LandingZone Docking Station for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar REVIEW
When space is at a premium, you really try to make the best of your situation. There is a new trend these days where it seems like more and more people want ‘tiny’ homes to simplify their lives. That isn’t really the case with me as I live in a normal-size home, but our home office space is shared and my desk ends up being a catch-all for many different items. I do my best to keep it clutter-free and as a viable workspace, but that can be difficult at times. The most important part of my set-up is my MacBook Pro. I have a 2016 model with a Touch Bar and since I acquired it, I’ve struggled to find accessories for it since USB-C is still not ‘mainstream’ as far as connectors go.
Landing Zone has a great solution for the desk space-challenged — the Docking Station for the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Until I started using the Landing Zone dock, I had the Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Express Dock connected on my desktop. It’s a fine dock, but with my limited desk space, it was taking up extra real estate and I really started feeling as though my desk was cluttered. When the Landing Zone dock became an option, I quickly swapped the two out.
For starters, the Landing Zone dock has 16 ports incorporated into its design (the Belkin has 9). I have included the details from Landing Zone’s website below. I’m very happy to have the use of the SD and Micro SD card slots without needing to plug in a card reader into my laptop.
PORTS & FEATURES
- 3 USB 3.1 Type-C Ports (Data Only / No Video)
- 2 USB 3.1 Type-A Ports (Data Only)
- 1 USB 3.1 Type-A Port (Data & 1.5A High-Speed Charging)
- USB Type-C Passthrough Port
- HDMI Port (3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz)
- Mini DisplayPort & HDMI Port (3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz) — Can Not Be Used Simultaneously
- Gigabit Ethernet Port
- SD Card Slot
- Micro SD Card Slot
- Two-way Audio Port
- Built-in Kensington Security Slot compatible with all the Kensington® Laptop Locks (sold separately) to secure the MacBook
- 3-Color LED Status Indicator Light
- 96W LandingZone Power Adapter to charge the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and power the docking station
Landing Zone has been designing unique docking solutions for MacBook users for several years. The docks give users the option to use their laptop in clamshell mode as well as the standard laptop method. For my purposes, I decided to use the dock as with my laptop in standard mode so that I could continue to have a clean desk space and not overload it with an external monitor.
The dock is made primarily out of heavy-duty plastic. There are metal components included throughout, but it’s mainly plastic. Landing Zone made the Touch Bar dock available in two sizes — 13-inch (MacBook Model A1706) and 15-inch (MacBook Model A1707). It is compatible with both the MacBook Pro models from 2016 and 2017. The dock is light enough for travel, but I do prefer to keep it as a stationary dock on my home office desk.
There are two big things I want to point out with this dock. First, it will charge the MacBook Pro. My 13-inch model requires a 61W power adapter in order to charge the battery and the 15-inch needs 87W. The Landing Zone dock provides up to 96W of power for your laptop. The best part of this set up is that you don’t have to use your own cable for power supply. The plugs that insert into the USB-C ports on the laptop deliver the power directly to your laptop. The second feature that I want to point out is that the USB-C ports are not Thunderbolt 3 ports. USB-C ports will deliver data at a speed of up to 10Gbps, but Thunderbolt 3 will transfer at a rate of up to 40Gbps. Some people may not want to sacrifice the speed for the dock convenience, but for me, I’d rather have the clean desktop space and use of all the other ports.
In addition to the multiple port accessibility, the docking station also provides me with a tilted keyboard and slightly raised display. This is wonderful for me when I have to work for long periods of time at my computer. When I first installed my laptop into the dock, I had a major design project that I was working on. I ended up being at my computer for over 2 hours without a break. Normally, I feel some stiffness and neck pain, but I was surprised that wasn’t the case when using the dock.
I think the Landing Zone dock is a must-have for any MacBook Pro user with a limited amount of desk space. It makes it easy to connect to various devices without the need of multiple dongles and connectors and it cleans up your desk space.
Originally published at macsources.com on October 25, 2017.