As someone who uses a laptop for all his computer needs, the ability to quickly and easily connect multiple peripherals to it at home or work is more important than ever. The $119 Kanex simpleDOCK is an effective and elegant solution. The expansion dock and charging station looks great, works well and is, best of all, fast!
The 3-port USB 3.0 hub is surprising on multiple levels, and while the price might initially make some potential buyers balk, the device works so well –and looks so great doing its job — that it deserves serious consideration. Here’s why.
Kanex simpleDock’s 3-in-1 solution: provides you with a fast networking experience, mobile device charging and access to everyday USB devices.
Connecting your MacBook has Never Been Easier: Perfect for the home or office, simpleDock makes it easy to connect the peripherals and mobile devices you use everyday. Simply plug in your USB hard drive, printer or card reader for an instant connection. For access to a reliable, wired network connection, use the Gigabit Ethernet adapter.
Inside the box you get the simpleDOCK, an AC wall adapter, international wall adapter adapters and a USB cable for connecting the simpleDOCK to the laptop.
The first thing I noticed when I pulled the Kanex simpleDOCK from the box was just how heavy it was. Years ago I purchased various dock/expansion solutions for my tablet pcs and I was, time and again, amazed by how expensive something so light and cheap was. That is anything but the case here. The simpleDOCK is made from quality materials and, as a result, it has the look and feel of a refined computer accessory. That’s because it is made from a zinc alloy material that not only looks and feels substantial but also perfectly matches the design of Apple’s current laptops. As a result, it has the appearance of something that Apple would actually offer were they in the MacBook peripheral business.
Kanex notes that the simpleDOCK offers a “solid desktop docking station” and I have to agree… it is a solid accessory. More important however, it is a solid accessory that gets the job done!
As you might expect, multiple accessories can be connected to the simpleDOCK itself but they, in turn, all a single connection from the simpleDOCK to the laptop itself. More importantly, the three USB ports on the simpleDOCK offer the speed of USB 3.0 rather than the frustratingly slow speeds of the more common USB 2.0. USB 3.0 speeds translate to data transfers of up to 5 Gbps. In addition, if you are using older and/or slower peripherals the ports are backward compatible with USB 2.0.
In addition there is an Ethernet port that also connects to the MacBook through the same single USB 3.0 connection. That means you can connect three USB peripherals and an Ethernet peripheral at the same time.
But there’s more. You see, the simpleDOCK has a USB power port on the back that can quickly and easily charge your smartphone. It is a great way to make use of the top surface of the dock and eliminate yet another piece of clutter from your desk.
Park and Charge Your iPhone: The dedicated charging port delivers 2.1 Amps of power to charge your iPhone and iPad. The innovative design keeps charging USB cables hidden, and serves as a desk valet to keep your smartphone within reach.
How’s that for a multifunctional desk accessory!?!?
And, thanks to the design of the base, any extra cable remaining from the USB-to-Lightning char gins cable can be hidden away beneath the simpleDOCK. I do wish the unit had a way to secure the extra cable in place but, so long as you don’t move the dock around too much, it should remain nice and tidy.
The simpleDOCK is a solid, refined desk accessory that can make attaching high-speed peripherals to your MacBook… simple. The ability to also establish a wired Ethernet connection AND charge your smartphone are added bonuses to a product that already did a great job of keeping this organized. For someone like me, someone who uses a laptop full-time, is always charging a smartphone and needs to connect external drives and scanners this is a fantastic solution.
And the fact that it fits right in with the aesthetics of Apple’s current laptop lineup is a huge added bonus. It even matches the Ergotron sit/stand desk that I reviewed last month. Here’s a look at it on video.
You can learn more and order yours here.
What I Like: Looks great and feels solid; Offers a wired Ethernet connection and three USB 3.0 ports; Charges your smartphone and serves as a valet
What Needs Improvement: I would love more cable management beneath the dock
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample