Henge Dock For MacBook Air: Keeps Your Desk Neat & Tidy, But Could Do More [Review]


Please excuse my dreadful wallpaper.

If you use your MacBook with a Thunderbolt Display at home or at the office, and you don’t use your MacBook’s display as a secondary monitor, then a Henge Dock is a great way to keep your desk neat and tidy.

Available for all recent MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros from 11 to 17 inches — with prices ranging from $55 to $75 — it provides you with a place to dock your MacBook in a vertical position so that it takes up as little space as possible. Its integrated ports mean you can still all of your notebook’s USB ports, its MagSafe connector, audio jack, and more.

The Henge Dock promises to be the “first truly comprehensive docking station solution for Apple’s line of notebook computers” There are some things it could do better, however.

The Good

The Henge Dock does a fantastic job of creating space on your desk and reducing clutter. Even if you only use an 11-inch MacBook Air, you’re saving a lot of space by turning your notebook on its side. You can even hide it away behind your Thunderbolt display if you’d like, which means all those wires are out of your way.

The Henge Dock is also ideal for those who use their MacBook within a home theater system.

It looks good, too. Its white plastic design with little grey details looks a lot like something Apple would have made prior to making a full switch to aluminum, and it works well against a Magic Mouse and Apple Wireless Keyboard.

It’s also very sturdy. The base of the Henge Dock measures approximately 14cm by 15cm, and it’s relatively heavy — especially with your MacBook inside — and so your device will take a good push without being toppled over.

Inside the Henge Dock, there’s a soft rubber wall, approximately 4mm thick, that ensures your MacBook can be pushed and pulled in and out of the dock without being scratched. It does have a tendency to collect dust and debris, however — depending on how dirty your desk is — and so it’s worth ensuring that nothing gets trapped inside that could scratch your MacBook before you slide it in.

Thanks to the Henge Dock’s integrated ports, you can still take advantage of its USB and Thunderbolt ports, and anything else your notebook has on its outer edge, like the audio jack and SD card slot (if you have a MacBook Air). However, I believe on the MacBook Pro, the SD card slot is blocked, so that’s something to bear in mind if you’re a MacBook Pro owner.

The Bad

I can’t help but think the Henge Dock could do a little more. There’s plenty of space on its back edge — next to the USB and Thunderbolt connectors — and I’d love to see the Henge Dock turn that one USB port into two or three USB ports, just like the Thunderbolt display does. Having just the one seems a bit of a waste.

I’d also like to see better cable management for those that stick out of the top of your MacBook. With my MacBook Air, for example, I have an audio cable to my speakers, an external hard drive, plus the MagSafe adapter, which all look incredibly messy dangling down the sides.

The Henge Dock provides a small groove for the MagSafe cable, but adding another two, or even a small hook, would help keep things a great deal tidier.

The Verdict

There are a few things the Henge Dock is missing, which I’ve mentioned above, but these certainly aren’t major issues, and so they’re not going to cause you sleepless nights.

The Henge Dock is a really terrific idea, and for group of MacBook users — namely those who use Thunderbolt displays at their desk, or use their MacBook in a home theater system — it’s definitely worth taking a look at, especially if you’re looking at ways to save space and reduce clutter.

[xrr rating = 70%]