Warpia Wireless USB Easy Dock

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Product(s): Warpia Wireless USB Easy Dock
Provided By: Warpia

Price: ~$149.99 USD at time of publishing

 

 


Introduction: 

Today we've got a first here at BCCHardware as we're going to be taking a look at a new product from a new company, the Warpia Wireless USB Dock. This product is a wireless USB dock that allows you to wirelessly "dock" your PC or Laptop to an external monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse. This is the first product of this nature that we've taken a look at here at BCCHardware so it should be very interesting to see how this works and how easy it is for a "first time wireless USB" user to get it working.

This is the first product we've taken a look at from Warpia. Here is a quick rundown of who they are as per their website:

Warpia is an industry leading technology company providing Ultra Wideband (UWB) and Wireless USB solutions based on chip technology from Wisair. Warpia is committed to providing solutions that offer the best combination of performance, price, and power consumption for both professional and consumer wireless products

Warpia has a couple other products available now, you can find out more about these products over here.

In this review we will be taking a closer look at the Warpia Easy Dock in the next couple pages as well as comparing it head-to-head with another device in the "Comparison" section of this review.

 

First Impressions:

As soon as you open the box you can see that everything is pretty straight-forward and there isn't anything included that makes you scratch your head. Looks like everything should be pretty straight-forward to install.

 

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Warpia Easy Dock - Box Front
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Warpia Easy Dock - Box Back

The accessories included with the Warpia Easy Dock are pretty standard. You get the dock, 2 USB adapters, 1 DVD-VGA adapter and a power supply. The included documentation is pretty minimal (full manual is included on the CD) but with the included "Getting Started" sheet I was able to get everything running without any issues.

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Warpia Easy Dock - Included
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Warpia Easy Dock - USB Adapters

A cool feature of the Warpia Easy Dock is the ability to plug the USB adaptor into the front or top of the dock. This allows you to mount the dock on the back of a monitor and have the USB stick facing up, or if you have the dock sitting on a desk you can put the USB stick in the top and have it sticking up for better reception. The plastic cover on the front moves up and down and allows you to use either USB port while blocking the other power.

 

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Warpia Easy Dock - Dock (Front Port Accessible)
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Warpia Easy Dock - Dock (Top Port Accessible)



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Warpia Easy Dock - Adapter Installed (Front)
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Warpia Easy Dock - Adapter Installed (Front)

As you can see on the back of the dock, there isn't really anything too complicated, you're not going to be able to hook anything up wrong.

 

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Warpia Easy Dock - Dock Back View
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Warpia Easy Dock - Dock Bottom View


So there we go, that's what the Warpia Easy Dock looks like, let's move onto the next section for a closer look.


Warpia Wireless USB Laptop Docking Station Specifications:

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All specifications taken from Warpia.com

 

  • Wirelessly ‘Dock’ Your notebook anywhere in the room
  • Wirelessly connect your notebook/PC to a monitor, speakers, mouse and keyboard
  • Conveniently work with keyboard and mouse, without having to connect/reconnect cables
  • Plug & Play!

 

 

Detailed Specifications:

 

  • Supports resolutions up to 1400x1050 or 1440x900 (wide)
  • HD video up to 720P
  • 32-bit True Color depth for high quality images
  • Quick setup with pre associated (paired) Adapters
  • 48 kHz, 16-bit stereo audio
  • Fully standard solution (Wireless USB from the USB-IF)
  • Worldwide regulation compliance
  • Windows® 7/ Vista™SP2/ XP® SP3
  • Mac OS X Leopard (10.5)/Snow Leopard (10.6)

 

 

Docking Base

  • DVI and two USB connectors
  • 3.5mm audio out jack
  • 32-bit True Color support with display resolution of up to 1400 x 1050 (SXGA+)
  • Power Supply Unit 5VDC



PC and Device Adapters
 

  • USB type-A male
  • Internal antenna
  • Single LED - Power/traffic


Standards

  • Wireless USB 1.0, USB-IF certified
  • Certified WiMedia PHY and MAC
  • 3.168 to 4.752 GHz (WiMedia band group 1)


