I’ve been using the $99 LandingZone 2.0 LITE 13″ Secure Docking Station for the past couple weeks to dock my MacBook Air when I use it at my desk. Until now, when I got to my desk, I would manually plug in MagSafe power, USB hub and sometimes audio jacks – which isn’t a huge pain, but it did add time time and clutter to my workflow.
LandingZone, which started as a Kickstarter project but is now in full production, has a complete solution in a white plastic/steel dock that allows you to secure your MacBook Air, and within seconds, have Ethernet, a 4 port USB hub, power and MiniDisplay Port outs ready for use.
I work at home so I don’t have a Kensington lock but that is one of the focal points of this device and it is pretty sturdy so I’d imagine it would put up a good fight if someone tried to take it. It uses the USB/MagSafe/Thunderbolt ports as a way to secure the machine. That’s a huge bonus since MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros don’t have the ability to get locked down by default.
In practical use it works great. You put your Air in the dock where the little rubber feet go. Matching up USB ports the first few times takes a couple of extra seconds but gets easy after a few tries. You then squeeze the MagSafe, USBx2 and Display Ports onto the Air and boom you are done. There is a loop at the back which makes ejecting the Air extremely simple (so long as you aren’t a crook).
My one gripe is that there is no USB->3.5mm AUX port on the back. I have analog desktop speakers and I still have to plug those in on the side when setting up my Air. I guess I could get USB speakers (or Bluetooth) and plug the adapter into one of the open USB ports.
I thought I’d dislike the added angle of the keyboard (the dock raises the back of the Air up about a half inch) but it is actually better and more like Apple’s Wireless Keyboard, which I enjoy. Also, since my Air is only USB2, LandingZone only supplies a 100Mb Ethernet connection. However, the more expensive LandingZone docks for older and new MacBook Airs come with Thunderbolt passthrough which allows for faster connections.
All in all, this is a no brainer for those who work in public spaces. I might just keep mine at the house without a lock because it makes docking so easy.