by Jan Sapper
Expand Your MacBook Pro’s Connection Capabilities Without Added Bulk.
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on April 5, 2013.
See full bio
Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
@Harry:All is going good here, we just don't have anything newsworthy to announce at this moment.
@Ted: You can subscribe to our mailing list on www.sapper.me there you can click on notify me when it's available button.
Anyhow, stay posted as we will keep you updated with exciting news.
Hey Jan. Was wondering if you had any updates or anything? Thanks
Sorry this isn't happening. Hope you guys are keeping a mailing list or something other than FB/Twitter, as I know you'll be doing good things in the future.
Sad to see this go...I will miss you guys
@Nikul Ruparel: Thanks for the recommendations and the market analysis. One of our main competitive advantages is not offering Thunderbolt in the first place, as it is one of the reasons why all those docking stations are so expensive. Ethernet and HDMI in the other hand are very plausible options that we could implement in a future version of the MacDock though.
Hey just wanted to share a few things. These are identical products that have been announced and will be released soon.
Like I said before, some other additions will definitely make the MacDock much more attractive. I know you said that Thunderbolt isn't universal, but most (if not all) similar products all have Thunderbolt
Things I'd like to see:
The Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock was announced last year and has been delayed multiple times.
Three USB 3.0
Retailing at $299, potentially dropping to $199
Another product that was announced yesterday was by Sonnet Echo Thunderbolt Dock
Optical drive (option between DVD or Blu-ray
Drive bay for additional storage
Two USB 3.0
Retailing for $400-$450
Matrox has one with DVI and with HDMI.
This one does not have quiet as many features but the retail price is $249
If you were to add a few of these other features, I think you would be able to be competitive.
Currently these products are either not released yet or unavailable.
Not sure what you are considering for pricing, but if it is similar to Kickstarter then you would be in a very good spot.
Wow so now you also have to swap your iPad in and out to multiple USB ports to charge and then to sync and then back to charge again?
Isn't the purpose of the MacDock is that you plug in everything at the desk and keep it out of the way and then plug the MacBook into it? Now you have to reach around to where ever you placed the Dock and swap in/out the iPad plug, OR buy 2 iPad connectors and run both cables out too the desk??
Also, you have on the main page SPDIF listed as a feature and now through people asking questions we find out it isn't supported?
So why did you list it, if it is not supported?
@Håkon Boman: The MacDock needs the external power supply to work. We added the Power USB socket function to add more value to the MacDock's need of a Power supply. The idea is if we need a power supply, we better take advantage of it. It is a 12W power-only socket though. The USB 3.0 chip splits the computer's USB connection into 4: One for audio and the other 3 for the USB 3.0 capability, which is also backwards compatible with USB 2.0. Audio Out: We haven't enabled the SPDIF function in the MacDock, it is something we can take into consideration for future models.
@Nikul Ruparel: Thanks for your suggestions and feature ideas. It was a pleasure having a chat with you.
Jan, i have a few questions:
I understand that as with all USB hubs, you need external power to give max power output on all the connections.
But will the MacDock work at all without external power?
Most external powered hubs work without - if the connected equipment draws less power than supplied by the source.
The 12W iPad charge plug:
Is this one of the three usb 3.0 ports or is this a separate power only plug?
A 12W USB 3.0 port will be very practical for charging and syncing of the iPad 4 in the desktop.
Does the audio output support SPDIF?
In the FAQ you state that the audio chip (PCM2903C) is capable to support this, but this is this function enabled on the MacDock?
I have some suggestions and features I'd like to ask.
Well I’m glad everybody is starting to smell the BS… Being that this is a crowd funded project, it is completely UNACCEPTABLE when the project creator is being misleading to any degree. I just found out some more BS I’m sure everybody is not aware about… That “12w USB” port for charging.. Guess what, it’s ONLY for charging. Turns out that it’s not possible for any USB hub port to charge at 12w and also do data. Guess they “forgot” to mention that in their video also…
And Sapper – guess what, your little article was wrong – the solution to a backer who raises critical questions is not to just ignore him. If you just were reasonable and answered my simple straightforward questions, that would have been fine. Since you instead choose to try and discredit and ignore me, everyone is starting to see through your lies – and as a result your backer total is now DROPPING everyday – to the point that your project may even go back under the cut off line.
Brian, even if you get a Yes it will work, it will only be at USB2 speeds.
And "needing an external power adapter" no matter how big it is, is still "needing an external power adapter" might as well make it big and power all that's needed. (And not just Blow Off a comment from a customer) Remember up until a couple days ago, most of us didn't even know it needed one...
