Have you ever wondered where you should put your laptop when you want to charge it, keeping it out of the way while still showing it off? Henge Docks has something which may be of interest to you.
The nice folks at Henge Docks have plenty of interesting bits of docking hardware; this particular one is a vertical docking station for your MacBook Pro. They have 13”, 15” and 17” models available, as well as vertical docks of the same style available for MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro Retina. The unit is made from a durable alloy with a finish to match the brushed aluminum look of your laptop.
For this article, I’ll be reviewing the specs the 13” MacBook Pro Retina version, since that is what I have in front of me. The docking unit is 10.2” x 6.3” x 5.1” and a lean 0.69 pounds. The base comes with male-to-female pass-through cables: Thunderbolt (x2), USB (x1), 1/8” Audio In/Out (x1) as well as a hex key which snaps into a hidden recess in the bottom of the unit so it can always be o hand without becoming clutter.
Inside the unit are connector points for the left side of your laptop, including a spot for your power cable. This is the Achilles heel of the unit; there are small plastic adaptors which allow you to use a set screw to mount your power cable to the base, which provides power but locks your power cord to the base. Unless you want to buy a second power cable (and we all know it is important to be wary of aftermarket products when it comes to charging Apple devices), or if you want to demount the power cable every time you travel with your laptop, your power cable is stuck with the dock. There are a couple of different adapters so the current and previous generations of power connectors are covered. There are even some ventilation holes to help keep your laptop from overheating.
As far as the function goes, I had no problems sliding the laptop into position and getting a good connection. You will need both hands to un-dock because the base is not that heavy, but it is relatively easy to insert and remove your laptop. Make sure you are set up for running your computer in clamshell mode, and (this is very important) make sure you have a monitor to which you can connect. Not just any monitor will do; you need to be able to use the connector(s) which come with the base. It is also handy if you have a wireless keyboard and mouse ready to go as well, since the MacBook Pro only has 2 USB ports and one of them will be standing a foot off the top of your desk.
The cables are held neatly in place by a friction fitting on the side of the dock. You can move a cable up or down a slot with a firm push, and when in place, all of your cables are in a nice, tidy stack. All of the connector points, including power, are secured with a hex head set screw so you can adjust as needed. The row of set screws is protected by a rubber strip, so the outside maintains a sleek look.
Both the 13” and 15″ units are $119, which isn’t too bad for a solid piece of hardware. The Henge Docks vertical laptop dock is a stylish piece of engineering, and it does its job very well. As mentioned earlier, about the only negative is not having a built in jumper for the power supply. If there was a jumper which allowed the user to attach the Magsafe power connector to the outside of the base, it would be just about perfect. Personally, I would also like to see a wee bit more flexibility in the monitor connection options, but maybe that’s the realm of other types of docking stations.
If you are good with the limitations, this is a good piece of kit; it looks nice and it’s a decent value for money.
Provides: Docking functionality specifically for MacBooks
Developer: Henge Docks
Minimum Requirements: MacBook Pro Retina (models available for other MacBooks)