Tales from the Gazebo – Rebuilding the Gazebo with Plugable

Rebuilding the Gazebo with Plugable
By Cape Rust

shutterstock_91306784As you can tell it has been a long time between Gazebo installments. Excuses are like underarms, everyone has them and they all stink, so no need for any of those….. The table-top gaming industry has continued to move forward and some of those advancements have been really exciting. D&D 5th Edition looms just over the horizon; Pathfinder continues to blaze a bold new trail and the little guys are not so little any more. I can’t say all is well, but right now is a pretty damn good time to be a gamer. With that in mind you might have noticed that RPC (Best website ever!) has changed not just in format, but in the type of content that we will cover; we have spread or geek wings to embrace even more geeky goodness (say geek one more time…. I dare you).

In that spirit I have decided to “rebuild” the Gazebo. I will still cover RPG stuff, but I want to branch out into general geekdom as well. Let’s face it, as much as we all love RPGs, there is an entire world out there just waiting to be covered. So with this re-built Geekzedo, I want to start by mentioning an uber geeky Kickstarter from a company called Plugabe. Before I get into the Kickstarter, I want to tell you a little about Plugable and why and how they caught my eye. A buddy of mine purchased a Dell Venue 8 tablet several months ago. I was impressed with it and became even more so when he showed me a video of a Docking Station that Plugable had developed that allowed the user to connect large monitors, keyboards, mice, and several other peripheral devices to the Venue 8 . The Venue 8 runs a full version of windows 8.1 so once I saw this it made sense. I mean the ability to use a tablet as a full desk top especially at the Venue 8s price point is wonderful.

I watched the video and as you can tell was really impressed by all of the things that the Plugable docking station could do, but it was what it couldn’t do that surprised me even more. Yes, you read it correctly, what it couldn’t do told me more about Plugable and the type of company it is. You see when the Venue 8 is plugged in to that docking station, it doesn’t charge. I don’t know all of the technical aspects of why it doesn’t charge, but while connected to the docking station the Venue won’t charge. While not a deal breaker, this aspect quickly turned this great product into a great but limited product. I am mentioning this because rather than cheating customers and not mentioning this one drawback, Plugable lets viewers and potential customers that the lack of charging is a problem.

I know this shouldn’t sound like a big deal, at least not as big as I’m making it, but stop for a minute and think about how many companies would just not mention this and place it as a note buried deep in the instructions. When you stop to think about it, you can probably think of plenty of companies that have or would omit something like that. Plugable was not only upfront about it, but they cautioned potential customers about the problem. I contacted their media department to request a review copy of this amazing product and not only were they glad to help me, they warned me about the charging problem before they shipped me the review copy. The customer service folks at Plugable fell over each other to help me and I don’t think I’ve ever received a review product that quickly.

Fast forward to a few days ago; Plugable has solved the charging problem and have launched a Kickstarter to bring the Plugable Pro8 Docking Station with Charging for Venue 8 Pro to the public. This product has all of the same great features of its predecessors, with the added benefit of charging the Venue 8 while in use. Put simply, this turns that inexpensive tablet into a desktop replacement. Having pursued the Kickstarter offerings, some of them looked really good and if this is the type of product you are looking for and would buy anyway, why not get some additional benefits for buying it? When you support this Kickstarter, you can be sure that Plugable will support this product; they put customers first and I have seen that in action, first hand. Head Over to their Kickstarted and see if it is something you might be interested in. If the Plugable Pro8 Docking Station with Charging for Venue 8 Pro isn’t a product you think you might be interested in check out all of the other great customer centric products Plugable has to offer a www.plugable.com

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