Today I received the long awaited Retina MacBook Pro 15″ dock from Henge Docks, I must say I am surprised with the quality of the materials they used on the construction.
It looks sturdy and the finish of the aluminum makes it looks as an extension of the laptop itself. Although I created my own USD 2 DIY dock some time ago and I’ve been using this since I purchased my first late October 2013 rMBP, I was waiting for this particular dock because I don’t have to plug or unplug any cables at all to use it.
As you can see, the dock incorporates all the connectors for this MacBook Pro model, and all the cables to connect your stuff go down as you can see on the second picture.
So you untangle all the cables and plug your devices accordingly. In my case I have a Dell 27″ screen that connects to through displayport, an Apple keyboard, speakers, USB 3 hub and a thunderbolt Apple Gigabit ethernet adapter.
Also, the dock comes with 2 plastic adapters for the MagSafe 1 and MagSafe 2 connectors. So I just placed it in and fixed the connector with a little tool (included with the dock) by just following some simple instructions that come on a little nicely printed booklet.
I connected all to each respective cables, hold them together with the same stripes it was shipped and placed them again tidy under the dock. Then I just slided my MacBook through the rubber protected slot so there is no risk of scratches. The connectors fixed really easy and tight and I was able to start working immediately with my laptop completely docked.
I quickly made some tests by taking it out from the dock (you have to use one hand to support the dock from one of the sides facing the desk, and with the other hand you lift it disconnecting all ports at the same time. It might not be the best system, but it works fine.
How can it get improved
Although the overall impressions are really good and I am happy with the product, I think some things can be improved. Here are my ideas for Henge Docks, they might want to try to incorporate them on their next version of this lovely dock.
Left and Right positioning
In my current desk setup, I have my laptop docked on the left side of my desk, but for the cables coming out from my dock to face backwards I would have to place my laptop pointing the nice Apple logo to the wall, and it was not looking nice. So I ended up pointing the dock with its cables forward.
I think a solution for this should be rather easy, Henge Docks could just create a false removable aluminum cover on one of the sides and behind it could also offer a cable organizer too, this way the dock can be used in both setups, right and left and you just setup the cable organizer side accordingly to be able to face the cables backwards.
On this two pictures, you can see, on the left the cables are pointing forward to be able to display the Apple logo. But on the right you see how to be able to place the cables backwards, you would see the bottom of the laptop, which doesn’t look very nice.
To undock the laptop, you need to place one hand flat on the wing and grasp the upper end of the computer security with the other hand and firmly pull the computer vertically to disconnect all ports. I think this method can be improved by creating like a “pusher” which you can press from one of the sides of the dock and the laptop could be pushed from the bottom gently and uniformly to disconnect all the connectors.
Together with this, or as an alternative they could provide micro suction technology like the one provided by the Everdock docks for phones and tablets (soon I will write a review about them too).
Another great improvement for a dock like this, would be to be able to have extra ports, like for example an incorporated gigabit ethernet port, a USB 3 Hub of multiple ports (at least 4). All these maybe running through a Thunderbolt port but not closing the daisy chain to you could still plug 2 screens. Maybe some other nice things can be included too, I wouldn’t mind to see 1 or 2 more CM of hight to allow all this to fit on the base, I think the added value of the extra ports would be an amazing deal. Hey, it could also be as an add on, so all the users of the existing docks could just clip in the multiple ports hub :).
The vertical docking station for the MacBook Pro with Retina Display from Henge Docks its a great product and solves the problem of handling a lot of cables when having to dock and undock the laptop if you use it in clamshell mode (with the screen closed).
The price is USD 119 for the brushed metal version, or USD 89 for the white glossy one, check out the product page for more details.
Lets see how the product performs over time and if the laptop ports suffer any scratches around them while docking and undocking, for now I can recommend this product as a great dock for your Retina MacBook Pro that will keep making it look as nice as the laptop itself!.