MacBook Pro + iMac + Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station = Awesome

The title of this review post — MacBook Pro + iMac + Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station = Awesome — says it all. Henge Dock’s newest MacBook Pro dock is not only a thing of beauty, but it also helps turn your MacBook Pro into the best desktop ever. Available in metal or plastic, it’s a great addition to your work desk.A few months ago I began using my MacBook Pro as my desktop computer. To be accurate, it served me as my only computer for a time, but a few months ago I pulled an iMac out and began using it as a 27″ display for the laptop. My logic was simple — the MacBook Pro has plenty of power and a 15″ screen. That’s nice, but 15″ certainly isn’t the 27″ of the iMac. The iMac, on the other hand, has a huge, gorgeous screen, but is not nearly as zippy as the laptop. By using the MacBook Pro as the computer and the iMac as the display, I got the best of both worlds… and my best desktop computer ever.

Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station

At first I simply plugged the laptop into the iMac and left it sitting in its normal, horizontal position. That worked well enough but it did waste a good amount of desk space. It also meant I had to unplug all the accessories one by one when I wanted to take the laptop with me. With the Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station I save space, have a far easier time disconnecting the laptop and it looks great too!

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The dock is available in either Glossy White for $89. It weighs 1 pound. The Brushed Metal is $119 and weighs 3 pounds. The brushed metal version may be a bit more expensive, but it looks fantastic, matches the look and build of the MacBook Pro quite well and, perhaps most importantly, is three times the weight. As a result, it creates a more solid base for the computer. Thankfully that’s the version the company sent to me for review.

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Henge Docks describes their newest offering this way:

The Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro with Retina Display allows users to get the best features of a laptop, desktop and media center PC all from one computer, while simultaneously saving desk space. The sturdy construction lends stability to the dock and pre-installed extension cables allow for quick, easy set-up. The Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro with Retina Display saves you time and makes your life more efficient.

The Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station Ships With:
  • The dock
  • pre-installed male-to-female pass through cables which include:
  • Mini DisplayPort (x2)
  • USB 3.0 (x1)
  • TRRS Audio (x1)
  • An Integrated Hex Key
  • 2 MagSafe Adapter Tools
  • User Guide

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I love the fact that the cables came pre-installed. (I had previously tried one of their older docks and it was a BYOC- Bring Your Own Cables- affair.) There is, however, one area of setup that is required. Because Thunderbolt cables are so expensive (thank you very much Apple), the pre-installed cables are MiniDisplay rather than Thunderbolt. Since I wanted to get the speed and functionality that is only possible when I connect my laptop to the iMac using a Thunderbolt Cable, I needed to remove one of the pre-installed MiniDisplay cables and swap in my own Thunderbolt Cable. It took me a few minutes to figure this out, and then a few more to actually remove the one cable and properly insert the other. Had I actually read the instructions first, I would have saved myself a good bit of time. Translation: Any issues with swapping out the cables was an end-user fail and not an issue on the part of the Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station.

Once the swapping of cables was complete I inserted the MagSafe connector and locked it into position. This too is an item one needs to supply. With all the cables in place and things adjusted properly I went about connecting the USB 3.0 cable to a USB 3.0 port replicator. This way I am able to connect multiple peripherals with ease. I did not use the TRRS Audio Cable or the remaining MiniDisplay cable as they were rendered redundant for my purposes.

I positioned the dock next to my iMac, plugged the Thunderbolt Cable and was ready for the moment of truth.

Vertical Docking Station for the MacBook Pro Retina Display Pre Order | Henge Docks

Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station Features:

  • Thunderbolt ready. Fully compatible with both Apple Thunderbolt displays and cables for unsurpassed performance of your MacBook Pro with Retina Display.
  • Minimal setup, maximum versatility. Pre-installed Mini DisplayPort, USB 3.0 and TRRS audio extension cables allow for instant peripheral connection and support of dual monitors with ease.
  • Cable management. Built-in cable organizer keeps your cables in place, so they won’t interfere with your workspace.
  • Strategic airflow. Side and rear vents maximize cooling for optimal performance.

Vertical Docking Station for the MacBook Pro Retina Display Pre Order | Henge Docks

I positioned my MacBook Pro above the Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station and set it down into the dock. The ports were positioned perfectly and it was an excellent fit- even with the BodyGuardz skin that is protecting the notebook. I hit Command F2 on my iMac’s keyboard, waited a few seconds and, before I knew it, my MacBook Pro has a 27″ screen. Better yet, when I want to take my laptop with me disconnecting it now takes seconds.

The Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station is as refined a dock as you are going to find. It saves space, keeps you laptop safe, controls cables so you desk isn’t a mess and simply delivers on its promise of a superb dock that looks great and functions even better. This is a computer accessory I can recommend without hesitation! If your MacBook Pro doubles as your desktop stop reading this review and go buy it. Seriously, it is that impressive. Oh, and there’s a version for the 13″ MacBook Pro too! Learn more here.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station

MSRP: $89 or $119

What I Like: Amazing build-quality; Cables come pre-installed; Offers a simple and secure base for the laptop; Controls cable mess; Turns your laptop into a desktop with gorgeous refinement

What Needs Improvement: You’ll need to supply your own Thunderbolt and MagSafe cables; I didn’t read the manual initially and made my life more difficult

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

3 Comments on "MacBook Pro + iMac + Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station = Awesome"

  1. macgenius1 | June 29, 2014 at 7:30 pm |

    The Henge dock is THE worst dock I have ever used. It is total junk. I have put together many of them. The design also blocks part of the cooling vents on the back. Get a real Thunderbolt dock instead of this toy.

    • Have you actually used THIS dock? (which just began shipping so right now I believe only review units are in the marketplace)? If not this comment is totally ridiculous because it is not based on the actual item under review. I have been using this dock and have ZERO complaints. And THAT is based on actual experience.

  2. I have the exact same system, but I can not get the MacBook Pro to awake. Only once in a while when I hit cntrol-F2 I get a black screen, but it gets back to the iMac screen again. I can not get the MacBook screen to pop up.

    I have removed and installed the cables and I am pretty sure its not the reason… or? I use Thunderbolt.

    Any ideas?

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