[Donald Dock] [Step 4.2] [POLL] Decide target painpoints/problems to resolve

poll
project_donald_dock
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development

#41

That cooling pad dock concept is pretty cool, :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:, but I think that it’s too specific to the V and maybe other 2 in1’s. Making DD usable with laptops, convertibles, mini PCs, etc is more important in my view. I also want to be able to tuck the dock out of the way, connect my V with a cable and set it wherever I want on my desk and then allow the keyboard to roam at my convenience.

I feel that design and reliability will fall into place based on the features we decide to include. Best compatibility and additional features should get more focus because it will help Eve produce a dock that can gain entry into a bigger market. Eve is well situated to produce single products in smaller batches and for shorter periods of time larger companies. Making a dock with long lifespan and usability gives Eve the ability to move on the next product and keep producing batches of DD as they are needed without making major design changes.

Just to restate what the Middleweight dock has been defined as in the Weight Classes list that Xinjie put together…
Description: Stays on you desktop, just one plug-in to it, you immediately get all.
What can be expected: Core ports, supports cool features and additional ports for future.
Best suited for: People have a working station to do heavy tasks or immerse into entertainment.
You don’t want to take it with you.
Built in battery is not at option.

To me this says that things like wireless charging, eGPU connectability, etc should be included. I don’t need onboard storage and I think most people will connect an external drive or USB flash drive when needed. I can see what some people would want it though. If adding a 2.5 slot is too bulky and an M.2 slot is too expensive, maybe adding a 2nd SD slot is an option. Either way I think it’s important to have both SD and microSD slots. Attiq’s modularity ideas shouldn’t be that hard to incoporate by default. We don’t need to focus on it, just build in the port(s) that allow additions later whether they are Eve produced modules, third party modules or just something that a customer buys and wants to connect to the dock.

Oh, and I think VGA is still needed but since it is a fading technology it probably could be pushed aside as a port that can be dealt with via a dongle.


#42

hmm fair comment. the issue is either TB3 doc or epgu alone cant make DD viable, if we do both then that’s probably a more compelling product.

on the enterprise side yeah I agree, however I wouldn’t call the egpu an non starter. I bet they will be quite popular for businesses in 3-5 years. I work for a large architecture/engineering firm an quite a lot of people have both a very powerful desktop and a powerful bulky laptop. an egpu could streamline this significantly.


#43

eGPUs are still new and there aren’t many devices that can make full use of them (be it not enough PCIe lanes, weak processor, etc.). This will happen, but it’s going to take a little while. Also, for a lot of these groups, they need Quadro/Firepro + Xeon processors. I don’t know if there is even a eGPU currently that supports that. Also, these may need the full x16 PCIe slots. I don’t think enterprise eGPUs are really going to take off anytime soon. I do think a Mac compatible eGPU would go over well in a lot of circles, though that may be difficult to do.

I do know that for most medium-large businesses, the general practice is everybody gets a laptop, dock, and maybe a couple monitors. USB-C is standard, so you don’t have to get the special Dell/HP dock, and you don’t need TB monitors for MacBooks anymore. Now, the company can just buy a bunch of one dock, and it would ideally work with any new computer they got. If Eve could get in on this, even just for a few businesses, they could probably turn a good profit, which would allow the company to grow a lot.

There still aren’t any good docks that meet Apple + Windows enterprise requirements though, my entire University has been trying out dozens of different docks, and we can’t find anything that fits the bill.


#44

Guys, I don’t have anything against eGPUs, but could we not discuss them here? I feel like it’s really distracting from the focus on Donald Dock, which the community/Eve already decided would not have an eGPU.


#45

Maybe we need an other poll ? :smiley:


#46

I’m opinionated on the subject of this Dock, but in step 4.2 I’m hesitant to post. Aside from my “must-have” features of TB3, USB-PD and 4k60 display support, I don’t have much other input.
Perhaps my creativity muscle hasn’t been used for so long that I am unable to come up with something that would make our Dock well and truly stand out from the crowd. In typical guy fashion, I’m frustrated with what’s available but otherwise unable to (fully) articulate what I want. Having said this, I still want to participate and will try to be as helpful as possible and hopefully avoid being un-helpful.

What’s the core value of Donald Dock as middle weight category?

I see the core value as being very useful as it sits on my desk, connected to my V and other TB3 devices I’ll own in the future. I don’t want it to end up in a drawer after three months like this other dock.

What’s the biggest pain point it resolves?

