[Donald Dock][Step 2.2] [SUMMARY/DISCUSSION] Potential product type

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#142

There are millions maybe wanting to make their device windows 10 AR ready. An eGPU could maybe make their dreams come true!!! That’s probably a quite big market…


#143

LOL, yes that is a scenario, but rather in home use, business notebooks dont usually include VGA for some gens now, so they were forced to switch. So or so, if someone still has a need for VGA, i honestly think that even for them it is better to have a 1 or 2 future proof potential port(s) on the dock instead of VGA and close the temp gap of a VGA need with a 10 bucks dongle…


#144

Absolutely…


#145

This summary is very valuable to understand why someone would want a middleweight dock instead of a light one. I was thinking about the last part. I hate it when hubs are dragged away (and off the table) by the weight of the cables. A middleweight seems more reliable against that, but there could be other ways to overcome this issue.

What if the stability of the dock was achieved with geometry/design instead of weight/size? For example, by having a springy/elastic “clip” you could attach to the desk.

It’s just a quick&dirty idea. I’m just trying to imagine solutions that could provide the user experience of a good “stationary” dock into a smaller sized and more portable package.


#146

I agree. While I definitely need VGA when traveling, I’ll use a small port replicator for that, and there are already many of these on the market that I can choose from. For a larger dock that sits in the desk, I wouldn’t need VGA and I doubt many people would.


#147

so what is the problem with that?


#148

no … don’t want a dongle, but in 99% of cases, the WiFi is good enough.


#149

would prefer internal storage, if at all possible.


#150

convenience factor … if I can get all that connectivity and power with just one cable, then why not?


#151

I like your thinking, this is the kind of creativity and ingenuity we need to develop awesome products. However, I have a few concerns about this design, primarily regarding the docks ability to stay on the desk. It seems like it would be too easy for it to fall back, especially since it won’t be a snug fit since all desks are different dimensions. Some don’t have any sort of overhang in the back so you’d have to put it on the side or front, which would be a bummer.

@saltcafe please don’t create four separate posts of one line each, especially when you’re only replying to one person. You can put multiple quotes in a single post.


#152

Since I would like to have more like a hub to add all the ports the V is missing, I would like to have VGA included in that. I am not a Fan of the dongle world we are living in right now… If eve creates a hub like mobility dock, it would need to be really great in all other points (included psu for example) that I buy it without VGA…

@Phil I absolutely agree, I only need VGA when I am on the move and do not know what options I will have to attach my Tablet to. But at home I have no VGA cable in use :wink:


#153

Yeah, this is a rough sketch so I didn’t represent some details. But the “L” piece would be actively pressing the dock against the table top board, making it very stable and adapting to different thicknesses. If you pulled the dock away from the table, the piece would jump to closed position.

You’re right. I don’t know how frequent are desks like that, but it’s still a limitation.

Anyway, this thread is about to close, but we should really try to get a bit creative before the next step of the process.

So… What other solutions could work in a “light-as-middle” dock like this?

Or… how could a middle dock and an eGPU work together?


#154

How about making a two part dock? Bottom part is for eGPU and detachable top part is port replicator with various ports (USB3, TH3, 3.5mm jack, HDMI, VGA, card reader, ethernet, etc.). The top part is also used for connecting to eve-V.

The TB3 connector to eve-V could provide charge for the computer as well (when attached to the bottom part) so only one connection between dock and eve-V.

The connection between top and bottom part could be either a TH3 high speed connection or some kind of proprietary connector.

The bottom part could also have few USB3/TB3 ports (also ethernet) so one could have external hard drives etc. attached to it.

The top part could also have HDMI and/or VGA -ports so it could be used on the road to connect eve-V to external display.


#155

Like the creative thinking, but I feel like the top part is too dependent on the bottom part. With this design, you wouldn’t be able to use Donald Dock to charge the V (one of the most essential features of the dock in my opinion) without buying the eGPU, which many people will not be willing to do.

It also seems like the top part might be to big to satisfy those who want a portable port replicator, though I suppose we could simply shrink it to satisfy that if there was sufficient demand.

I don’t know enough in this area, would sending the eGPU through two connections/cables effect performance? I know the loss between having an integrated GPU vs the eGPU is primarily because of less PCIE lanes and CPU bottlenecks so I wouldn’t think it would be affected.

