At work I have an HP laptop and a docking station that connects to it using a locking connector.
How reasonable would it be to have a similar to this designed for the Framework?
Please excuse my inability to art.
The power port could be a barrel plug or usbc to keep things standard. The expansion card slots keep the dock customizable and upgradeable.
Interesting! Ignorant question: What is the advantage of this over a more traditional dock with a cable?
Valid question, this style of dock has a mush smaller footprint because it hides under your laptop, arguably it would also look better.
Would seriously interfere with the air flow ?
No worse than being on a desk / table ?
The design shown covers the vent at the bottom of the laptop
The design shown lifts / tilts the laptop at an angle. It doesn’t get any closer to the bottom of the laptop than a desk surface…feet are in the way. It doesn’t block anymore than a desk surface would.
You’ve not used one before, I assume.
having used lenovo’s version of these docks, i think it would be super cool to have one as an option
there may be a lot of challenges in making it happen though.
one thing that would be super cool IMO is if it could be universal somehow. Currently this style of dock seems to be designed for one particular kind/brand of laptop such that if you switched laptops you also have to switch docks (generating waste). The docks with a cable are far more universal but arent in the same “it fits under the laptop” style as the ones you are referring to.
I think it would be cool to have such a dock be essentially be constructed as simply a 3d-printable frame and thunderbolt hub PCB that fits a bunch of expansion cards.
As a bonus it would be nice to also have an expansion card-like system for swapping out the connector on the laptop side (the part that slides out into the laptop) so that adapters can be made for Lenovo, Dell .etc laptops so this solution doesnt become waste should anyone want to switch away from their framework. That said this is more of a challenge since port placement in different laptops (or holes in the bottom so the port isnt the only connection point to the laptop) differ between machines.
Probably, but adding a fan in there like on an external cooler would fix it.
in my experience this is the ‘traditional’ dock. Cable ones are more recent.
The advantage of this type of dock used to be that the connector was on the top surface and mated to a connector on the bottom of the laptop, so it was simply a case of sitting the laptop on the dock, no need to manually connect anything. It also angles the laptop, providing a (supposedly) more comfortable typing position at a desk. They could add quite a lot of features as well, my HP one even adds an optical drive slot.
source: I had a PII laptop with a dock similar this way back in 99, and have one for my HP as well.