Port selection, and perhaps bigger than that, the Revision/Standard of the port should be the latest and greatest. (for example: HDMI port being 1.4… when v2.x is out now, why the F*** does a dock have 1.4? Why have usb3.0 when 3.1 gen1 is best for USB-A?)

How is it better than the existing products?

To be better, I believe our dock must have a complete selection of ports that do not make concessions of the details.
If I want to plug in a 512Gb SD card, I want it to work, and work at full speed - that sort of thing.
I think that you have to spend money to make a good dock, and that the desire to save money has ultimately been the downfall of every other dock to-date, which doesn’t bode well for us. So I’m depending on Eve and partners that they have more magic up their sleeves for this venture.


#47

I’m currently using a USB hub (on my laptop) right now, and there are physical buttons to turn each individual port on/off. This might be a cool thing to have on Donald Dock, or it might be a hassle and just another point of failure.
What do you guys think?


#48

So I see there are still a lot of people talking about eGPU. As far as I remember there has been a poll and based on the results a decision, not to care about eGPU for DD.
Yes, you say “it would only be 50£ more” and “no big deal to implement” and so on. But when there was a decision that we don’t care about eGPU right now I don’t see any reason why to discuss about it all the time. Most of the voters don’t want it. Me too. And if this product will be designed for eGPU use cases, I won’t buy it. Maybe that’s just me, but I don’t really think so.
This thread should go on further to a more specific product. But in the last 3 or 4 threads to DD I’ve always just seen the same discussions about eGPU. That won’t take us closer to a DD. And if it is available in 1 year, I will have another solution until then and again no need for it. So maybe we could concentrate to the purpose of this thread now :slight_smile:


#49

As I’ve only used el cheapo docks for stuff like SD cards (like €5,- max) my main painpoint is that, for some reason, they always fail on certain devices for unknown reasons. But that is the risk you take with those docks.

I do get the advantage of the dock, but haven’t really ever had the need for it. I don’t really see a way to stand from the crowd without some custom unique feature that might or might not harm sales. Having features that are deemed useless will let potential customers less likely to pay for the device. Since part of their money is for useless features.

That being said, I would love a pop-up style Qi charger/phone holder. So it would look like the link underneath. Lay flat, but being able to pop it up, adjust the angle, and maybe the rotation on the dock itself. I love having my phone next to my screen.


Of course this is only possible if the dock itself is not concealed.

Maybe some sort of customization/custom logo placement I would imagine that enterprise wouldn’t mind having their own logo on the device engraved/printed. With some kind of serial numbering so they can keep track of it easier?
I would also imagine that the dock should be able to replace ALL the inputs, so being able to charge it via the dock is a must (if device is compatible).

I don’t think having a battery inside the dock is that much of a must since your laptop/notebook/2in1 also has a battery.

But again, no experience with any device that resembles a dock. So take my input with a grain of salt.


#50

sorry if you guys and @cmmd_mx feel like that’s what we are doing. I don’t think we are.

we have decided against doing just an EGPU.

I am not proposing doing just an EGPU and dropping the middleweight dock that would be rather stupid.

we have agreed on what is essentially a £250 ish TB3 dock. I am not taking anything away from that. im only adding to it.

what I have been arguing for a while now is it would be a bad idea just to do a middleweight dock.

the 300 odd votes form the ‘decision’ poll were split as follows:

46% middleweight
23% lightweight
20% heavyweight
5% bundle
3% featherweight
3% none

none of these is a supermajority. it would be rather poor decision making to make a product that caters for 46% of an already niche and probably unprofitable market. ideally you want your feature set to capture 90% of any given market segment (which is precisely what the V does with BTkeyboard, tb3 etc).

I, along with others, am proposing we capture a larger market by consolidating middleweight, lightweight(somewhat) & heavyweight into one product, split into two blocks, a smallish TB3 dock and a larger add-on optional GPU module that snaps onto the bottom.

for the poll in this post I chose ‘most additional features’ as my main choice.
an egpu add on module is one such additional feature to a base TB3 dock. the EGPU bit is optional. I (amongst others) also proposed a hard drive bay and wireless charging being built into the TB3 dock. it will be hard to make it ‘lightweight’ but it’ll definitely be portable.

the market research(the poll) is telling us that a bog standard tb3 dock wont cut it (46%). Im trying to make in a more compelling product. I find it difficult to believe that a basic tb3 dock will sell 10,000 units even if we add a few bells and whistles (hdd, Qi charging).

please don’t feel like I am ramming egpu’s down peoples throats…far from it. im giving the 20% of people an optional extra rather then telling them to go elsewhere and spend £300 on top of their £250 TB3 dock. the optional extra being roughly £50 worth of components. i think the idea is rather genius (and thanks to the guys who helped refine it) but if people disagree then lets leave it be. I wont mention it again if everyone feels this discussion is closed, I’m sorry that I keep bringing it up.


