About this project
Mashable: "ZenDock will fix that"
Cult of Mac: “I can get behind this 100%“
The Next Web: “The docks look good”
MacRumors: “Solve Age-Old MacBook Docking Problem”
9 TO 5 Mac: “get in on the Kickstarter before it ends.“
Gear Hungry: “streamlines the process, combining all your wires”
SpicyTec: “most elegant docking solution”
Technetec: “access your ports but with an awesome twist!“
Man of many: “This product needs to be made”
WireMunch: "Amazing Accomplishments"
Good Morning: "Simple, elegant effective"
PCR Online: "High-end docking solution"
**MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT FOR MACBOOK AIR OWNERS! (see video):
After receiving an enormous amount of requests, and with less than 48 hours left for the Kickstarter project – we are proudly announcing…
That's right, we are now offering a ZenDock for the Macbook Air! To make things even better, we’re offering two versions - one for the latest Macbook Air which uses Mag Safe 2, and one for the previous Macbook Air which uses Mag Safe 1.
Both ZenDock Airs allow you to connect to high quality speakers (optical or standard), microphone, Magsafe power, Ethernet, and even other USB devices - all with one single connection.
You get the same cable clearing mountable base you’ve seen already, and since the ZenDock Air is smaller and has less cables, we are able to include our custom USB Ethernet adapter for no additional charge.
We are so excited to get the ZenDock Air out to you guys. And – we definitely need your help spreading the word fast! So tell your friends, family, and everybody you know to share, share, share!
Thank you Backers!
Cole + The Zenboxx Team
PS: If you have any questions, please check our FAQ at the bottom of this page - if you still have questions after that - please email us at email@example.com, it's the fastest way to get to us.
Other New Updates:
Check out our Google Glass Demo of ZenDock AND Zendock support for Optical Digital Audio!
Google Glass ZenDock Demo:
ZenDock now supports Optical SPDIF Audio!
ZenDock has been in development for just over a year. Around four months ago we tested the concept and received an overwhelming response. We set out to build ZenDock with two design principles in mind - First was to build an elegant solution that would seamlessly integrate with your MacBook and second was to build a device that just works, yet doesn't get in your way. Both versions always leave at least one USB, SD and headphone port accessible right on your Macbook, while allowing more permanent devices to be connected to the base. The ZenDock is CNC milled from solid blocks of ultra high quality T6061 aluminum, bead blasted and anodized to beautifully match your MacBook.
Manufacturing / Production Plans:
• Electronics: Zendock has been designed to use already proven electronics. We started out by purchasing every USB 3.0 hub and sound adapter we could find, and tested each one first hand. Once we finally found electronics that we were happy with, we went to those companies directly and negotiated large quantity and custom purchase arrangements. We even have backup manufacturers that we can use if needed.
• Main Cable: For the main cable production, we’ve researched dozens of custom cable manufacturers. Currently, we are working with a highly regarded company in Silicon Valley. Once we meet the required minimum order quantity, custom production molds can be made. At the end of the Kickstarter project, one of the first things we will do is order prototype cables from them and at least one other manufacturer for comparison (our current prototype cables were hand made by us).
• Enclosures: A central part of ZenDock is the beautiful CNC milled enclosures. We have toured factories, and dedicated a very significant amount of time selecting partners with the ability to both produce large quantity orders and meet our quality standards. Our primary selection is a manufacturer we have been working with for many months to build our prototype enclosures. During this process we have been extremely happy with the turn around time, quality and general work ethic, and we are very confidant that they will deliver on their promises during the production phase.
Kickstarter, we need your help!
If you like this project, please back-us by pre-ordering a ZenDock today so that we can meet the minimum quantity orders for manufacturing. We expect our first pre-orders to ship out before the end of October and we will be keeping you updated every step of the way. We welcome all feedback, and are truly excited to have you along for this adventure.
Keep up with our journey: We are technology geeks at heart, and will be sending updates every step of the way. Throughout the process our team is dedicated to keeping you informed. Keep an eye out for new blog posts (on our website), additional rewards, and even opportunities for our most excited enthusiasts to get their hands on pre-production units for review. We want YOU to be a part of the whole process.
Please follow along at www.ZenBoxx.com give feedback, and see the behind-the-scenes Zendock development.
A few pics along the journey (see much more at the blog)...
Copyright notice: Zenboxx is a brand of LetsListen, Corp. All trademarked terms are the property of their respective owners. Zenboxx / LetsLisen, Corp makes no claim to affiliation with any trademark holders including Apple, Intel and others.
Risks and challenges
We have manufacturers for our CNC milled enclosures lined up and ready to go, as well as for our main cable and for the electronics. In the case that something falls through with any of these companies, there possibly could be a delay in our shipping date. However, we think this is unlikely as we have built in extra time, so that we have a better chance of shipping on time, even if issues come up.
