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I recently wrote about my must have MacBook Pro accessory, OWC’s Thunderbolt dock.
While that dock will continue to earn its place on my desk, it might be overkill for some people. If you don’t find yourself needing FireWire or HDMI often, but want a more elegant solution to expand your MacBook’s capabilities than a dongle, Landing Zone’s MacBook Dock could be your solution.
Landing Zone sells four docks, the Dock and Dock Express for MacBook Pro with Retina display users, and Dock 2.0 and Dock 2.0 Lite for MacBook Air users. How many additional ports you get depends on which one you buy, I’ve been using the Dock 2.0 with my 13-inch MacBook Air, and it gives me three additional USB 3 ports, an Ethernet port, and Kensington lock port.
The way Landing Zone’s docks connect to your MacBook is unique; you slide your laptop into the dock, and then use a locking mechanism to cover all of your laptop’s existing ports. Don’t worry about covering those ports, though, everything that gets covered has a pass-through port right on top of it, so you don’t lose any functionality. Once locked into place, you connect a single power cable from the back of the dock to an outlet and you’re in business.
The biggest compliment I can pay to Landing Zone’s dock is that I don’t realise that I’m using it. It so seamlessly fits into my workflow, and is so unobtrusive, that I hardly realise it’s there. Connectivity is also rock solid. I use the Ethernet port, Thunderbolt, and two USB ports constantly, and haven’t noticed a dip in performance. What I have noticed is less wire clutter on my desk, because I no longer have to use two dongles for extra USB ports and Ethernet connectivity.
One thing in particular I’d like to highlight is the Kensington lock port I mentioned earlier. By default, MacBooks no longer have a built-in Kensington lock port, and that’s a shame. While it might seem inessential to some people, I consider its inclusion on this dock a major win. Nobody wants to have their laptop stolen.
If you were to decide between OWC’s Thunderbolt dock and any of Landing Zone’s options, you have to consider exactly what you’re looking for. Landing Zone’s docks are clip-on and don’t require a Thunderbolt cable to connect, but don’t have as many ports. OWC’s dock is more fully featured, but requires you to connect it via a Thunderbolt cable and stands as its own device. Depending on your needs both are solid pieces of gear that haven’t given me any trouble.
In an office situation, though, I have to give the nod to Landing Zone’s dock because of its Kensington lock port. Having a safety feature integrated into their product gets a big thumbs up from me. The fact that the Landing Zone dock fits perfectly with my laptop stand is just icing on the cake.
This article was originally published on 7/26/2016.
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