And give who a break?? The people asking us to give them money? You need to rethink your logic, the Kickstarters who succeed here go out of their way to answer questions, openness and trust build a successful kickstarter. Both of which have been "skirted" around. You want our money without question??? WOW
And may I mention still no working prototype?? But here take my money, sorry I asked...
I own 2 17' MacBooks and travel lots, this IDEA was great, I backed day 1 or 2, unfortunately, this product seems too still be just an IDEA.
The safe bet is to buy after kickstarter, once you build your final product. I see no advantage to getting it through here and lots of signs not too.
Will the expected air dock work on the 2011 edition? I ask since it does not have a USB 3 port.
Wilfred I just re-read what I wrote to you and realized that I didn't clearly indicate who I meant by "them" and "they". I meant Pidso, our developers.
Give them a break, all the functions that the MacDock has actually need power. And they have added it for a good reason. Wilfred, if all the 4 ports offer 12W you will need 48W only for that capability! If you add 48W to the other functions such as USB hub, VOIP chip you'd at least need a power supply of around 60W which would be an enormous power brick.
I think for the macdock pro, if you're gonna make us plug it into an outlet as its "powered" you might as well make all 4 ports 12 w chargers, otherwise its not really worthwhile to have it "plugged in" thoughts?
Hmmm I'm also starting to get a bit weary now - this sounds like it should be an AMAZING product. BUT its only managed to get above 30k and hasn't really moved in nearly a week? Also worrying on the number of actual updates their have been - you are taking about an update on 'mon or tuesday' but that will be 1 day before end of pledge's can end?
I LOVE the idea and would love to own one of these BUT it seems like there is a lot on unshurity on the spec of this product or if it will even take off. There are just a few too many 'if's' at this point in time for me to feel assured that I will ever get a working model......
Also the additional power, USB2 and no thunderbolt defeats the object of the dock connector I believe.
The final nail in the coffin is the lack of solution to actually power the MBP itself - my pet peeve is I use my macbook as the keyboard connected to an external monitor and have cables across my desk to it. Unfortunately I don't think this is going to solve this.... I will resubmit my backing amount for a unit once I have a much more confident update and ( if you even have a working prototype? ) some sort of demo video that this idea even works - even if only in some PoC boards idea....
I can't say I was under the impression that it didn't need power but it definitely wasn't obvious that it does. I'm just not sure whether or not it bothers me that it does. I suppose it's not necessarily surprising but it definitely makes the product slightly less useful.
I suppose I just assumed that because it was occupying one of my USB 3.0 slots AND a Thunderbolt port that would be enough power. But I'm no engineer. Anyway, still time to decide but I really do like your product and since I'm constantly hooking my laptop up to my TV this might be easier.
I'm afraid I'm out. requiring a power adapter but only powering a single USB port is crazy. I don't have a use for the old style monitor port and having an audio jack is a bit useless for me, I was actually looking for a small unpowered USB 3.0 hub, which there really isn't a lot out there so this caught my attention. I can already charge an ipad or iphone off of my retina's USB port, I actually run an Apogee Duet 2 right off of the MBPr through an unpowered USB 2.0 hub that is tiny and cost me $8 + a dongle and two peripherals and then a USB3.0 external drive on my other USB port, once again powered by the MBP.
I can run all that off of the MBPr for about an hour, or indefinitely if I plug in the MBPr, so I wasn't looking for another adapter to plug in. now that there's another adapter but still only two powered ports when the MBPr's second USB is included, there is no advantage at all for me to get the dock.
could be useful for those that need the monitor port and a couple more unpowered USB ports, but not me.
To be quite honest, having USB2 speeds only, while using up the only Thunderbolt port and also needing a power adapter attached is pretty much useless for any 2009-2012(mid) MBP. Prototype or not.
MBPr (Retina) users with dual Thunderbolt ports and USB3 will have to decide if they care about needing a power adapter.
and MBP (non-retina) (June 11th 2012 and on) are you willing to give up your Thunderbolt port? and still needing a power adapter to power the MacDock?
Well I'm concerned now, and to those saying "if you don't like, don't back" really need to take a step back and read the concerns posted by others. Many people have been saved money by others more knowledgeable asking questions that need to be asked. Cause I wouldn't know about any of these concerns if someone didn't ask for verification.
Now the MacDock needs a external power supply?
Feel very deceived about this, it is NEVER shown or mentioned in any image or video and having an external power supply is HUGE, it doesn't make it very portable if you also have to dig out the power supply from under your desk every time you travel. Also limits where I can use it, as it needs an outlet...
And again, something you "forgot" to mention...
Now USB 3 is NOT compatible with MacBook Pros (June 10th 2012 and earlier), and NOT compatible with the models shown in image of the 13/15/17 Pros (June 10th 2012 and earlier).
So every MacBook Pro made before June 10th 2012 will only be USB 2 speed via the "USB 3" ports...
