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Computing

Still waiting for the Steam Deck dock? This fan made their own

The Steam Deck docking station might be subject to an extended delay, but fans of the handheld gaming system have taken measures into their own hands, creating their own 3D-printed variations of the accessory that work just as well as the peripheral promised by Valve.

Most recently, a Reddit user by the name of Hannover2k shared images of their own Steam Deck docking station rig, detailing that the accessory is based around a Dock-Teck DD0003 USB-C hub. The user also added two USB 3.0 slots, an SD/MicroSD slot, an HDMI and LAN ports, and a 45-watt USB C-Charge port passthrough, TechRadar noted.

No problem. I created my own docking station with the 3D printer + a template from Thingiverse + a USB C 8in1 hub. đź‘Ť pic.twitter.com/3gLWd7PaMR

— Thomascz (@Nerdpfleger) June 1, 2022

This Reddit user isn’t the only Steam Deck fan to get creative by fashioning their own docking station for the Steam Deck while waiting for the real Steam Deck, which became available in February.

Valve announced in early June that it had once again delayed the launch of its docking station peripheral to an unspecified time, due to “parts shortages and COVID closures at our manufacturing facilities.”

During that time, Twitter user @Nerdpfleger shared images of their Steam Deck docking station iteration, which is based on a template from Thingiverse and powered by a USB C 8-in-1 hub.

In comparison, the actual Steam Deck docking station will include one USB 3.1 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort 1.4, and a USB-C port to connect to the Steam Deck console.

Fans’ ability to 3D print a Steam Deck label for their USB hubs to get the look and feel of a Valve-branded product without any wait could pose serious competition for the gaming company, considering the accessory has been delayed for most of this year. The Steam Deck docking station was originally set to release in February as a main accessory for the Steam Deck when the gaming system first became available.

For those who are not as handy, there are options such as shopping for ready-made docking stations on Esty. Or you can simply use a multiport USB hub, which, of course, won’t have Steam Deck branding.

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Game

Valve further delays Steam Deck dock due to supply shortages

You’ll have to be patient if you want an official way to turn your Steam Deck into a makeshift desktop. As The Verge notes, Valve has indefinitely delayed its Steam Deck Docking Station due to a combination of supply shortages and pandemic-related manufacturing shutdowns. The company said it was “improving the situation” and would share more info when available.

The setback won’t affect production and reservation windows for the Steam Deck itself, Valve said. In the interim, the company vowed to upgrade support for third-party USB-C hubs and external monitors.

The Docking Station cradles the Steam Deck while providing display, Ethernet and USB connections. It was announced alongside the handheld system, but wasn’t available when the Steam Deck first reached customers. Valve still lists the release as “late spring.” The delay won’t preclude you from using the Steam Deck as a PC or attaching it to a TV, but generic hubs clearly won’t be as elegant as a dock built with the console in mind.

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Game

You can now buy a Switch OLED dock without a Switch OLED

Nintendo has started selling docks for Switch OLED units separately in North America. According to Nintendo Life, the gaming giant revealed the dock would be sold as a standalone item when the OLED Switch was launched. And it has been available in European stores since the beginning of December, but now you can also get one in the US and Canada. While you can use the OLED model with the dock for the standard Switch, the one designed for it comes with a very important addition: An ethernet/LAN port.

In case your home internet isn’t as fast as you’d like it to be, and you’d benefit greatly from a wired connection, the new dock may work better for your needs. You’d have to have or buy your own LAN/ethernet cable, though, since the dock doesn’t come with one. It also doesn’t include an AC Adapter and an HDMI cable, but it can receive software updates. 

You can snap up a dock from Nintendo’s store in the US or in Canada for $70. The unit will ship with a standard white panel, which we found flimsy and prone to being lost in our review. But you can get a back cover in black or get another white one as a replacement part from Nintendo’s website for $6.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Game

The Nintendo Switch OLED Dock Can Be Purchased Separately

Players will be able to purchase the new dock that comes with the Nintendo Switch OLED separately, according to Nintendo. The company says that the stand-alone dock will be available to buy exclusively through its website.

