Dear Apple, I Shouldn’t Have to Rely on Linedock for a Better MacBook

Full transparency, Apple keeps the lights on for a lot of third-party companies in many ways, typically in accessories — one of the biggest markets for them happens to be in the form of USB-C docks. And one of those companies is Linedock. But why Apple? Why?

So the Linedock initially after unboxing looks like a Macbook coaster for your MacBook, and that’s saying a lot. It’s everything your $2000 MacBook should come included with but somehow opted to disregard for the sake of slimming down the profile of the laptop itself. The Space Grey slab of aluminum (also available in Black) is one of those pocket USB-C docks gone full “Honey I Blew Up The Kids”, sitting under your MacBook giving you all of the ports and storage you desired from Apple.

It boasts a multitude of ports, including three USB-A ports (for you know, charging and syncing your iPhone with the cable Apple included in the box when you purchased it, three USB-C ports, an SD card slot (because yes we still use those), an HDMI port (because who would’ve thought not everyone relies on AirPlay), and an optional SSD for 256GB or 1TB.

The SSD surprised me the most because you get SO much for the $349 price tag (thank you for making it all make sense, Linedock), one would think “why didn’t Apple just purchase Linedock to implement this?” I will say though, there is no Ethernet port, but that’s a small caveat that is said to be improved in the 15″ model. I am reviewing the 13″ Linedock so pardon the size difference between it and my 15″ MacBook Pro.

Design-wise, Linedock is just absolutely fantastic. It measures 11.97″ wide by 8.36″ deep by 0.35″ thick, and it weighs 2 pounds. There’s a built-in 20000mAh battery built-in that will get you through a flight coast to coast, plus that hour you’ll be waiting in the airport.

Specifications:

Ports

  • USB-C: 3
  • USB: 3
  • HDMI: 1
  • Mini DisplayPort: 1
  • SD Card Reader: 1

Data Speed

  • USB-C: USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5GB/s)
  • USB: USB3.0 (5GB/s)

Storage

  • Capacity: 0GB / 256GB / 1TB
  • Physical dimensions: M2 2280
  • Sata: Gen 3.0
  • Encryption: AES-256

Video support

  • HDMI: 2.0 / 4K / 60Fps
  • (Mini) Display Port 1.4 / 4K / 60FPS
  • USB-C: DisplayPort 1.4 / 4K / 60Fps

Battery

  • Capacity: 19,350mAh / 71.61Wh
  • Power Output: 60W
  • Airplane: OK

Power

  • 60W from the battery (L & R port)
  • 100W pass-through (from the central port)
  • 196.5W equivalent with Power Allocation Function

I spoke earlier regarding the Storage of the Linedock. There’s a flash SSD built into it that allows you extra memory. Linedock says while you can upgrade the memory, it will void your warranty, so try that at your own risk. It’s said the 15″ model will have even more storage, and I’m game for it as my MacBook Pro’s 1TB storage is severely lacking in 2020.

One of the highlights of the Linedock comes in the form of a feature called “Saiyan Mode” that with the double-tap of the power button can fast charge any device from any of the USB-C ports. I’ve already used this twice on my flight to Denver, and it’s honestly my favorite feature. Linedock states to not use this while your laptop is stacked on top of it as it could potentially overheat both your Macbook and the Linedock. I believe what they say and would rather not ruin my $2K+ investment.

During my limited testing of the Linedock for the 13″ MacBook Pro (mainly due to the power charging requirements of my 15″ MPB), I didn’t want to potentially harm my device but all of the ports work as they should, most specifically the USB-C ports. My 2016 MacBook Pro has a dislike for connected USB-C cables, which is why I’m glad the U shaped USB-C plug that connected the MacBook to the Linedock sits flush and doesn’t move around or gets dislodged. I’m still waiting to see what’s in store for the 15″ model, mainly for the additional storage (because I fully intend on using it). Not only is the Linedock a means of making your MacBook more user-friendly, with the added storage and functions it extends the longevity of your investment (and those USB-A cables) for a couple more years until we FINALLY reach the USB-C Exclusive future.

 Linedock starts at $349 for the base unit with no internal memory and goes up to $749 for the 1TB version. Available in Space Gray, or Matte Black you can purchase directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer Supplied Review Unit

What I Like: Looks like an Apple-built product; Adds all of the ports they took away and more; Saiyan Mode is great for quick charges

What Needs Improvement: Gets warm in the lap when charging; No way to attach to the bottom of the MacBook (for ventilation purposes) for easier carrying outside of the U-shaped charger

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About the Author

Greg Alston
Diehard Apple fanboy, and lover of all things tech. Born and raised in Washington, DC, Greg enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, family and friends, live sporting events, good bourbon, Tetris, and pizza. In that order.