That sucks, specially since it doesn't have a Thunderbolt connection, but it needs to connect to a Thunderbolt connection!
It means if an MacBook Pro owner (June 10th 2012 and earlier) does eventually buy a Thunderbolt peripheral (Since we can't get USB3 speeds I'll want Thunderbolt) we can't use it with the MacDock attached, since it uses the only thunderbolt connection...
Since we can't use it now with USB3 HDDs and card readers, as soon as I buy a Thunderbolt HDD or CF card-reader I'll have to swap it in and out with the MacDock... This would be true for ALL June 10th 2012 and earlier MBPs...
Covering up the only Thunderbolt port (June 10th 2012 and earlier) and not offering USB3 speed is horrible, MacDock will become obsolete as soon as an owner buys a thunderbolt perif., OR if we already have 1..
With these 2 things being pretty misleading, I reread all the pages and comments, and looks like Jason was onto something, everything in the video and ALL the images are ALL of NON-working renderings.
As an early backer I do have some questions, questions you haven't answered multiple times
1. Do you have a working prototype using the ribbon cable? (You'll need to post a pic)
2. Do you have a working prototype using your cases in the images and video? (again pic)
3. If not, I do understand a "work in progress" so can we see a close up of any working prototype you are currently using where ALL of your current features are working? (Something that shows everything needed to run your prototype, including adapters, PCs running software, etc.)
4.I'd like to see your prototypes that were kept together with a rubber band also, thanks
While there are people out to "get" other projects, there are also some legitimate questions being asked and I am concerned why you would not have just answered them?
I've been around for 2 years and have backed 25 projects, I didn't just create an account and I have valid concerns, even made more valid if you fail to answer them.
A traveling pack sounds cool, but I don't see myself stuffing a printer, speakers and screen into my traveling bag. Stick to the main MacDock characteristics.
@ Noisebot: 1) The Thunderbolt port is used for its Mini Displayport signal To connect the screen. the Thunderbolt port is backward compatible with Mini Displayport.
2. Yes, the MacDock uses an external power supply. You can also charge an iPad because of that.
3. Thanks for cross-checking our facts. Originally we had planned a 10W Power only USB, but we found out that the new iPads need 12W to charge. So we adjusted the spex accordingly.
4. The cable is always horizontal. We didn't use any renderings in the description.
5. As an avid traveller myself, I understand your concern with stuffing the MacDock into a travelling bag. When transporting our prototypes, we have used a rubber band to keep it all together and it has worked perfectly. A replaceable cable is something that we have considered, but adding that would explode the costs of the MacDock. A travel bag is also something that we have considered for a travelling version. It is not in our current Kickstarter budget though.
the macdock seems potentially interesting, but there are a few things that concern me a bit:
1. the macdock can't do thunderbolt connectivity, so why does it use a thunderbolt port? power?
2. the images show that on the side of the macdock with the audio and monitor ports, there's a power jack. does it require external power to be fully operational?
3. the description states that there are three USB 3.0 ports and one 10W powered USB port, and the FAQ says one 10W USB 3.0 port in one statement, and that its a 12W USB port in another. which is it? 10W? 12W? USB 3.0 or not?
4. maybe its the renders, or the cable is twisted in a way thats not obvious, or there were different prototypes photographed, but it appears that the cable is attached to the male-plug end in two different positions, one horizontal and one vertical. which way is it?
5. as I had previously asked via the FAQ/DM form, the flat cable could have a pretty bad stress point where it meets the dock/plugs, and you had mentioned that while the cable could wrap around dock for storage/transportation when not in use, but i it was to be folded it could damage the cable. given the design and the nature of the flat cable, if you stick it in a bag its quite likely be stressed or folded eventually. if the dock had a thunderbolt port next to the USB at the right distance, the plug end could actually be plugged into the dock itself to limit the cable movement when not in use (not to mention minimize the amount of space it take up), but having two heavy "free floating" ends solidly attached to either end of the cable just increases the stress potential. could the cable be removable for better storage (not to mention to replace in the event of being damaged, currently it appears if there's a break in the cable the entire thing will have to be replaced). if not a removable cable, some sort of storage case?
@ Sebastien: Thanks for your patience, we hope to have everything ready for the next update. (Monday or tuesday) You'll love the MacDock Air.
@ Julien Pinchoff: We haven't planned doing it at this stage.
I hope all is well for You and that the development is going smoothly.
Do You have any idea, yet, of when You will be able to give a date for the MacDock Air.
Many thanks in advance !
do you have plans to dissociate audio out and line in connectors ?
