I was actually a bit nervous that the dual ports on the Brydge Vertical Dock working as the middle man between my MacBook Pro and my Thunderbolt 3 Dock would have power issues, but everything was designed to work perfectly, and it does. That includes the two connected monitors automatically powering on when my Macbook is docked.
- Great build quality
- Frees up room on smaller desks
- Allows your MacBook ports to remain fully functional
- Works well with standing desks
- Keeps my MacBook cooler than when it is used without the dock
- I’d like to see a few additional ports to allow greater connectivity
- It can be difficult to get the docking action right on the first try
- May cause scuffing on the edges of your MacBook’s ports
To make my already cluttered standing desk a bit neater, I wanted to invest in a docking station that could sit behind my monitors, out of sight, out of mind. But it also needed to be functional and work with my existing setup. That’s how I landed on the Brydge Vertical Dock for the MacBook Pro. There’s a lot to love, but there are also a few things to consider before purchasing.
In my opinion, Brydge has never made a bad accessory. I’ve used a Brydge iPad case for years, and other members of the Gear Diary team have good things to say about Brydge’s products. So when I received the Brydge Vertical Dock for review, I expected high build quality and durability.
Immediately after unboxing, I noticed that the dock heavily mimics Apple’s MacBook Pro in color and style. Having the Space Gray MacBook Pro, it only made sense to go with the Space Gray Brydge Vertical Dock, and although the color is only slightly off, you wouldn’t tell unless you actually got close up and tried your hardest to make a comparison.
The Vertical Dock is a two-piece set consisting of a base and a dock. The base screws into the dock, which in turn allows it to stand upright without tipping over.
There is a lining inside the dock to guide the Macbook into place and properly align all of the connections. I have to admit, I tried about three times to actually make this sit flush before it worked, so you may or may not run into the same thing.
My specific MacBook Pro has two USB-C ports on each side, which works perfectly with Brydge’s Vertical Dock as it has two USB-C pass-throughs on the rear, allowing you to connect to other peripherals including your charging cable. This has continued to work flawlessly for me.
For my setup, I connect my Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Dock to the Brydge Vertical Dock, which not only allows it to add juice to the MacBook, but I can connect all of my items, including external hard drives, my two HDMI monitors, and more all through the Brydge to work in succession.
I was actually a bit nervous that the dual ports on the Brydge Vertical Dock working as the middle man between my MacBook Pro and my Thunderbolt 3 Dock would have power issues. Still, everything was designed to work perfectly, and it does. That includes the two connected monitors automatically powering on when my Macbook is docked.
One caveat to the Brydge Vertical Dock is that I’ve noticed that the dock is starting to scratch my MacBook’s ports slightly. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t have it sitting in the dock 24/7, as I constantly pull it out to do things from my couch, but I’ve noticed a bit of scuffing on the side that I plug into the Brydge dock.
I assume this has something to do with the dock springing up when you lift your MacBook Pro out of it, but I hope for Brydge’s next version of this dock, they can fix that. It would also be great if they could add a few more ports, ideally an SD card slot and one or two USB-A ports. If they did that, I could stop using an external dock to add all of my peripherals.
I consider the Brydge Vertical Dock a standing desk must-have for MacBook users. It offers practicality and stylish design and keeps the Macbook tucked away and secure, even while you’re raising and lowering your workspace.
I’m also extremely impressed with the ventilation capabilities; it seems that the Brydge Vertical Dock’s design keeps my MacBook much cooler than it was when I had it sitting out on the desk horizontally.
The scuffing near the ports is disappointing, but it’s a minor, aesthetic complaint and one that might not be an issue if you tend to place your computer in the dock for extended periods of time.
The Brydge Vertical Dock isn’t cheap, but if you’re using a MacBook to power a full desktop setup, it’s worth every penny. They make one that fits the 13″ MacBook Air, the 13″ MacBook Pro, the 15″ MacBook Pro, and the 16″ MacBook Pro.
The Brydge Vertical Dock sells for $169.99 (the 15″ MacBook Pro version currently on sale for $129.99); it is available directly from the manufacturer and other retailers, including Amazon.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Great build quality; Less clutter for your desk; Allows your MacBook ports to remain fully functional; Works well with standing desks; Keeps my MacBook cooler than when it is used without the dock
What Needs Improvement: I’d like to see a few additional ports to allow greater connectivity; It can be difficult to get the docking action right on the first try; May cause scuffing on the edges of your MacBook’s ports