The newly announced Nintendo Switch OLED comes packaged with a redesigned TV dock, which includes a wired LAN port and rounded corners. It comes in either black or white, depending on which OLED model players buy. In a statement to Digital Trends, Nintendo confirmed that people who don’t want to buy the new system will be able to pick up the stand-alone dock.

Nintendo

“The white dock and black dock will be sold separately (no HDMI cable, no AC adaptor, not in a package) on the Nintendo online store. It will not be sold at retail,” Nintendo tells Digital Trends.

That means it won’t be available through retailers like Amazon or Best Buy. Those who want to get one will have to go through Nintendo directly. The company did not reveal how much the stand-alone dock will cost or when it will be available to purchase.

For comparison, Nintendo sells the current Switch dock, with no cables included, through its website for $60. The company also offers refurbished Switch docks for $40 with a 90-day limited warranty.

According to The Verge, the old and new docks are interchangeable, so players can use the OLED dock with a regular Switch model. That’s good news for players who want access to wired internet, but don’t want to shell out for a new console.

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Computing

Lenovo Introduces P34w Ultrawide Monitor, TB4 Thinkpad Dock

Picking the best monitor isn’t always an easy task, and generally, people have multiple priorities when shopping for a display. A specific format that I personally quite appreciate is the 34-inch ultrawide, and it just so happens that Lenovo is coming out with a new model for 2021: The ThinkVision P34w-20.

This display is an office-focussed model, aiming to give you plenty of real estate with good sharpness and great color accuracy. As such, the panel has a 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution (the standard for a 34-inch ultrawide), along with a color calibration that notes a Delta-E (difference from real) of under 2 — the benchmark for being suitable for professional photo and video editing work.

The panel used is of the IPS type, giving it a color space coverage equivalent to 99% of sRGB. That’s not huge by many today’s standards, but it’s plenty adequate for most use cases and most digital work is done in the sRGB space anyway. Meanwhile, a very light 3800R (radius) curve is present, giving the panel a modern feel.

the P34w’s connectivity options make it very interesting for use with notebooks

The refresh rate is set at a bog-standard 60Hz, typical brightness at 300 nits, with response times at 4ms in extreme mode or 6ms in normal mode and a 1000:1 contrast ratio — clearly, a panel focused on office work and not gaming performance.

All that being said, its raw specs aren’t what make the ThinkVision P34w a sweet deal — rather, it comes with 100W power delivery over its USB-C port, it can act as a docking station for your notebook, and it has a KVM switch built in for switching between systems.

Meanwhile, Lenovo is also outing its ThinkPad Thunderbolt 4 Workstation dock, which comes with a staggering 300W power supply, making it ideal for use with multiple notebooks. It’s also among the first cabled docks with Intel’s AMT (Active Management Technology) for advanced security in protected corporate environments.

Pricing for the ThinkVision P34w is set at $899 with availability slated for fall, whereas the TB4 dock will land for $419.

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Tech News

This Satechi iPad Pro dock turns Apple’s tablet into a mini-iMac

A new Satechi stand could help turn your iPad Pro into a mini-iMac, adding not only desk convenience but also a whole host of new ports in the process. The Satechi Aluminum Stand & Hub for the new iPad Pro gives the Apple M1-powered tablet easy connections like HDMI and an SD card reader, for those wanting to switch their desktop over to iPadOS.

That’s an increasingly feasible option, as Apple updates the iPad Pro software and the power inside the latest tablet models matches what you’ll find in the newest MacBook Air and Mac mini. Indeed, with the M1 cropping up most recently in the new iMac 24-inch, there’s a lot to be said for making the switch to all-tablet if your software needs fit.

The Aluminum Stand & Hub addresses one of the lingering issues with that, having enough places to plug things in. It’s equipped with a 4K HDMI port (that’s 60Hz capable) along with USB-C PD charging, USB-A for data, and an SD card reader. There’s also an audio jack.