There are of course other un-foreseen risks that could happen. Due to the nature of un-foreseen risks, we are not able to list them all out, but you can count on us to do all that we can to push through any issues that arise and to make sure we ship out the best product that we can and in a reasonable time period given any situations that may arrive. If any delays occur that would push back our expected ship date, we will send out updates right away and keep you up to speed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! You can plug in two external mini DisplayPort monitors to the ZenDock Retina by plugging one into the base, and the other into the Thunderbolt past through. In fact, you can use 4 monitors total with your ZenDock Retina and Macbook by connecting one monitor via mini DisplayPort on the ZenDock Retina base, one connected through the ZenDock Retina Thunderbolt pass through, one via HDMI on the other side of the Macbook, and the Macbook screen itself -- Check out this link to see that in action: http://zenboxx.com/images/ZenDockMultimonitor1080.jpg
We will be sending out a survey later on where you just have to tell us which version ZenDock you want (both are the same cost). Just make sure to keep an eye out for the email, if we don't hear back from you within 2 weeks you may lose your choice (we will send several reminders).
We found that most people actually just wanted to plug a monitor into the base of the ZenDock but that they wanted to be able to swap Thunderbolt accessories right from their Macbook, like they are used to doing with USB. Because of this, we chose to just use mini DisplayPort in the base because that cost saving is significant enough to allow us to use much higher quality CNC enclosures and still be at a price point significantly lower than any similar products. And by using the CNC’ed enclosures it allowed us to have the Magsafe management and make the base mountable, which makes everything so seamless (and which other products just don’t have).
All you need to do is check your port order. As long the port order on your Macbook match’s up, then you are good to go (check our website at http://www.zenboxx.com/ and look under “Pro Port Compatibility” and “Retina Port Compatibility”). Even if your Macbook only has USB 2.0, it will work fine, albeit it will be limited to the same USB speed that your Macbook has.
Kickstarter only allows you to pledge for one item, but If you are interested in a large quantity pre-order - they did let us know we could discuss with you other things outside of Kickstarter. So, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Kickstarter only allows you to pledge for one item, but they did let us know we could discuss with you other things outside of Kickstarter. So, please feel free to email us at email@example.com!
Pledge just one dollar, and we will keep you updated along with all the other backers. We also will be adding new reward levels, packages, info, ect so we highly recommend doing this.
Both versions of the ZenDock do NOT require external power and are able to operate at full USB 3.0 speeds. We have tested this by doing speed tests with USB 3.0 hard drives and since we use very high quality cabling, we didn’t see any significant difference in the speed versus plugging directly into the MacBook.
Yes! Our hub is able to get it’s power from the Macbook itself and is even able to charge an iPhone or iPad. But -- An iPad will not show a charge indicator, however it is actually still charging. Apple has a unique ability to charge the iPad through USB at a higher rate than USB specification allows, but NO other USB hub is allowed to do this. Some hubs have dedicated charge ports, but this is a bit of a gimmick because those ports actually won’t work for USB data. So – we think with ZenDock we choose the best of both worlds: any USB port can charge anything (albeit perhaps not quite as fast as Apple) and any USB port works for data as you would expect it to.
For the audio capabilities of the ZenDock we use a DAC (digital audio converter) that operates over USB. We have been very happy with the quality and haven’t noticed any difference from using it, and assume most other people will feel the same. Of course if you need some specialized audio equipment, like for studio recording – you can plug that into one of the USB ports of the ZenDock. UPDATE -- ZenDocks will now come with built-in support for both standard analog AND digital SPDIF optical audio connections. This doesn’t require any driver installation and the audio quality is absolutely fantastic - it is even noticeably better than standard analog audio.
Just add $34.50 to your pledge, but you must make sure that the $19 shipping is also included in your order if you are outside of the US.
We got so many questions about this from backers that we went out and bought one! We purchased the 15" Satin Soft Touch model for the Macbook Retina, and can confirm that it works perfectly. Whether with the lid open or closed, we had no problems using the ZenDock Retina and Speck case together.
One of the very best things about ZenDock, is you can clear your desk of cable clutter by mounting the base behind your desk. Here are the mounting options:
1. Screw mount to wall or desk (included): This gives a nice solid mount, and also allows the ZenDock base to be removed quickly. The mount is a “+” style, which allows you to mount in any orientation.
2. Velcro strips (industrial strength strips included): This is great when you don’t want to drill into a surface, and also when you simply don’t want to (or can’t) get behind your desk. You can actually stick the Velcro strips together, take off the adhesive backing on one side and attach it to the ZenDock base, then take the adhesive backing off the other side and just place the ZenDock wherever you want it to stick (this is great for when you want to stick it in a hard to reach area, like the area between your desk and a wall).
3. No Mount: You can of course also just sit the ZenDock base on your desk. It has soft rubber feet just for this purpose.
We just received the prototype CNC enclosures for the ZenDock Air and didn’t even have time to anodize them! The final version shipped to you will have the same finish as the other ZenDocks to beautifully match your Macbook.
No! By sticking with the same manufactures we are already using for the ZenDock Pro and Retina, we are happy to say that there is no expected delay!
Yes! It comes with our custom USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet adapter. It’s even backwards compatible with USB 2.0 (at 10/100 speeds).
All you need to do is pledge for one of the ZenDock Air reward levels and after the Kickstarter is over, we will send you a link which you can use to specify which version of the ZenDock Air you want.
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