Kickstarter Project Aims To Make MacBook Air Dock

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    The LandingZone is a docking station for the MacBook Air that hopes to become a reality via Kickstarter pledges. The dock circles the end of the MacBook Air, plugging into the ports on both sides of the device and including a full range of ports on the back -- including a 10/100 ethernet port and a Kensington-compatible lock, two things the MacBook Air lacks. The planned retail price of the LandingZone is around $200, but can be purchased with a $159 pledge.
    The project is looking to raise $50,000 by January 1st, 2012 to begin production of the LandingZone. 111 backers have pledged more than $17,000.

    Article Link: Kickstarter Project Aims To Make MacBook Air Dock
  2. superleccy macrumors 6502a


    Oct 31, 2004
    That there big London
    Wow! That's awesome... I want one!

    Hang on... no Firewire?

    Huh. It totally sucks.

  3. guan macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2011
    Not that great

    This doesn’t have any FireWire ports and only has 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, not Gigabit. The USB hub connects to your MacBook Air via USB, as does the Ethernet controller. It probably won’t be as fast as you expect from, say, the equivalent function on a Thunderbolt Display. There’s no Thunderbolt support at all.

    Finally, and this isn’t completely obvious for the final product but is true for the clear plastic prototype they’ve posted, it doesn’t power your MacBook Air directly: you need to plug in a regular power adapter with the MagSafe head that will plug in to the Air, and then the docking station presumably needs a separate power supply.

    I guess for pre-2011 Airs you can’t do much better, but as a 2011 Air owner I would wait for a Thunderbolt model. I doubt they can solve the power problem because Apple doesn’t license MagSafe.
  4. Gemütlichkeit macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2010
  5. arbitraryUser macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2011
    So, there's a Kensington lock on the dock - great. How does that protect the laptop, unless the dock's attachment to your laptop is somehow as robust as that of a Kensington lock itself?

    Can't you just pop the laptop out of the dock and walk out of the room? Does the doc just hold on to your USB ports really tightly?

    Afraid I'm not willing to Kickstart this one. :p
  6. rmwebs macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2007
    Who else noticed the SJ biography on the table when they watch the movie ;)

    I like the idea of this, but it should have used thunderbolt, or at least provided an accessible thunderbolt port.
  7. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Looks cool in video, but unfortunately ugly in the photo. I hope that doesn't put people off.
  8. DannyBres macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2007
  9. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    Are you all serious?

    You cant have firewire or gigabit ethernet through a standard USB 2.0. At least no at their true speeds.

    Sure, at some point you can with Thunderblunder...but that aint going to happen anytime soon as that is a proprietary and tightly controlled interface.

    For pre2011 MBA's this is a nice way to hook it up.
  10. macrumorsuser10 macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2010
    I would only buy one if it's made of aluminum and of the same colour as the MacBook Air. I am not putting anything that looks like cheap plastic on my desk.
  11. BiscottiGelato macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2011
    Needs to be made out of aluminum, or at least a higher grade of plastic.

    Major fail is the lack of audio output/inputs. So I still need my iMic...

    Currently I have my MBA plugging in to a USB Hub, with iMic, Logitech Micro Receiver which gives me mouse and keyboard, multi-card reader, and printer. This already took up all the USB ports on this dock. An odd USB key or if I want to connect my iphone, then I have no where to plug them in on this dock. This means I still need a USB hub...

    so instead of plugging in 3 cables which I currently do, it simplifies it to 1 push... I guess it depends on price then...?
  12. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2009
    Great idea, but.. Why not take advantage of the thunderbolt? A TB hub would be awesome, or maybe just use the TB to get gigabit ethernet. Probably comes down to licensing costs, but I would personally not go without a thunderbolt hub/extension/whatever. Right not it seems to turn the Mini DisplayPort / TB port to only displayport, making it unable to use any TB peripherals.

