| Cult of Mac

DockCase USB-C dock with display smartens up connectivity [Review] ★★★

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The display isn't life-changing, but it can be useful and it's kind of cool.★★★
The display isn't life-changing, but it can be useful and it's kind of cool.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

After trending toward fewer and fewer ports for a while, Macs have added some back lately, offering better connectivity for the latest laptops and desktops. But it never hurts to have a dock to connect additional devices, share files and distribute power — and now you can get one with an informative display.

DockCase has shaken up the fairly boring world of USB-C docks with its new series. The company sent me its 7-in-1 USB-C Smart HD Display Dock Pro to take for a spin. DockCase said it’s the first to offer such a dock with an HD display.

Price is right for potent, 3-port Ugreen GaN Fast Charger [Review] ★★★★☆

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UGreen's 65W GaN charger can top off three devices at once.★★★★☆
UGreen's 65W GaN charger can top off three devices at once.
Photo: DAVID SNOW/Cult of Mac

Strange to think that until quite recently, people carried around separate chargers for each device. And some people still do. But if you’re on the go for work or leisure, wouldn’t it be much better to bring one compact charging device and a few cables?

With compact and potent gallium nitride (GaN) chargers, you can — if yours has the requisite power and ports.

The Ugreen 65W GaN Fast Charger seems like a Goldilocks type, in that regard. At 65W of power output, it’s strong, but not as big as even more-potent chargers. And it has three ports to cover your basic charging needs.

Anker’s bulked-up battery pack broadens charging options

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The new Anker 633 Magnetic Battery packs a 10,000 mAh capacity.
The new Anker 633 Magnetic Battery packs a 10,000 mAh capacity.
Photo: Anker

If you’re one to suffer charging anxiety while out and about, Anker has your cure. It unveiled its latest portable, MagSafe-compatible charging bank Monday, the Anker 633 Magnetic Battery.

The beastly little brick packs a 10,000mAh battery capacity, Anker’s first product of this kind to do so. Plus it features speedier wireless charging than some previous packs as well as spritely USB-C charging when you just want to pull out a cable and get it over with.

Every MacBook and iPad user should carry these 3 adapters

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Every MacBook and iPad user needs these 3 adapters
A small collection of adapters can really make your life easier.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Adapters simplify the sometimes-messy process of connecting things to our computers. I regularly travel, and I’ve found there are three USB adapters that get me through most of my connection problems.

If you, for example, suddenly need to use a new accessory at a client’s office, or get power at an airport, these adapters will get you through. And they are very affordable.

Go off-grid with Anker’s new portable power station

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Need to live in the woods for a while? This could help.
Need to live in the woods for a while? This could help.
Photo: Anker

Whether you’ve suffered a power outage, decided to go on a camping trip or finally realized you need to ditch civilization once and for all, Anker’s burly new 757 PowerHouse portable power station can help.

With a powerful battery and loads of ports, it’s for anytime you go off-grid.

Apple stops trying to kill USB-A, HDMI and SD

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Apple gives up trying to kill USB-A, HDMI and SD
Even Apple’s newest Mac Studio desktop has USB-A and HDMI. And there’s an SD card reader on the front.
Photo: Apple

For years, Apple seemingly worked to finish off the old USB-A and HDMI formats, as well as the SD card reader. It quit building them into most of its products, replacing them all with smaller USB-C ports. But that campaign appears to have stopped… at least for now.

You need look no farther than the newly announced Mac Studio for proof. It has USB-A, HDMI and an SD card reader.

It’s a sign that Apple is in a tough spot. There are good reasons to kill all of these. And an overwhelming reason to keep them. Let’s discuss.

Tiny keychain cable charges gadgets and opens bottles, too [Review]

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The High Six features USB-C, USB-A and Lightning connectors.
The High Six features USB-C, USB-A and Lightning connectors.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

If you want to be a helpful elf after the holidays — always ready to help charge up people’s devices and open their bottled beverages — you can be. Just carry the nifty little Vonmählen High Six 6-in-1 keychain charging cable in your pocket, with or without keys.

The review sample I received didn’t look flawless or work exactly as advertised, but the company said it will address some issues before it commences shipping the High Six in January 2022, as described below.

Can your iPhone charger open your beer? This one can.

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The High Six compact charging cable and adapter set is also a bottle opener -- all on a keychain.
The High Six compact charging cable and adapter set is also a bottle opener -- all on a keychain.
Photo: Vonmählen

German accessory designer Vonmählen is rolling out a 6-in-1 keychain pocket tool called the High Six – which it said is “the world’s most compact key chain charging cable.” In addition to its various adapters for your charging and data-transfer needs, it has a bottle opener. You know, for your refreshment needs.

In no hurry? Sleek, compact Zens 4-in-1 magnetic charger tops up your gear. [Review]

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The aluminum build gives the Zens Magnetic + Watch Wireless Charger a sense of premium quality.
The aluminum build gives the Zens Magnetic + Watch Wireless Charger a sense of premium quality.
Photo: David Snow / Cult of Mac

The Zens Magnetic + Watch Wireless Charger stands in the ranks of MagSafe-compatible chargers designed to be your go-to device for juicing up multiple pieces of Apple gear — and the sleek and compact 4-in-1 device does it in style. But not with a huge amount of charging power.

The Zens Magnetic + Watch Wireless Charger tops up four devices — all at once, if you like.

A puck on a dark metallic stem holds a MagSafe iPhone (12 or 13 series) firmly in place, horizontally or vertically. The surface underneath charges an AirPods case or any Qi-enabled device. A USB-A charging stick lets you top off an Apple Watch in Sleep mode. And a USB-A port on the side powers up something else, like an iPad.