General

  • 128-bit AES security
  • Regulation compliant to US, Japan, Europe, Korea
  • Software drivers: Windows® 7/ Vista™SP2/ XP® SP3 and Mac OS X Leopard (10.5)/ Snow Leopard (10.6)
  • Input voltage: 100-240V, 50/60Hz
  • Operating temperature range: 0-40 C

 

 

 

Installation and Testing:

Software Installation

Before we can get started we need to install the software provided by Warpia on the CD in the box. I'm not really going to spend too much time on this section other than to say that installation was pretty simple and we had no issues installing the provided software on Windows 7 x64. It appears that the software automatically detects what version of Windows or Mac you are running and automatically installs the right version so you probably couldn't even screw this up if you tried.

Hardware Installation

For our testing we had the USB adapters about 20 feet apart with a clear line of sight. Warpia claims that these should work up to 30 feet away in the same room (they don't work well, or even at all if you try to use them in different rooms).

Installing the Warpia is pretty easy, plug the adapters into your pc after you finish installing the software and you will get a "USB pairing complete" message. Now you go plug one of the adapters into the Warpia dock and you should then get a software message that says complete and you'll then get a "green" icon in your taskbar. Once you are all connected you can check your settings and you should see a screen like the one below:

 

 

Now you're pretty much done, in our testing we found no major issues getting connected. We ran into a couple times when changing resolutions or playing with some of the advanced settings that we had the Warpia disconnect from our TV and weren't able to get it back without rebooting the software or the pc (or just re-seating the USB adapter). Overall it seems like when you get it all hooked up and running you shouldn't have much trouble. I was wondering if we might randomly drop connection over time, however I left this unit running for 4 days and I never once saw it drop connection or flash.

 

The software included with the Warpia Easy Dock is pretty simple and there really isn't much "tweaking" you can do. I've included a screenshot of the "Advanced Settings". As you can see in the picture below there isn't really much you can change other than the region and channel. Changing the channel was actually useful in our testing as we were using two separate devices at the same time and when put onto their own separate channels we found both units to work great with no interference.

 

 

There we go, installation was pretty easy and we got everything working, let's move onto the next section where we compare the Warpia Easy Dock to the IOGEAR Wireless Audio/Video Kit.

 

 

Warpia Wireless USB Laptop Docking Station - Comparison:

 

 

 

Warpia Easy Dock vs. IOGEAR Wireless Audio/Video Kit

Easy_Dock.jpg VS. GUWAVKIT_0.jpg

 

While testing the Warpia Wireless USB Laptop Docking Station I was a bit worried that I wouldn't really be able to go to in-depth with this unit other than providing a "Yes, it worked" and some thoughts on how well it worked seeing as we've never tested a product like this before and really had nothing to compare it to. Luckily I was able to borrow a IOGEAR Wireless Audio/Video Kit and we were able to test both of these units and I'll provide my findings on the differences between these two products.

 

Similarities:

  • Both allow you to stream Audio and Video from a PC to an external display and external speakers using Wireless USB
  • Both units are very easy to setup, the software of both might be considered "too basic" but for both products it worked as advertised and everything automatically connected.
  • Both units had issues streaming movies at 1440x1050, dropping the resolution helped video playback
  • Both units have an advertised range of 30 feet, both units worked at 20 feet away with no issues.

 

Differences:

  • Warpia unit offers 2 USB plugs on receiver and allows you to hook up Keyboard and Mouse (thus making it a "Wireless Docking Station")
  • IOGEAR uses two receivers, one for audio, one for video.
  • Warpia uses on reviewer and Audio, Video, and 2 USB ports all plug into the receiver.

 

Things I liked more about the Warpia:

  • Only one dock to plug in, simple to hook everything up.
  • The price tag. At ~$150 USD (compared to the ~$250 USD price tag of the IOGEAR) the Warpia is a much better value.
  • Mac and PC compatible.

