Notebooks had a reasonable year in 2012 as it tried to make an impact in the form of Ultrabooks, but we expect more interest this year as price points taper down and help it become a norm rather than a premium device. Leading the charge for this class of notebooks is none other than the well admired and sought after Apple Macbook Air (MBA). Reasonably affordable and well equipped, this product single-handedly helped usher in the Ultrabook-class of products from other vendors.
To enhance the MBA’s appeal, innovative and well designed docking stations like that from LandingZone greatly enhance the machine’s versatility and allow you to treat it like a workstation. Building upon last year’s neat single-step snap-and-use LandingZone docking station, the company is releasing updating editions at CES 2013 in the form of the LandingZone 2.0 Pro and LandingZone 2.0 Lite.
The most crucial upgrades are support for Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports. Here’s how they compare:-
|LandingZone 1.0 Pro||LandingZone 2.0 Pro||LandingZone 2.0 Lite|
|Price: US$179||Price: US$199||Price: US99|
Though the docking stations are expensive (pre-orders are possible if you're interested), they are far more elegant than typical laptop docking stations. Note that only the Lite edition still retains Thunderbolt port usability, so do give it a thought as to how you plan to use your MBA and its expanded ecosystem. For a different sort of port combination in a more conventional looking docking station, you might want to check out the Matrox DS1, which uses a single Thunderbolt cable to your MBA to offer you one USB 3.0, twin USB 2.0, a Gigabit LAN port and a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks (in/out). It is one of the earliest Thunderbolt based docking stations and since it's a conventional external unit, it doesn't really have compatibility concerns with specific notebooks.