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Dell shows off the DA300 USB-C mobile adaptor

by Mark Tyson on 26 January 2018, 13:11

Tags: Dell (NASDAQ:DELL)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadqan

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Dell has published a video showing off a new USB Type-C mobile adaptor. The new puck-shaped device is described as a 6-in-1 adapter and it bristles with connectors for video, data and LAN connections. Handily the puck shape lends itself to a spool-like self-contained USB Type-C connector cable with reels out, and tidily back away for transport.

The Dell DA300 USB-C mobile adaptor has yet to appear on its own product page but it can be seen, with a brief description on the New XPS 13 product pages, for which it is heralded as an ideal accessory for connecting “multiple devices–displays, printers, projectors and Ethernet”.

Since the product page is yet to go live I had to skip and pause the video to determine what exactly the 6-in-1 offers are. To me it looks like the Dell DA300 offers the following ports:

  • HDMI Video
  • VGA video
  • DisplayPort video
  • USB 3.0
  • USB-C
  • RJ45 LAN

Dell asserts that no additional drivers are required to make use of all the DA300 USB-C mobile adaptor ports. Furthermore, the device is compatible with all major operating systems, says Dell. On the capability of the extra conenctor ports supplied by the DA300, Dell says that up to 4K video and SuperSpeed 10Gbps USB data can be utilised by your computer connected via the DA300.

Other features, with an eye on business users, include:

  • MAC address pass-through
  • PXE boot
  • Wake-on-LAN

All in all the Dell DA300 looks like a worthy upgrade to the DA200 4-in-1 adapter currently retailing for $65.

New Dell Ultrathin Monitors

In other Dell news today, the firm has introduced its new Ultrathin S2719DM and S2419HM monitors. They offer impressive brightness levels and HDR playback capability. Again there is a video available, but searching Dell.com didn’t unearth any product pages at the time of writing. You can have a peek at the video below, for product highlights, while Dell’s web designers are busy creating the product pages.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Is it me or is that somewhat larger than the DA200 it replaces? You get a display port and usbC extra for that, but the beauty of the DA200 was it is so tiny that pairing it alongside a slim XPS laptop doesn't feel inappropriate, or too cubersome to carry round to meetings etc. It's something that sits in your bag and comes out every so often. You don't want additional bulk for that.
ik9000
Is it me or is that somewhat larger than the DA200 it replaces? You get a display port and usbC extra for that, but the beauty of the DA200 was it is so tiny that pairing it alongside a slim XPS laptop doesn't feel inappropriate, or too cubersome to carry round to meetings etc. It's something that sits in your bag and comes out every so often. You don't want additional bulk for that.

Looks very similar size to the DA200 to me.

I wonder if unlike the DA200 it will actually work reliably with XPS 13, it should be plug and play but non-technical users are always complaining that HDMI out doesn't work etc.
kingpotnoodle
Looks very similar size to the DA200 to me.

I wonder if unlike the DA200 it will actually work reliably with XPS 13, it should be plug and play but non-technical users are always complaining that HDMI out doesn't work etc.

The DA200 works just fine with the XPS13. I've used mine with two different XPS13 generations. Some people reported compatibility issues early doors on models that predated the release of the DA200, but these were quickly solved via simple updates that are freely available on Dell's support page (and which should be automatically download via the Dell app that comes pre-installed) and with those updates installed people shouldn't have an issue now. A non-technical user having issues has presumably deactivated this very useful piece of software intended to keep their machine working properly.

It can't be the same size, the DA200 is the depth of a VGA port - this is clearly twice that depth, and a larger surface area on plan too.
ik9000
The DA200 works just fine with the XPS13. I've used mine with two different XPS13 generations. Some people reported compatibility issues early doors on models that predated the release of the DA200, but these were quickly solved via simple updates that are freely available on Dell's support page (and which should be automatically download via the Dell app that comes pre-installed) and with those updates installed people shouldn't have an issue now. A non-technical user having issues has presumably deactivated this very useful piece of software intended to keep their machine working properly.

It can't be the same size, the DA200 is the depth of a VGA port - this is clearly twice that depth, and a larger surface area on plan too.

Well that was a needlessly condescending relaying of one person's experience as if it were a universal truth.

We've had several DA200 in the office, with several XPS 13, the firmware and driver updates have not made them all work without issue, the problems are deeper; the many 1* reviews on Amazon and Dell's own website are testament to that. Dell's pre-installed update tool is not the great panacea you claim and it causes as many support problems as it fixes; for example pushing BIOS updates that trigger Bitlocker recovery. Updating drivers and firmware is not always a good idea when done by people who don't fully understand what they are doing.

According to the internet the DA200 is 6.6 x 6.6 x 1.7 cm, that sounds about right but I don't have one to hand to measure. I would say that whilst the DA300 is probably thicker than 1.7cm the diameter of the circle appears to be not much different to 6.6cm based on an eyeball comparison with the size of the ports. It's certainly not a different enough size that it would change the portability or possible usage patterns.
I'm reporting my experience. Sorry it isn't yours, but if you find that condescending that's your problem. You stated “non-technical user” above, but now you say you have several in an office? So that office presumably has IT support? Is the IT manager on the case? Configuring work machines is not “non-technical user” responsibility, that's for IT to set up the machine and ensure it keeps working properly.

No BIOS updates needed IIRC, it was simple driver patches to the thunderbolt and networking. If they don't want the full suite of Dell updates auto-downloaded they can cherry pick from the Dell Support website. You can even set the Dell software to only advise and not auto-download if you want a half-way house.

The DA200 I have here is 60x60x12mm, (and rounded on two edges so 60 across is at the widest point). Edit - just checked the rev and it is A02 - are yours an older version if they are a larger size?

It has on one side the network port and usb3 port next to each other. The DA300 as in the image below, skews these, and inserts an additonal USB-C in between, with a similar socket spacing and edge clearance either side. Ergo, it would appear it has to be wider to do so.



However, the overhead shot alongside the XPS13 shows it roughly the same size as the height of the trackpad - which on my machine measures 6cm, so unless they've made the trackpad bigger on the newer models it might be a similar size on plan. We'll have to wait and see. It is definitely going to be deeper though, and that sucks when you need to slip it into laptop wallets with the device.