Personally, I think the idea of having a combination of two of the proposed types is a cool idea, but I wouldn’t want it to compromise on anything that a dock built specifically as middle weight 1/2 could have. But that’s just me personally as I don’t really need a mobile port extender or an eGPU.


#156

The top part could also have a USB3/TB3 pass thru port where one could plug the standard charger. This way, when detachable part of the dock is used alone, it could charge eve-V as well.

I’m not a hardware specialist so I don’t know If passing graphics thru two connectors would have big impact on the GPU performance. However, the connection between parts could be made such that there would be as little as possible impact on the performance (proprietary connection). Also the parts could be purchable separately so if one does not need eGPU, one could buy just the port replicator part of the dock and later the eGPU part if needed.


#157

For featherweight or lightweight + VGA fans…


#158

Do these things really have to be so expensive? :confounded:

If a feather-light adapter is going to cost that much, I’d rather use an VGA dongle (for 1/10th of the price) for travel. Or a VGA+HDMI, which should cover most “dealing with a potentially outdated projector/screen” scenarios.

And then, a medium-super for stationary use.


#159

Thinking about a middle-super option now. Could there be a better combination than just creating a middle dock and a separated eGPU?

If I got it correctly from the previous debates, there are two things that would make a middle sized dock or an eGPU expensive:

  • (a) The TB3 controller
  • (b) The case

If we create a middle dock and then an eGPU as modules or separate devices, we would need two TB3 controllers, making the combination of both devices expensive. So, could we design a middle dock that has the ability to host an entirely optional eGPU without improving the base cost for non-ePGU users?

Maybe, if we overcome (a) and (b).

  • (a) By using a single TB3 controller for both: Creating one single device that works as a TB3 dock, but also supports an eGPU connected to the same controller via PCIe. There wouldn’t be any performance drop, no second TB3 controller, and no important added cost to the base dock.
  • (b) By literally thinking “outside the box” and using no case (or just an optional case) for the ePGU: We could design the device so that the casing could be added by eGPU owners… or not. This would make the eGPU expansion much more affordable
    and open to a growing DIY community. Or you could just buy the extra case and enjoy a polished solution.

Some other people here have already suggested this. Things would look a bit like this:

(1) A base middle-sized dock, with an (unobtrusive) included PCIe connector. As most of the price would go to the casing and the TB3 controller, having a PCIe connector wouldn’t make this much more expensive to non-eGPU users. There would be no integrated PSU, just pass-through USB PD or a basic PSU to power the V and some peripherals.

(2) A GPU + external PSU. If the dock included an easy way to attach it to a VESA mount and hide it away behind a monitor or under a table, I would go for this option, and I think a lot of DIYers would too. For some, an exposed GPU may even look cool:

(3) An optional case for the eGPU with an integrated PSU, for those wanting to have everything in a more protected package… at a significant added cost ($$$). This case would leave all the ports of the base dock exposed, so you would have a great all-in-one solution.

Some problems/challenges for this approach:

  • Finding the right external PSU for (2).
  • Achieving a good design that looks clean even if “half encased” (2), and solving a way to firmly attach the GPU to the dock.
  • Making the dock’s video ports redundant when having a GPU plugged in. But as having them wouldn’t increase the prices significantly, I’d cope with that. And they wouldn’t be totally useless, as they could still be used to connect a monitor to the Intel iGPU.
  • Really keeping the price of the base dock as close as possible to an equivalent non-GPU-enabled dock.
  • … Any others you can think of?

Some of them are relatively easy or not deal breakers to me. What do you think? Is this too crazy?

Advantages:

  • Innovative and very unique solution, very Eve-like.
  • Cost-effective, having not only a modular design, but also a truly modular pricing, where you would not be paying for duplicated stuff (except some video ports).
  • No extra performance drop for the GPU.
  • Attractive to a very wide audience (middle-weight dock users + DIY eGPU users + polished eGPU users).
  • … Any others you can think of?

#160

Good idea, but I am worrying that having too many separate modules will cause additional latency…


#161

That is really very expensive for only Single Display Support…
I think it should be possible to build this much cheaper…