This is the second post in our series of blog updates on the development progress for the Horizontal Dock (click here to read the first post). It still won’t make your Horizontal Dock appear any faster, but hopefully there will be some comfort in knowing why we’re taking extra time to bring them to market. Thunderbolt – With help from Intel and Apple, Henge Docks’ timeline for Thunderbolt development relative to the Horizontal Dock production timeline has been sped up substantially. Every Horizontal Dock model will now support Thunderbolt at launch. Port Layout – Showing the prototypes for the Horizontal Dock at CES, MacWorld and SXSW earlier this year gave us a unique opportunity to talk with users face to face very early in the development process. One thing we got a lot of feedback on, was the type of ports and port locations on the rear of the dock. As in the prototype, the Horizontal Dock for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display will allow the use of up to three external displays. There are now two Mini Display/Thunderbolt ports and the third video out has been changed to HDMI to reduce confusion over the port types and increase the dock’s versatility. The six USB 3.0 ports have been split across the two sides and flipped from a vertical to a horizontal orientation, improving accessibility. Due to a lack of demand, the FireWire 800 port has been removed, which frees up more space on the rear bezel for the other ports. FireWire 800 may still be integrated with a Thunderbolt dongle. The SD card reader was moved closer to the side of the dock for easier access. Twin headset-compatible audio jacks on the right and left side of the dock run through digital audio controllers inside the dock. This means that a user can have an iPhone headset and an external speaker system plugged into the dock at the same time, switching between them at will, without plugging or unplugging anything.
Driveline - While the outside of the dock looks the same as the prototypes we showed at CES and MacWorld, the entire driveline was redesigned for space and reliability concerns. When we started working with Intel, we discovered that the components and boards to support Thunderbolt would need more room than was originally anticipated. Our factory and mechanical engineer worked together to develop a new driveline that is more compact and robust. Stay tuned for our next round of updates tomorrow…
CEO, Henge Docks