The MacBook Air is a delightful little laptop for traveling; however, there are some issues using it as your daily laptop, especially if you love external peripherals. You’re limited to just 2 USB ports, and if you want to plug in to a wired network connection, you’ll need the ethernet port adapter… which takes up one of those aforementioned precious USB slots, and costs $29 through Apple. We’ve discovered a potential solution to these grievances, though: The LandingZone Docking Station 2.0 Pro for MacBook Air (June 2012/June 2013 models, $199.99).
The dock offers a variety of options to enhance your MBA use: 4 pass-through USB 3.0 ports, doubling your available slots; a Gigabit ethernet port (no more adapter stealing a USB slot); a mini display port for your external monitor, if you have one; a spot for your MagSafe power connection to fit into; and a Kensington security slot if you’ve got a (sold separately) compatible lock for your laptop.
Using the dock is straightforward, as you drop in your laptop, line up the USB ports on each side with their corresponding pass-throughs, and then squeeze the sides into the ports. We’ll admit we’d love to see the Docking Station in a brushed aluminum, but the glossy white of the current model will do just fine, and lends an Apple-like, premium air to the accessory’s look and feel.
There are other Docking Stations on LandingZone’s site for the newly released MacBook Pro with Retina and older MacBook Air models, and a “lite” version of the dock with just two USB pass-through ports. The lite model doesn’t have an ethernet port, though, which to us just negates the point of the dock (since you’re not getting additional USB ports, either). Overall, though, it’s a great solution for anyone who uses a MacBook Air at the office, or tends to have a lot of external devices to plug in.