    Also, agree about the looks, hope they make a version in brushed aluminum or similar as well.
  13. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    Wirelessly posted (Johnny iphone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    This seemed nice but equates to nothing more than an overpriced, flop IMHO

    No tb, gb-Ethernet, FW800?

    Like others have said - this dock is fine for MBA 2010 and prior models; not us TB owners!
  14. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    Great idea, but thunderbolt implementation would be nice.

    I think it locks the mechanisms in place (not allowing the handle to release).
  15. syan48306 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 15, 2010
    From the looks of it, it does not support thunderbolt because the license and implementation would bump the cost of the device to $1000 according to the inventor. Also, there isn't an easy way to just leave it unblocked because the concept of the device is to be able to detach everything by flipping the lever.

    Clever design. It's just a damn shame thunderbolt would cost so damn much.

    EDIT: "- Until two months ago, the price of an entry level Thunderbolt peripheral is over $1000."
  16. applesith macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I don't see any value from this. Cripples Air's best performance features.

    Oh and $200?! Probably because the have to spread all the upfront costs among the 5 units they will sell.
  17. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    Nice idea to dock on both sides...but with Thunderbolt this isn't necessary.

    $200 for a rather ugly looking dock that doesn't even give you gigabit ethernet...I'll pass.

    Good for 2010 MBA owners I guess.

    My wants for a dock for my Air:
    - 1 Cable (Thunderbolt)
    - Can have an external plug for powered ports
    - Display port/TB daisy chain port on the back
    - Gigabit ethernet port on the back
    - 2 USB ports on the back (For a desktop KB/Mouse
    - 2 USB (3.0 if possible) ports on the front (for easy access)
    - FW800 port on the back (for external drives)

    Make it brushed aluminum to match the Air and sell it for $99. Would work for every laptop and even desktop with a Thunderbolt port.
  18. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    Really clever implementation. Though I feel it's a bit pricy (not to mention, I think it could look nicer). :eek:

    But pretty cool nonetheless.
  19. powers74 macrumors 68000


    Aug 18, 2008
    At the bend in the river
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    To all the comments about not having Tbolt; it's most assuredly been in development since before Tb was released, next version is certain to have it.

    Anyway, looks like a MBA must-have accessory.
  20. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Implementation of Thunderbolt would not only make it better/faster/more universal but would probably cut down on manufacturing costs too. The design could be simpler and you wouldn't need so many dongles being plugged into both sides.

    Don't get me wrong, the MBA could use a nice dock (I don't need one, however)... but it needs to be aluminum or gloss black (to match an iMac or a Thunderbolt display). Also would recommend FireWire, another Thunderbolt port, and Gigabit ethernet.

    Maybe more powerful speakers too? The MBA's isn't too loud.
  21. heyloo macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2006
    It looks like a solid concept. The price point isn't exactly appealing, especially with the MSRP aiming to be at $200. It's just over 20% of an actual baseline MBA...hmm..

    I might consider jumping in at $139 point but it seems like that that bracket's closed now :(
  22. subsonix macrumors 68040

    Feb 2, 2008
    I find this really odd, how come they bother with the usb? All a Macbook air dock would need it a thunderbolt and power connector, basically mimic the connector coming form the thunderbolt display but ending up in a hub and transformer for power. Yes a dual cable leading to the hub, not some complicated contraption to fasten the computer in.
  23. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Or you could just get an already-existent well-implemented docking system called the Apple Thunderbolt Display, at least for the newest models...
  24. RedReplicant macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2010
    Because you limit your market by only making the product capable with the 2011+ MBPs.
  25. vjl323 macrumors regular

    Sep 7, 2005
    Western North Carolina
    Reason for no GB-ethernet, FW800, TB

    It won't work on MBAs older than 2010, since they are built differently and have only one USB port.

    There's no way to add FW800 or GB-ethernet since the MBA only has USB2 ports - both of which are slower than FW800 and GB-ethernet.

    Intel is delaying many people/companies from licensing Thunderbolt. And the licenses are VERY expensive [it would probably double the price of this dock, sadly enough].

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