MacBooks and Docking


Over at The Apple Blog, Jon Buys brings up a question that I’ve asked myself quite a few times before: why is there no docking station for Apple’s laptops?

It really is a shame, as beautiful as the new 27 inch LED Cinema Display combination with a brand new MacBook or MacBook Pro may be, that you still have to connect at least 3 cables to your laptop before you can go. And still you need a solution for where to put your MacBook, either for use in clamshell mode or as a second screen.

I am a big fan of the wired keyboard and wired Apple Mouse (which was once called the Mighty Mouse)  and have a docking station for a backup drive and the digicam, so I  love the idea of having all that stuff connected immediately when the MacBook comes home. Having the charger in the display is also a good idea, but you could also have it in a Docking Station which doesn’t require me to plug in any cable at all. I just put my laptop onto or into it and am ready to go.

A Docking Station from Apple could also make machines like the MacBook Air more appealing to people who want more than one USB port and stuff. You could have a small machine like the Air on the road and a battery of connections at home. Not really a new idea, but one that would fit perfectly into the Applesphere.

The new Cinema Display also has a real flaw: it only has one input and only plays with Macs, because it’s Mini Display Port. I’m not sure what kind of adventorous battery of adapters you’d need to connect another PC. So buying an LED Cinema Display means giving up a lot of alternatives.

Come on, Apple, Docking stations are not really a fresh idea, I’ve had one with my work laptop back in the mid-nineties, and they weren’t actually a brand new idea back then.

2 thoughts on “MacBooks and Docking

  1. I have a MBP with an older 30″ display, and between the wireless network and the display’s integral USB hub, docking is as simple as plugging in 2 cables… the mini display port and the USB cable. I bought a separate power adapter so I can leave that on my desk full-time, too. I guess that makes three cables, but the magsafe power adapter snaps into place so nicely that I don’t even think about it.

    1. Ken,

      I prefer to use a good old ethernet network and so we have 4 cables hanging around at the desk, plus the cables for the wired keyboard and the magic mouse, which would admittedly be connected to the display’s USB hub all the time.
      To me that stills sounds too much. I’d love to just put the MBP into a docking station.
      My second point was that a docking station could enable designs with very few physical connections on the machine, but quite a few that can be added to the docking station. Thus the complaints of the Air having only one USB port would be less relevant, because most of the connections I need are needed at home, not on a trip.

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