#51

But on the other side you suggest that a lot more people should pay 50 pounds more on the TB3 dock (if I understand you correct).
IMHO 250 pounds is far too expensive for a dock that can be used as an office dock. I will have a hard time to argue to spend this amount of money for specs that I do not need. Being honest my price point is 200ish EUR - much more is a no-go.

In an ideal world I really like your reasoning (and the design you provided) but the Team stated that a modular dock is not in reach for a reasonable amount of time. So I think this is a something for the future but not for the DoDo.


#52

Okay, thanks for clarify. But first: what about this?

In my understanding this describes a fixed decision. Definitely not to do just an egpu and even not think about it. I think create the possibility of a kind of TB3 passthrough to attach an eGPU setup from external is the border to stop thinking of the topic eGPU. @Xinjie please correct me, if I’m wrong! :slight_smile:
To me the voting results of the form factor show the following:

  • Almost half of the people want middle weight which doesn’t include eGPU.
  • A quarter wants lightweight/featherweight -> a preference for portability.
  • 20% want heavyweight. I could not really guess how much of them have seen an eGPU solution inside this heavyweight setup, but I am sure that the amount is not equal to the people who want an eGPU solution inside DD.

Also keep in mind: In this forum there are a lot of fanboys (not meant in a negative way!!) who are just interested in EVErything from EVE :slight_smile: . But look to the current market for eGPU. How big is it? It’s a niche. It’s there for some hardcore gamer and/or graphic/video editing guys who depend on the portability of their main device.

I expect the number of people who would buy the DD because of dGPU functionality is much lower than the number of people who won’t buy it if there would be such a functionality. Thats not based on real statistics, only my opinion, but yes, I am sure it is like that. :confused:


#53

only those who want both a tb3 dock and egpu, which is a hell of a lot cheaper then buying them separately.

yeah the £250 dock price is conservative just to be on the safe side.(200 euros is doable)


#54

Well a expensive dock with eGPU wont sell anything close to that. eGPUs are still a real niche and as they cost so much (the enclosure + the card itself) it wont be a “every day” item.


#55

Xinje’s quote is about doing just an EGPU. that would be commercial suicide i agree. i’m not suggesting that at all. also why would we create a £300 egpu from the ground up in addition to a £250 TB3 dock.

this isn’t a viable approach £250 DD + £300 egpu + card is easily £1000

if you have an add on module for the DD its £250 + £50 + card, you’ve saved £250 and streamlined your setup

there were loads of egpu posts be DD was started and from my recollection zero TB3 dock posts. the demand is there. and you cannot underestimate the purchasing power of gamers its one of the only growing markets in the whole consumer electronics industry.

i don’t think i understand what you mean here, surely if you add optional features you increase you target market. if we add optional egpu functionality we increase the target market by 50! that’s something that should definitely be considered purely from a market viability perspective.


#56

fair comment but surely DD+optional egpu will be more than DD alone


#57

I do Agree.
Does a DD alone is really interesting enought from a market perpective when you see all kind of Dock already there ? But If you do something more modular or Upgradable would it not be a market breaker ?


#58

My previous comments re viability still apply.
.


#59

I think that’s what several of us are thinking. At least, that is what I’m thinking. It seems to be what @Attiq is suggesting as a cautionary tale (don’t make the mistake of not including the expandability). Based on voting we aren’t going to build an e GPU module right now. But the voting said middleweight and the description of middleweight says “cool features and additional ports for future”. So why wouldn’t we include the TB3/PCIe/Display ports needed to add an e GPU later? If it’s only an additional $50 in components then there’s a great way to make this dock stand out and appeal to a broader market.

Its been mentioned by several people that we shouldn’t focus so much on keeping costs down with DD. I think that is wise. Eve can’t make every product at a super low price point and survive. I don’t see the point in trying to just make another dock…lot of us have pointed out that there are tons of portable docks out there that we’ll buy for travel. We’ve also found examples of middleweight docks that aren’t quite what we want. So, it seems that we should make DD a premium product that has things other docks don’t.

A way to connect an eGPU, whether EVE branded or otherwise, is one of those things.


#60

Intergrated egpu into the DD?