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Hands-On

Hands-on: LandingZone's Docking Station grants plethora of USB ports to MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

LandingZone's new USB 3.1 type-C Docking Station for the 13- or 15-inch 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro doesn't cut corners and gives multiple USB ports and a SD card reader back to the user.




We've looked at a lot of Thunderbolt 3 ports, all with USB-A and video. What we haven't looked at yet, are genuine docking rigs, designed to insert your machine into.

While not a Duo Dock of old with a VHS-like mechanism, the idea of an enclosure for a computer granting more ports is similar. With the LandingZone Docking Station, users line up a Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro with the two USB-C ports on the left and one on the right, and push a lever on the back of the Docking Station to completely make the connection.




After the connection, all the ports in the dock are available. Plus, the underside of the laptop is more exposed, giving what is in essence a massive heatsink better airflow.




The plastic assembly gives the user a microSD and SD card reader, a Kensington lock slot, Gigabit Ethernet, a headphone jack, three USB 3.0 type-A ports, three USB 3.1 type-C ports on a hub, a stand-alone HDMI port capable of 4K resolution at 30Hz or 1080p resolution at 60Hz, and a combination HDMI or MiniDisplayPort capable of 4K at 60Hz.




On the right side of the dock is a pass-through USB-C port —specifically not a Thunderbolt 3 pass-through. In a scalloped cut-out, the MacBook Pro's Thunderbolt 3 port is exposed —making it the only Thunderbolt 3 port accessible to the user after the computer is inserted.




All of this is powered by a 97W power adapter, which supplies 60W of charging power. This is pretty good, but not quite enough for a 15-inch MacBook Pro to stay fully charged when under heavy load.

The USB-3.1 type-C LandingZone Docking Station for the 13-inch or 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar retails for $299 —comparable with most Thunderbolt 3 docks which have less connectivity, but also smaller appetite for port consumption. A version for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys is coming soon, according to LandingZone.

AppleInsider is using the dock on a daily basis for testing right now. We will discuss our thoughts on the dock, plus speed testing of attached peripherals and 4K display examination in a future piece.