Thank you for raising the question, indeed it’s amatter of serious discussion and not just a poll.
I firmly believe the all-in-one eGPU with monitor, keyboard and other interfaces as defined by the community is the best way to go.
This is based on two related use cases: gaming and AI which is, in my view, going to be ubiquitous in a few year’s time. Both gaming and “light” neural network models used by students and researchers, incl. for some kaggle competitions, can well be handled by current NVidia gamer class GPUs; the arms race with AMD in the GPU field and the increased popularity of cryptocurrency mining both mean that we may expect rapid hardware progress in GPUs; however, there are productivity limits for cramming the latest GPUs in a laptop case, as demonstrated by Max-Q benchmarking; solutions are very expensive and involve compromises.
Therefore, a definite increase in Eve’s value for money and future proofness would be provided by:
- Avoiding the cooling problem in the laptop form factor and using the full GPU productivity
- The option for changing the GPU without a total hardware upgrade
- Avoiding the potential bottleneck of Thunderbolt 3 bus limits for future graphic cards with higher productivity and throughput (I assume the dock will have quicker connectivity to the laptop, such as PCIe)
- All of this in a dock that would be inherently compatible with the Eve notebook and future devices from an Eve ecosystem, while for external eGPU cases, driver and other compatibility issues may arise
As for the external screen(s), mouse, keyboard, possible printer, scanner, etc. support in the dock, I can imagine their usefulness both for traveling professionals and (occasional) gamers. Depending on the purpose and duration of the trip, they may opt for the Eve’s high portability, or carry along the dock with or without GPU for working on the go. In the two latter cases, docking to external I/O devices would be a definite plus, and the dock would double as eGPU and connectivity hub.
This opinion is use-case driven, my hardware knowledge is insufficient to propose a more specific I/O configuration for such a dock. However, I wouldn’t buy a mere dock without eGPU functionality. I’m not a gamer but affordable mobile GPU calculation is important to me and seems currently to be lacking on the laptop markets.