When it first released, the MacBook Air was all portability, no power. Like many first generation Apple products, it had limited functionality but paved the way for the future. Now that has changed — the latest MacBook Air rivals its big brother, the MacBook Pro, and it just lacks an optical drive. The engineer behind a Kickstarter project wants to simplify the unleashing of the Air’s home computer potential.
LandingZone is a docking station for the MacBook Air. It has four USB ports, ethernet, and a mini DisplayPort. Slide your 11- or 13-inch Air (2010 or later) into the dock, snap the connectors into the laptop, and transform your mobile computer into a workstation.
The project, the brainchild of Kitae Kwon, has raised nearly $13,000 of its $50,000 goal. Investors pledging $139 or more get the dock, and those promising $299 or more will receive two docks. Kwon says that the unit will eventually retail for $200.
The MacBook Air can dock into a workstation without this accessory, but it’s messy. The easiest way is to connect to an Apple Thunderbolt display, but its $1,000 price is daunting. Sadly the LandingZone doesn’t support speedy Thunderbolt transfers, but more common USB devices are covered. With an external display (up to 2560×1440 resolution), USB hard drive, wireless mouse and keyboard, and room for more hardware, the dock allows your MacBook Air to double as a faux iMac.
Keeping professionals in mind, Kwon has included a build-in locking port, compatible with all Kensington laptop locks. The Air’s portability makes it a tempting target for thieves; easily locking the laptop into the station lets office dwellers grab lunch without undocking the laptop.
LandingZone has until January 1 to reach its goal and receive pledges. Those wanting an affordable workstation for their MacBook Airs can sign up at Kickstarter, but keep in mind that the lack of Thunderbolt will limit the potential of this device and it won’t fully take advantage of the MacBook’s best on-the-desktop features.
No comments yet.
Leave a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Trackbacks are disabled.