Macbook Air dock?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by deadherring, May 13, 2016.

  1. deadherring macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2016

    I have an early 2015 Macbook Air 13". I use it in my home office and have a widescreen monitor connected via thunderbolt, a second 25" monitor connected via usb to hdmi, ethernet network via usb, power cable, and external speakers connected via the headphone jack.

    I am often mobile with my laptop, taking it to a coffee shop to work in the afternoon, other parts of the house etc. This means that just about every day I have to disconnect and reconnect 5 cables from my laptop.

    I'm wondering why Apple doesn't make a dock for these computers? They are making more and more inroads into the enterprise and many that use laptops also use external monitors at their desk etc, especially with the direction they are moving with less and less ports on the laptop. People nowadays move around to meetings back to their desk etc. They could make an amazing dock--with a magnetic connection that slides right in easily.

    Either way, I know Henge makes a vertical dock for the Macbook air:
    but I want to be able to use the macbook screen when its at my desk, and one of my colleagues at my old company had one and didn't like it. They are working on a horizontal model:

    but have no release timeline. Anyone know of any other options for the dilemma I describe above. I'm pretty mobile so looking for a solution that will make moving around a little easier.

    Anyone else have a similar problem?


  2. UnlikelyLass macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2016
    There are a number of thunderbolt docks which bring the number of cables you have to disconnect down to 2 -- 1xthunderbolt and 1xmagsafe.

    Off the top of my head, OWC, el gato, caldigit, and Belkin all make a product like this.

    I have an el gato tb2 Dock which has a pass through thunderbolt port for daisy chaining, three USB 3 ports, an HDMI out, and audio in/out. I've no idea how it would do with the USB->HDMI video adapter, but if you have a second tb2 device with another passthrough you can use the dock HDMI and the passthrough on the second tb2 device to drive a second monitor.

    Hope this helps!
  3. deadherring thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2016
    Thanks for the info. I looked into the elgato and belkin and both require a thunderbolt and hdmi to use two monitors. My setup is one monitor that uses hdmi-->thunderbolt and another uses hdmi-->usb so it wouldn't work. Do you know of any product that would work with the setup I have?
  4. UnlikelyLass macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2016
    I believe you could do the following:
    • MacBook Air -> Dock via Thunderbolt
    • Dock -> Monitor #1 via HDMI cable (HDMI out on dock, HDMI in on Monitor)
    • Dock -> Monitor #2 via USB -> HDMI cable
    I *know* you can do this, because I'm doing it right now:
    • MacBook Air -> Dock via Thunderbolt
    • Dock -> Monitor #1 via HDMI cable
    • Dock -> Thunderbolt device #2 via daisy chain
    • Thunderbolt device #2 -> Monitor #2 via mini-displayport/thunderbolt -> HDMI
    None of the thunderbolt docks allow you to plug two monitors directly to them. You can do one via *either* the thunderbolt daisy-chain *or* one via the HDMI. The docks won't decode the second monitor displayport signal via thunderbolt without a second thunderbolt device in the thunderbolt chain.

    But a USB-> HDMI adaptor doesn't use the video card for the monitor it displays, AFAIK -- it works differently, and so should work plugged into the dock just as it does plugged into your computer.
  5. deadherring thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2016
    Ahhh. Thanks, that makes sense and is super helpful. I'm going to order one via amazon right now and give it a go. Is there a model or manufacturer you recommend?

    Thanks again.

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