If you’ve owned a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, finding a vertical dock has been a bit of wait. In fact, the machine is going on two years old now. With Henge Dock’s new metal doc for the MBPr, the wait has definitely paid off. For a company known for great docking solutions for MacBooks, the company has really outdone themselves. Let’s take a look, shall we?
At its core, the Vertical Dock is a simple yet complex beast. It’s made of a metal casing and stand, and soft and secure inner-liner. The metal casing appears to be the same material used in the Gravitas iOS dock. It’s got a similar feel and that same neutron star-esque density. Make no mistake, you don’t want this dock falling on your foot. It also means that this is going to be a tough cookie to break. It’ll last longer than the machine it was made for. The MacBook is very securely seated with just a tiny bit of side to side sway possible. The outer feet make this almost impossible to knock over.
The MacBook Pro seats into the doc on the side with Thunderbolt Ports and the MagSafe. In all, it gives you extensions for your the TRRS audio cable with Mic and iPhone controls, USB 3.0, two Mini DisplayPort extenders for the Thunderbolt ports, and adapters for both kinds of the MagSafe power connectors. The slots for the Mini DisplayPort cables will also fit Apple’s Thunderbolt cables or the thunderbolt connector from the Thunderbolt Display. The audio jack has an optional 3.5mm optical to TOSLINK adapter. The other side has another USB 3.0, full size HDMI, and the SDXC card reader are left exposed and accessible.
The cables are held in place with an Allen screw. This can be accessed through a rubberized access panel on the right hand side of the dock. There are four screws for the ports and a master screw that also holds the MagSafe connector. You don’t need to go searching for a tool since one is hidden in the bottom of the dock. There is also a built-in cable management system in the back and plenty of room in the base to hide the portion of the cables you don’t need to use.
Standing it up vertically seems to cool the MacBook Pro much better than your desk. I have yet to hear the fan even once in the time I have been using this vertical dock. Removing it is as simple as lifting it up and taking it with you. That being said, you might want to invest in a second MagSafe power supply since that isn’t as easy to remove. As for the cons… I really can’t think of anything this dock could do better than it does. It’s pretty much perfect.
Pricing and Availability
The Henge Docks Mac Pro Retina Vertical Dock is $119 for both the 13″ and the 15″ version which I tested. That’s a little steep, but it may be worth it. If you want a more traditional plastic version of this dock, that can be had for $89. Since that heavy metal alloy is such an integral part of what makes this dock great, I can’t guarantee you’ll get the same stability and toughness.
If you use an Apple Thunderbolt display or other large screen display (or TV) with your MacBook Pro with Retina Display, the is something you definitely want to get. You’ll save a bunch of desktop space, cool your MacBook, and the cable management makes your desk a lot cleaner. This is a great product that looks fantastic and is virtually indestructible. For drawbacks, there really aren’t any other than the $119 you have to plunk down to buy one. In fact, I’m recommending this Henge Docks for a Geek Beat Editor’s Choice Award.
- Incredibly Well Made
- Matches MacBook Pro Retina perfectly in terms of both fit and finish
- Simple to Use
- Adjustment tool included in dock
- Almost impossible to knock over with heavy alloy construction
- Built-in cable management
- Improves cooling of the MacBook
- Apple has not bought Henge Docks and included one with every MacBook sold. This is as close to a perfect companion as you can get.