OMG. I'm tempted to just raise my pledge to break the 30K mark. lol. why do we need to have 18 more days. Can it just be done so we can get our docks? hahaha
@Jan THANKS! Looking forward
@ Thomas: Yes, we have planned that. You'll be able to choose between two lengths.
SO CLOSE TO THE 30K!!!
@creator Can we have an option during survey time - to have a SHORTER Cable?
@ Chew Rong Quan: Welcome onboard! If your MacBook has USB 2.0 the MacDock will transfer USB 2.0 speeds. As you expected, the USB signal does not go through the Thunderbolt interface at all.
@ Harry Val, Brian Mitchell: We'll post an update as soon as we launch the MacDock Air. You'll be first to know when it's available.
Hi there, I'm really interested in getting one of these docks for my Macbook Air Mid 2011. This unit doesn't have USB 3.0, and i was wondering if the MacDock will convert thunderbolt to usb 3.0 or does this not go through the thunderbolt interface at all?
Jason, take the advice, it's simple: "If you don't like it, don't back it!"
Harry, I mean this in the most politest way – you don’t know what you are talking about. Of course there is such a thing as ribbon cable. And of course the cable Sapper showed in the video does exist. The problem is it won’t work for this project.
USB 3.0 / HD video use enormously more bandwidth than any ultra thin ribbon cable like that can support. The white cable doesn’t even have shielding. Look inside any USB 3.0, HDMI, or monitor cable – they are thick and packed with shielding for a reason.
Seriously do it. Sapper is trying to dupe you.
PS Jason, are you going to take my advice?
"Jason. If you don't like the project, then why do you plan on backing it? Why do you plan on spending any money on it if you don't like it? How about this. Remove your funding. Leave this project. Close your kickstarter account. Don't come back?"
Maybe if you knew anything about electronics, manufacturing, design, production, ect. you would know it is possible. For example Ribbon Cable:
That is the same width as in the video. It is possible if you can see that. Now thank you very much, and have a nice day.
Guys, something is fishy here, that’s all I am saying. The white cable clearly can’t work and Sapper has repeatedly tried to avoid my questions about it. If he would answer my questions, I would be fine and go on my way (I still will if he answers). But – I doubt he will, because then everyone would know that this project was sold based on nothing but false promises.
Wait 6 months, you will know when they claim “manufacturing difficulties” and your dock doesn’t arrive. Or – if something does arrive, and it looks nothing like what you saw in the video.
Sapper, I would love for you to prove me wrong - just give some details to back up your claims. I don’t think it’s an unreasonable request.
Jason. If you don't like the project, then why do you plan on backing it? Why do you plan on spending any money on it if you don't like it? How about this. Remove your funding. Leave this project. Close your kickstarter account. Don't come back?
Jason, already told you that electronics company seems pretty credible - I mean I checked myself for crying out loud, what's your problem? Honestly I can give you their number, just call them up and check for yourself...
I'm getting annoyed by this Jason Mule guy. Surely he didn't read Kickstarter's guidelines: "If you don't like a project, don't back it. No need to be a jerk."
WARNING – CANCEL YOUR PLEDGES unless Sapper answers questions about the state of this project. The project video is misleading – and we need answers. Sapper has tried to write me off and ignore my questions, and so I will continue to post warnings here, until the questions are answered:
1. Have you ever tested the flat white cable that you claim is the secret to your product?
2. Were you aware that there is no way the flat white cable will work (it can’t because it’s unshielded), and you showed it anyway?
3. Are you aware that you never mentioned once in your video that what was shown was a non-functional mockup with no electronics inside?
4. Do you think the majority of your backers are aware that what you are showing in the main pictures and video is a non-functional mockup?
5. Do you think most backers are aware that the size of everything is likely going to be much different (bigger) since you don’t even know the size since you have no electronics?
Do you plan on releasing it the "second" (I know not really the second but like right when I mean) you guys hit your 30K goal? Let me know as I only backed this for the MBA version haha!
Interested in the Air model also.
Would appreciate being added to the reminder list.
@ Harry Val: Thanks for your patience. The plans for releasing the MacDock Pro for Air are on track. We are working hard to reach the goal of offering the MacDock for Air users as soon as possible.
Any update on the MacBook Air version?
@ Laurence: Thanks for the advice, we've been working hard contacting the big blogs. They constantly receive spam and we have to find a way to contact them more effectively. Any advice?
@ Shayne: We are aware of the backing trend. The MacDock is a niche product and we have to approach the blogs where we can reach people like you who want a MacDock. Fortunately we have been approached by bigger backers, one of them already backed us and with the other ones we are working out the details. Hopefully we will have them onboard shortly.
I am from Austria, and drove past PIDSO the other day and decided to stop by - for what it's worth they look quite legit to me J! I can send you the phone number they gave me in case you'd like to contact them!