Kickstarter Project Aims To Make MacBook Air Dock

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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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.
LandingZone is a docking station for the MacBook Air. We love the MacBook Air for its beauty and functionality. The MacBook Air deserves a docking station that's just as beautiful and functional. So we designed one and we think it's pretty cool. We hope you agree.

- Total of 4 USB 2.0 ports; no need to attach a separate USB hub
- Built in 10/100T Ethernet port; no more dongles for the Ethernet or fumbling with the cable
- Built in Mini DisplayPort capable of driving resolution up to 2560x1440
- Built in locking port compatible with all the Kensington Locks; now you can secure your MacBook Air
- Two models to support either the 11" or 13" version of the MacBook Air (2010 or later)
- Beautifully designed and engineered for simplicity, elegance, reliability and functionality (patent pending)
- Comes with US power adapter which accepts wide range of input voltage (100~240 Vac)
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
 

guan

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2011
19
0
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.
 

arbitraryUser

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2011
2
0
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
 

rmwebs

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2007
3,140
0
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.
 

Xenc

macrumors 65816
May 8, 2010
1,035
177
London, England
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Looks cool in video, but unfortunately ugly in the photo. I hope that doesn't put people off.
 

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,489
906
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.
 

macrumorsuser10

macrumors 6502
Nov 18, 2010
261
186
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.
 

BiscottiGelato

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2011
285
72
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...?
 

Stingray454

macrumors 6502a
Sep 22, 2009
588
104
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.
 
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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!
 

spillproof

macrumors 68020
Jun 4, 2009
2,028
2
USA
Great idea, but thunderbolt implementation would be nice.


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
I think it locks the mechanisms in place (not allowing the handle to release).
 

syan48306

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2010
611
499
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."
 

applesith

macrumors 68030
Jun 11, 2007
2,665
1,141
Manhattan
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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.
 

jclardy

macrumors 68040
Oct 6, 2008
3,444
2,148
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.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,656
53
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.
 

powers74

macrumors 68000
Aug 18, 2008
1,852
14
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.
 

KylePowers

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2011
1,688
197
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.
 

heyloo

macrumors 6502
Nov 2, 2006
268
1
NY
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 :(
 

subsonix

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2008
3,551
79
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.
 

Prodo123

macrumors 68020
Nov 18, 2010
2,326
9
Or you could just get an already-existent well-implemented docking system called the Apple Thunderbolt Display, at least for the newest models...
 

RedReplicant

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2010
693
5
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.
Because you limit your market by only making the product capable with the 2011+ MBPs.
 

vjl323

macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2005
198
143
Western North Carolina
Reason for no GB-ethernet, FW800, TB

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!
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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