Apple docking station? I want to see it go one step further…

I’ve been reading about Apple’s patent filing for a docking station monitor.

Right now, I have my MacBook Pro connected via a $100 cable to a 23″ Studio Display monitor. Apple’s apparent plan (after they release the much-rumored subnotebook, of course) is to have the entire computer slip inside the monitor. So from the outside, it would look almost like an iMac on your desk but you could take the computer with you whenever you want. Neat.

Now, I’m ready for the next step.

What if that docking station had some extra RAM and CPU, maybe some more cache? I use a MacBook Pro as my primary computer because I’m on the go a lot. But let’s face it, it’s no MacPro. I’m maxxed out at 3 GB RAM and sometimes the portable-enhanced processor creaks, literally.

I would love if I had a MacPro-like computer (or even a really good iMac) when I’m home. Then when I’m traveling, I have all the advantages of a portable without having to keep my data (and operating systems) in sync between two computers.

I could even see having a dock for an external hard drive and/or optical drive (since rumor has it the subnotebook won’t have an optical drive built-in).

Unheard of? Nope. Apple did this years ago with the Duo Dock (emphasis mine):

Duo Dock
This was the largest and most expensive dock for the PowerBook Duo. Unlike cumbersome “port replicators” that plugged into the back of other laptops, the Duo Dock allowed the PowerBook Duo to actually fit completely inside itself via a mechanical sliding mechanism (similar to a VCR), thus turning the PowerBook Duo into a full size, full powered, fully functional desktop computer, with all the common desktop ports which could physically support a heavy, high-resolution display on top of it. The Duo Dock included a floppy drive, two NuBus expansion slots, an FPU, level 2 cache, slots for more RAM, a slot for more VRAM to enable more colors at higher resolutions, and space for a second hard drive. The original Duo Dock was replaced by the Duo Dock II, which added AAUI networking and compatibility with newer color-screen PowerBook Duos. This was followed by the Duo Dock Plus, which was identical to the Duo Dock II, but lacked the FPU and level 2 cache (which were not compatible with the PowerPC-processor PowerBook Duo 2300c).

Doesn’t seem like too much of a leap, does it?


One response to “Apple docking station? I want to see it go one step further…”

  1. I’m with the folks who are complaining about it not being a straight dock. Why waste an available screen, even if it’s a sub-notebook display.

    The lack of a _real_ dock is probably my only real gripe about my MBP