On the top there’s an adjustable stand, to hold the iPad Pro up. That can be positioned upright, to orient it like a regular display, or pushed back for using the iPad Pro more like a graphics tablet. The stand folds flat when it’s not in use, too, meaning that the whole system is actually fairly portable if you’re hot-desking.

It’s reminiscent of the Kensington StudioDock, which launched earlier this year. That was also designed to dock with the iPad Pro, and then give access to a number of ports including external monitor support. Kensington’s approach, though, relied on a docking cradle: that made it relatively easy to slot the tablet into place, but did present some issues with generational upgrades should Apple change its design.

Satechi’s dock, in contrast, has a more straightforward cable to connect to the iPad Pro’s USB-C port. That may not look quite so aesthetically pleasing – though the brushed aluminum finish of the dock in general is nice, and matches the tablet itself – but it definitely opens the door to using the same dock with different iPad Pro sizes and, most likely future generations of the tablet should Apple decide to change the dimensions at all.

It’s available now, priced at $99.99, which also undercuts Kensington’s dock. As for the flexibility of iPadOS as a desktop platform, we’re expecting to hear more about what Apple has in mind there at WWDC 2021, which kicks off with the opening keynote on Monday, June 7.

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Tech News

Moto G100 gives affordable Android the Snapdragon 870 5G and a slick new dock

Motorola’s G Series is best known for its affordable price tags, but the new Moto G100 still somehow manages to introduce a Snapdragon 8xx-Series chipset to the budget-minded line. That’s courtesy of the recently-announced Snapdragon 870 5G, Qualcomm’s more affordable counterpoint to the flagship Snapdragon 888, which in this case helps keep the G100 down to around $580.

It means not only 8 Series performance, but 5G in a Moto G phone, too. WiFI 6 support is included as well, and Motorola squeezes in a 5,000 mAh battery which it says should last for 40+ hours of use.

On the front, there’s a 6.7-inch CinemaVision 21:9 aspect display, with 90Hz refresh rate. It’s HDR10 certified, and works with the subset of Snapdragon Elite Gaming features that Qualcomm includes on the Snapdragon 870. Motorola’s own Gametime system is preloaded too, with various optimizations along with auto-mute of notifications to keep from distracting you when you’re playing.

On the back, there’s a 64-megapixel main camera with Quad Pixel, alongside an ultra-wide camera that promises 4x more of the scene in each frame. A macro camera – with a built-in ring light – is also included on the back.

Up front, the G100 gets a 16-megapixel main camera for selfies, alongside an ultra-wide. Dual Capture mode allows the front and rear cameras to work at the same time, while Audio Zoom promises to focus the microphone pick-up on what’s in-frame at the time, even if you’ve zoomed in the picture.

With Motorola Ready For, meanwhile, hooking up a display or TV via the USB-C port will open a desktop computer-like interface. That supports Motorola’s new Ready For dock – which also works with the Motorola edge+ – or Bluetooth accessories, for things like keyboard, mouse, and game controller.

There’ll be two colors – Iridescent Sky and Iridescent Ocean – and Android 11 is loaded out of the box; you get 128GB of storage and a microSD slot. The Moto G100 will go on sale in select European and Latin American markets from today, priced from 499.99 euro ($580).

Even more affordable, the Moto G10, G30, and G50

The G100 is just one of four new Android phones that Motorola has today. The Moto G50 also supports 5G, with a 6.5-inch HD+ 90Hz display, 48-megapixel main camera with Quad Pixel, macro camera, and depth sensor. Inside there’s the Snapdragon 480 5G chipset, with 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 5,000 mAh battery. It’ll be available in the coming weeks, Motorola says, in select European markets from 229.99 euro ($267).

