13. JadedRaverLA macrumors member

    Sep 27, 2008
    WHAT? (I don't mean this personally about you, but it is something I've noticed that is VERY common on Apple boards.) I love the Apple fanboy mentality that anything Apple doesn't make isn't worth having.... or is essentially dead technology. Docking stations, Blu-ray, HDMI, etc.

    Every other major manufacturer offers docking stations for their business lines (and most even on their consumer lines). Most large businesses use them extensively. But Apple is so obsessed with thinness, that they can't even fit a normal video output on their notebooks, much less a special "docking bay" connector that requires quite a bit of space, and a secondary routing for all the major output ports.

    So, no, given the current trends with Apple's machines, it doesn't look likely that docking stations will be coming back to the line-up anytime soon.

    Not a terrible solution (and good to see that those are coming to Macs finally), but using an external monitor -- even one at only 1280x1028 -- over a USB video adapter is a pretty awful experience. Forget the Nvidia graphics in your notebook, and resign yourself to hyper-compressed video being transferred as data over the USB bus. Not my idea of a good solution. It can work for basic web surfing, etc, but trying to watch video is a terrible experience. And gaming is not even an option.
  14. dlegend macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2009
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    That's awesome. I don't think $60 is to bad either.
  15. Jay S. macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2010
    Hands down the best and cheapest dock i have seen for a macbook. Check out their video demo it's awesome.
  16. scottyd macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2010
    Henge Docks - info on new models and sizes

    Hey there. The Henge Dock only covers the 13" MBP right now. They have docks for the MB and 15" and 17" MBP coming soon. This article has a quote from Henge giving an expected availability:

    Henge Docks – docking stations for Apple Mac notebooks
  17. lasuther macrumors 6502a

    Feb 13, 2004
    Grand Haven, Michigan
    I think the 24" Cinema Display makes docking stations obsolete. The Cinema Display is much better design.

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