Kickstarter - MBA Dock

DannyBres

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2007
1,412
6
UK
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

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2010
55
0
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 :)
 

DannyBres

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2007
1,412
6
UK
* 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.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
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

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2007
1,412
6
UK
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! :)
 

maximaxi

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2010
14
0
Seems cool to me...

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

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
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

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2010
14
0
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

macrumors 603
Original poster
Dec 14, 2007
5,503
910
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

macrumors newbie
Jan 10, 2007
21
0
London
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

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
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

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2007
1,412
6
UK
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

macrumors regular
Jul 11, 2008
211
10
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

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,709
239
Bay Area, Ca.
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

macrumors 68040
May 6, 2008
3,019
3,075
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.
 
Last edited:

raftr

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2007
130
0
Ireland
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 50-60°C and the fan is quiet around 2000 RPM.
 

JoeG4

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,709
239
Bay Area, Ca.
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

macrumors 603
Original poster
Dec 14, 2007
5,503
910
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

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,961
120
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

macrumors 68030
Jan 11, 2002
2,709
239
Bay Area, Ca.
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)
 
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