Cheaper still is the Moto G30, priced from 179.99 euro ($210) and available across Latin America, Europe, India, Asia, and the Middle East from today. It has a 6.5-inch HD+ 20:9 aspect 90Hz display, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 662, with a 5,000 mAh battery. On the back there’s a 64-megapixel main camera, an ultra-wide, a macro camera, and a depth sensor.

Finally, there’s the Moto G10. That’s available in Latin America, Europe, India, and Asia now, priced from 149.99 euro ($175). It has a 6.5-inch HD+ screen, 5,000 mAh battery, Snapdragon 460 chipset, and a 48-megapixel main camera, alongside a macro camera and either an ultra-wide or a depth sensor.

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Computing

Will Microsoft launch Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2, and Surface Dock 2 soon? Here’s what we know

Editor’s Note: On April 21, sources close to Microsoft said that the first of these Surface devices will now be launched in early May.

We’ve known for a while that Microsoft plans to launch the powerhouse Surface Book 3 and ultramobile Surface Go 2 sometime before the end of May. But what will be inside Microsoft’s new devices, exactly?

We’ve rounded up what’s leaked and what’s been rumored about each device. We’ve been told that the launch was pushed back a bit because of the coronavirus, and Microsoft’s fears that it wouldn’t have enough finished product to stock store shelves. No one’s been able to pin down a shipping date yet, though it’s sure to be within the near future if these leaks are to believed.

Microsoft Surface Book 3

Like the original Surface Book 2, we’ve been told that the Surface Book 3 should ship in two different configurations, with 13.5-inch and 15-inch displays.

We also haven’t seen any indication that the Surface Book 3 will differ radically from its predecessor—a convertible 2-in-1 whose screen can be undocked as a separate tablet, though without the kickstand of the Surface Pro series. That design is unique to the Surface Book (and the erstwhile Porsche Design Book One), and that comes with other benefits, namely two discrete batteries—one in the base, and one in the tablet portion—providing plenty of battery life. Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 is also the only Surface that has a discrete GPU, a feature that’s expected to carry over to the Surface Book 3.

Surface Book 2 Adam Patrick Murray/IDG

The Surface Book 2 is Microsoft’s flagship Surface.

What will be inside? According to Winfuture.de, which claims to have uncovered several dealer configurations for the European market, the 13.5-inch version of the Surface Book 3 will be powered by either the Intel Core i5-10210U (1.6GHz, 4.2GHz turbo) or the Core i7-10510U (1.8GHz, 4.9GHz turbo).

Both of Intel’s chips are quad-core, eight-thread 25W Comet Lake chips optimized for clock speed, rather than all the bells and whistles of their “Ice Lake” cousins. They have basic UHD graphics inside of them, but will be optimized to work with discrete GPUs.

The listings Winfuture.de uncovered offer no real memory or storage surprises: RAM options may include 8GB, 16GB and 32GB, while SSD options may include 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. That’s roughly the same as Microsoft offered as part of the Surface Book 2, though those machines offered just 8GB and 16GB memory options.

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Computing

Microsoft launches Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2, a new Surface Dock and Surface Headphones 2

Microsoft is launching a new generation of Surface devices that aims to offer something for everyone. Announced Wednesday, the devices include the new Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2, and Surface Dock 2. To help you stay focused, Microsoft will soon ship the Surface Earbuds, and—surprise!—the Surface Headphones 2.  

While the Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2 and Surface Dock 2 were not unexpected, the breadth of Microsoft’s Surface-related hardware comes as a bit of a shock. Virtually all of the new Surfaces can be classified as refreshes. The Surface Book 3 adds new 10th-gen Ice Lake Core processors, as well as Nvidia GTX and Quadro RTX ray-tracing GPU options. The Surface Go 2, meanwhile, boasts 8th-gen Intel Core m chips.

Tying them to displays and other peripherals will be the Surface Dock 3 and the Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub. The real surprise is the Surface Headphones 2, now with a black option, a rotating earcup, and improved battery life. There’s more, too: Last year’s Surface Earbuds, plus a pair of new keyboards.

