About 6 months ago I purchased a Henge Dock for my 13” MacBook Pro and today it’s about time I give you my opinion on it.
The Henge Docks are a beautiful piece of kit designed to vertically dock your Mac laptop. All of the cables route out the bottom of the dock so everything is nice and clean on your desk and everyone knows a clean desk is a must have. To get a good idea of the Henge Dock in action watch their video I’ve embedded below.
Once I got past my initial excitement at a new piece of gear for my office I realized that there were a few little things that made the Henge Dock not quite as nice as I had thought.
First off is the fact that they didn’t take the time to make sure that their logo was on the same side as the Apple logo on top of the machine. I’ve got a wicked IronMan sticker on the top of my machine and I’d like to show it off but that also means I’ve got to show off all the little bolts that hold the cables in place. Sure not something that’s a deal breaker on the device but it’s obviously something that just didn’t have that last little bit of thought put in to it.
Overall I really liked the dock and the fact that it cleaned up my work area. I didn’t miss having two monitors since I’ve found over the last year that two monitors just increases the chance that I’ll put Twitter on one and get distracted. I loved that at night I could just stick the laptop in and know I’d have a full charge by the end of the day. It’s a bit annoying that you can’t power the machine on while in the dock and if you use your SD card slot often you’re kinda out of luck since it’s buried under the dock. You can pick the dock up and then get access to it but I doubt anyone is really going to do that.
###6 Months In
After 6 months I’ve just retired the Henge Dock. On top of the little things listed above I’ve started to have functional problems with it. Every few weeks I’ve got to reseat my video cable because it’s not connecting to my monitor at all. As soon as I pull it out of the dock and just connect the loose cables everything works fine.
In my effort to get the video cable seated properly and not slip I also cracked the stand. Yup make the bolts to tight and you’re going to crack the little pieces of plastic that divide the individual ports up. Heck it’s just plastic so of course too much pressure would break it and it’s good that the dock cracked instead of the cable but it still sucks. If the dock was built out of aluminium to match the MBP it obviously wouldn’t break but of course then the pressure would be placed on the cables, and I’d be afraid of the Apple video cable breaking. It’s unlikely that you’d be able to break the rubbery/plastic of USB or audio cables and since they’re cheap it wouldn’t really matter much anyway.
It’s also worth noting that I only had the power, USB, audio, and video cable installed. That’s about the minimum required to actually use the computer. I actually ran it without the audio cable via my Bluetooth headphones for a while as well and despite removing the options for a ‘bad fit’ in the dock I still had video issues.
I’m not upset about my purchase really just disappointed in the final product. I’ve found that it’s not really durable and that no matter how I worked with the video cable I’ve had issues with the monitor connecting. I haven’t seen anyone else report these issues so it’s possible that I’m in the minority but it’s still something to think about.
Would I buy a new one? Yes. If Henge comes out with something that has the potential to resolve my video connection issues by allowing me to have the cable tight enough that it doesn’t slip I’m all in. I still think that Henge has the best looking dock out there. I’d even still buy it if they didn’t fix the logo/bolt issue, but if I can’t actually use my computer without fail then the dock is entirely useless to me.
If you’d like to support the site and are looking at purchasing a Henge Dock here is an Amazon link.
###Update September 14 2011
Someone at Henge read this review and offered to replace my cracked dock at no charge. They also mentioned that because MBP ports are actually behind the case not through it, it’s possible that they could be out of alignment which would cause my wonky video connection. I’ve opened this up a few times to add RAM and swap in a new HDD so it’s entirely possible that I’ve mucked up the ports. A quick visual inspection leads me to believe they’re a bit off so when I get the new SSD in the mail and before I start using the new Henge Dock I’ll work at realigning them and see where we go.