Tuesday
May182010

Henge Dock Review

Overview

As a new owner of a just-updated 13" MacBook Pro, I was delighted to see the docking solution the folks at Henge Docks have come up with. Though the units quickly sold out on the website, I was able to snag one off eBay for around $50, though some units on eBay have sold for over $100. The dock itself uses setscrews to hold the various cables and connectors snugly in place, providing easy docking by dropping the MacBook into the dock. The dock itself comes with a full compliment of cables that connect to every port on the left side of the computer. The right side of the computer is exposed upwards to provide access to the CD/DVD drive. The IR receiver is also unexposed to allow for control via remote. 

For those that purchased a 2010 MacBook Pro, the power adapter that it comes with is not compatible with the dock. In addition, the only Mini DisplayPort adapters supported by the dock are those manufactured by Apple. I was fortunate that I had both an old power adapter from an old MacBook and that I had purchased the Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter when I purchased my MacBook Pro.
 

The Good

  • Well-build and sturdy; I feel comfortable using it to house my MacBook Pro.
  • Relatively inexpensive compared with other MacBook docks like BookEndz, as long as you don't start a bidding war on eBay for one.
  • Vertical position allows air to flow, keeping the MacBook cooler than if it were placed horizontally on a surface. 

The Bad

  • White marks on my MacBook Pro when I remove it from the dock. (These diminish somewhat after use)
  • The ethernet cable provided did not fit in the hole in the dock. I was able to finagle a cable that I already had into the slot, but time will tell how reliable the connection will be.
  • Space under the dock is cramped, especially due to the size of Apple's Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter. If all the ports are used, there is not enough room for all the cables and the adapter to exit and still have the dock flush with the table.
cramped space and exit, even though I'm not using FireWire and only using one USB cable

Conclusion

The dock is a brilliant idea, but the execution leaves a few things to be desired. Still, for $50, this dock is a good solution for those that use an external screen, keyboard, speakers, etc with their MacBook Pros. If you need wired networking, be prepared to provide your own cable. I suggest that the manufacturers provide a Mini DisplayPort extension cable and an ethernet cable that fits when they update the design. Overall I'd give it 3 stars (out of 5).
 
★★★
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