“As we continue to expand our Surface family of devices, our goal is to design a Surface for every person, every work style and every location, scaling from the most portable to the most performant,” Panos Panay, chief product officer of Windows + Devices, and Robin Seiler, corporate vice president of devices for Microsoft, said in a statement. The two said their goal was “to give you devices that can switch context as quickly as you do to take you from work to play to everything in between.”

Surface Book 3

Microsoft’s Surface Book has always been the company’s flagship 2-in-1, combining the power of a workstation with a unique design that marries a tablet with a traditional clamshell form factor. The Surface Book 3 won’t be cheap: Prices will start at $1,599. The Surface Book 3 will ship May 21, in both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch form factors of its predecessor, the Surface Book 2. 

Microsoft surface book 3 side shot Microsoft

The Surface Book lineup is unique: there’s currently no other detachable 2-in-1 in the industry. The design allows for dual batteries as well as a discrete GPU.

For that price, Microsoft’s offering a premium, but not too premium, experience. Both the 13.5-inch and 15-inch Surface Book 3s are based on Intel’s recent “Ice Lake” 10th-gen chips, both well-regarded mobile processors with integrated graphics (though AMD’s Ryzen Mobile 4000 chips look even better). Because the cheapest Core i5 Surface Book 3 doesn’t use a dedicated GPU, it relies on Ice Lake’s graphics—meaning that Microsoft’s couldn’t go with the faster, CPU-only Comet Lake alternative. 

Otherwise, the Core i5-1035G7 and Core i7-1065G7 options will be married to either an Nvidia GTX 1650 (Max-Q) or GTX 1660 Ti (Max-Q). At the high end, there will also be Nvidia Quadro RTX GPU options, too, for those seeking more traditional workstation-like performance. So yes, there will be support for ray tracing—even it the GPU is designed for creation, not gaming, and is a slower Max-Q option at that. It gets a little crazier in memory and storage: up to 32GB LPDDR4X memory, and a 2TB SSD option for United States customers.

Microsoft surface book 3 with monitors attached Microsoft

The Surface Book 3 should be able to accommodate multiple 4K monitors with ease.

A number of things have remained unchanged, for better or worse. Battery life should remain pleasantly massive: up to 15.5 hours for the 13.5-inch device, and up to 17.5 hours for the 15-inch device, about the same as before. Unlike the Surface Laptop 3, key travel remains at 1.55mm for the keyboard, making it one of the best in the industry. Unfortunately, though, the ports remain static, too: a pair of USB-A, one USB-C (with power delivery) and a full-size SD slot.

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Game

Razer just had to put RGB lighting in this $330 Thunderbolt 4 dock

The dock works with Windows PC powered by an 11th-gen Intel CPU, as well as both Intel and M1 Macs running macOS Big Sur — though keep in mind the company’s Synapse software, which you need to tweak the dock’s RGB lighting, isn’t currently available on macOS. It will also work with Razer’s other Thunderbolt-compatible products, including the Razer Core GPU enclosure. 

At $330, Razer’s Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma is expensive, even by the standards of some of the Thunderbolt 4 hubs we’ve seen announced recently. For instance, OWC’s Thunderbolt 4 dock has almost the same number of connections but costs $249. Of course, if you already own a Razer laptop, you’ll probably want to complete the look of your setup, in which case you’re ready to pay the premium on the company’s dock. 

Razer Laptop Stand Chroma V2

Razer

Razer has also updated its aluminum Chroma laptop stand. The new V2 model comes in at $150, making it $50 more expensive than its predecessor, but comes with a more diverse selection of ports. Instead of three USB-A 3.0 connections, it features a single USB-C 3.2 port, two USB-A 3.2 ports, an HDMI 2.0 connection and a dedicated USB-C port for power delivery. Like the previous model, it also puts your laptop on an 18-degree tilt to improve the ergonomics of your setup. 

Both the Thunderbolt 4 Dock Chroma and Laptop Stand Chrome V2 are available to pre-order today from the Razer website starting today.

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