Henge Docks Docking Station for 15″ MacBook Pro Ver. B (HD01VB15MBP)
by: Dave Judy
The design of the Henge Dock vertical docking station is simple, sleek, and somewhat functional. If you have MacBook Pro this dock it should allow you to get the best features of your laptop and a desktop unit all in one. After a frustrating setup you just place your laptop down in the cradle and the monitor “should” light up in all its Apple glory. This of course will allow you to use an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, and external storage device. The new units are a more monochromatic gray and blend well with the Apple signature gray. My unit is white but still looks fine when docked with my Macbook Pro non-retina laptop.
Yes, you will have some setup to do. The Henge Dock has a series of empty spaces and a few small bags of hardware you will have to assemble before it can be used. The instructions are straightforward and are no problem to follow, but for those that have no mechanical ability you may have a moment of stress as you try to figure out the order in which the Henge Dock modules should be installed. Each module slides in and is secured with a set screw so that they will mesh up when the laptop is placed in the docking station. After attempting this for a good two hours I tossed the dock aside and just plugged my Mac in directly with the unattached Henge dock cables. I then tossed the base away and spent the rest of the time dreaming up creative ways to destroy the same cradle.
Also, not all cords are included with the Henge Dock. For instance, you may need to buy DVI and/or HDMI connection adapters if you have a monitor that requires them, and you will need to install those new cables into the docking station. This is at an additional cost, of course, but other than that it’s a minor inconvenience of time and money. For the most part these adapters will cost about $25 each and possibly the cost of shipping. You then just hope it will function once installed. Mine would never line up no matter what I did to make it work.
The Henge Dock would be very functional once you have everything fully assembled and you have adjusted the docking modules to fit properly (if possible). The docking and the undocking of your MacBook comes naturally and typically happens without any issue. Occasionally you will need to hold the actual dock down as you pull it out of the docking base or else the whole unit will pull away with the laptop. The reason for this is that the unit has some extra friction created by the connectors (if connected) inside and the mountain of cords that cause it to pull way from the desk. You can prevent this by simply holding the base down as you lift out your MacBook.
One (well, one more) thing that is a negative for the Henge Dock is the many cables that come out of the back of the Henge Dock base. These cables can set the base a bit off-center when they are new and stiff. I would imagine over time or with some effort you could secure these cables down and make the base sit as it was designed even when you do not have a MacBook docked in the Henge Dock base cradle. Unfortunately, all of these cables are needed to make the Henge Dock operate properly, so the cables are something you will need to contend with from the start.
All-in-all, this is one of those things you would be silly to not have if you own a MacBook in one of its many forms. The price (complete with adapters for under $100) is very reasonable for the expanded functionality that you get from your beloved Apple product. For some that don’t have a need for ever using a desktop it may be a waste of money, but for anyone that does it’s a must-have. You will love the style and the function and will forget the minor frustration of the setup the minute that you dock your MacBook and see that iOS desktop appear on the screen.
- Functionality would be great and expands your MacBook to a useful desktop.
- Looks great docked or when undocked
- Price is very reasonable (if it worked)
- Requires adapters and setup
- Cables are visible and a bit dysfunctional
- Lightweight and doesn’t stay put on your desk
- I couldn’t get the thing to even mesh up and work
- … did I mention that I could get it to work?
It looks good but it doesn’t work all that well, so if you ever are sitting at a desk and wish you had a larger monitor or a full-size keyboard and mouse, just order the cords to make it work and skip this one.