Clean up your desk space with cool MacBook Pro docking station

Henge Docks docking station for MacBook Pro
Henge Docks
At a Glance
  • Henge Docks Horizontal Docking Station for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

I use a MacBook Pro as my main notebook for work, and when I’m in my cubicle I like to connect things like an additional monitor, storage drives and peripherals like a larger keyboard and wireless mouse. The best way to do this is with a docking station, but the last one I used required that I also prop up some books to rest the notebook on to create the dual-display effect I was looking for.

A much sleeker system comes from Henge Docks, which sent me its new automated docking station. The company makes two horizontal docks for MacBook Pro owners – one for MacBooks that have the Retina display ($399 introductory price, available for 13-inch and 15-inch models), and one for the new MacBook Pro (pre-order, coming soon). The dock features a metal chassis and 13 expansion ports (two audio ports, SD Card Reader, HDMI, six USB 3.0, power port, Ethernet, Thunderbolt 2 and mini display port). The slim profile of the dock makes for a much cleaner desktop look and feel.

But the coolest part is the automated docking. Using a four-point positioning system, the dock aligns the computer during the docking (it makes a nice whirring sound). When docked in this manner, the notebook is attached to the dock, and a button-push then can release the notebook from the dock. The system also comes with DockApp, a Mac app that provides firmware updates for the dock and also provides options for automatic docking/undocking if you don’t want to press the button. 

The automation part can get tricky if you don’t place the notebook correctly – I experienced a “whirring loop” once when the dock kept trying over and over to connect. My solution – unplug the power from the dock and then place the notebook on the device again (it doesn’t feel like the dock can self-correct).

Another complaint is that moving a lot of the ports from the sides of the Mac to the back (which is required) means that inserting memory cards gets a bit trickier. I have to lift the entire dock in order to find the card slot when loading up videos or images via the SD card.

Grade: 4 stars (out of five)

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
At a Glance
  • Henge Docks Horizontal Docking Station for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Take IDG’s 2020 IT Salary Survey: You’ll provide important data and have a chance to win $500.