 

Things I liked more about the IOGEAR:

  • More cables included. IOGEAR includes a VGA, 2 Audio, USB extension, USB A to mini-B, DVI to VGA adapter
  • Seemed to be a bit "Higher Quality" in its construction.

 

Winner?

It's a bit tough to declare a winner between these two products as they both have pro's and con's.

A big factor would probably be price and the Warpia easily edges the IOGEAR product by ~$100 USD which is pretty significant. Seeing as the Warpia can do everything the IOGEAR unit can (and more) chances are good if I was the one in the store buying a product of this nature I'd probably grab the Warpia Easy Dock.

 

 

Warpia Wireless USB Laptop Docking Station Final Thoughts:

This is the first time we have ever reviewed a "Wireless Audio/Video" product of this nature here at BCCHardware, so probably like most consumers buying this product we had zero experience connecting a product like this so hopefully our findings (and success) with this product is consistent with a first-time buyer. We weren't really sure how to test this product other than "Yes, it works" or "No, it doesn't" so for a good part of this review we compared the Warpia Wireless USB Docking Station to another similar product from IOGEAR (IOGEAR Wireless Audio/Video Kit). While these two products are aimed at different markets (Warpia is aimed more at the mobile laptop user wanting to use an external display and the IOGEAR is aimed more at the user who wants to hook their computer up to a TV) we found that both offered similar features and it was very interesting to be able to compare these products to each other and find out just what the differences were.


Setup and installation of the Warpia Wireless USB Laptop Docking Station was pretty simple. The software that is included is pretty straight-forward and works like it was supposed to and we were up and running in under 10 minutes from start to finish. We ran into a couple times where we lost display to the Warpia unit while trying to change screen resolutions and changing other settings, however a simple reboot fixed those issues and once we got the unit configured to our liking we found that things ran quite smoothly. Windows 7 allowed us to run our external display at 1440x1050 and for simple web surfing and basic tasks it was acceptable but a little on the choppy side when moving the mouse around (Warpia recommends using 720p resolutions of 1280x720 for best performance although it does support resolutions of up 1440x1050). When we dropped the resolution down a bit lower (1024x768) we found things to be a bit smoother during video playback (Windows 7 wouldn't let us set our resolution to exactly 1280x720).

Now let's talk about value. At ~$150 USD for this wireless USB dock my initial thoughts were that it was a bit high on the price, however after looking around for comparable devices (such as the IOGEAR Wireless Audio/Video kit that we compared this device to which retails for ~$250 USD and doesn't have as many features), we found the Warpia Wireless USD Laptop Docking Station to be a good price. Chances are good devices such as the Warpia Wireless USB Laptop Dock can be found online for a bit cheaper so if you keep your eyes out I'd assume you could probably snag this device for ~$125 USD.

When comparing this product to the IOGEAR Wireless Audio/Video kit we found one of the biggest differences (other than the price) to be the lack of included cables that come with the Warpia. We aren't going to dock the Warpia any points for this as the price is about $100 dollars cheaper than the IOGEAR, but for someone wanting to hook this wireless dock up to a TV like we did you will need to get a VGA and Audio cable to get that accomplished. Also a USB extension cable (like the one included with the IOGEAR unit) would be a welcome addition so that you can better position the wireless dongle that connects to your PC.


At the end of the day if you have the need for this product you probably won't be disappointed with the Warpia Wireless USB Laptop Docking Station. Overall it was pretty easy to setup and use and when compared to other products that offer similar features it is definitely less expensive. If you have a laptop that you want to be able to wirelessly connect to an external screen, keyboard, and mouse, the Warpia Wireless USB Laptop Docking Station might just be the product you've been looking for.

 

Pros:

  • Easy Software Installation
  • Easy Setup
  • Competitive Price
  • Works as advertised

 

Cons:

  • Lack of included cables (no vga cable, no audio cable)

 


  BCCRating
 Silver

 

I'd like to thank Warpia for sending us the Easy Dock. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.