Review roundup: Best MacBook docks

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This week we look at docking stations for the MacBook. Docks let you stow your laptop out of the way. With its lid closed, and yet still use its brain to power a monitor and hook up to a mouse and keyboard.

Some docks are simple dumb stands, others offer hookups that the modern MacBook lacks, like HDMI and Ethernet ports.

Let’s take a look at three of the best.

SlateGo AirDesk, a portable laptop lapdesk

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Remember the Slate Mobile AirDesk, which I described as resembling a “neatly-drilled chopping board”? Did you look at it and think “I like that. I could see myself using one of those, if only it was a little smaller, so I could carry it in my bag.”

If the answer to either of these is yes (or to the second question, mostly), then you will be ecstatic at the news of the SlateGo, a slightly smaller version of the laptop lap-desk.

Desk 01 is one of the smartest yet simplest desks we’ve seen

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You know the old saying: “Give a man a router, and he’ll turn a piece of wood into a perfectly-designed desk for the iPad-toting Mac user”?

Or was it “Give a man a router and he’ll set up a wireless network in your home office”?

No, wait, it was “Offer a man a router, and he’ll be forced to infer from context which device you mean to give him.”

Anyway, it’s a good saying, and it might apply to Artifox’s Desk 01, a desk which is equal parts beautiful and functional.

Pricey Aluminum Brick Fixes Your iMac’s Greatest Shortcoming

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Remember the Elevation Dock? Yeah, me too. The Kickstarter took so long to ship that everybody who’d ordered one had upgraded to the iPhone 5 by the time the dock shipped, so they needed adapters to make them fit their new phones.

Still, that won’t happen with the new Elevation Stand, which is a simple $100 aluminum brick that adds a few inches to the height of your iMac.

Lytro Illum, The First Light-Field Camera Worth Buying

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Lytro’s new Illum field Camera is the first of its products you’ll want to buy. The original Lytro Field Camera was a nice proof of concept, but the low resolution images were pretty crappy, and the unit itself was one of the least ergonomic camera designs I’ve ever seen.

The Illum still has some ergonomics issues, but promises much better pictures.