Kanex recently released the simpleDock, a docking/charging station for your MacBook Pro or Air. I’ve spent a few weeks using the dock on a daily basis, and it’s about time I shared my thoughts.
- 3 USB 3.0 ports
- Dedicated 10W USB port
- Gigabit Ethernet port
- Not enough room to hide cables
I had never really thought about using a dock of any sort with my MacBook Air until some recent changes in my workflow. I started working from home full time. The plan was to connect my MacBook Air to my much slower 27-inch iMac, essentially using the display of the iMac as an external monitor for my MacBook, and nothing more.
Upon doing this, I realized I wouldn’t be able to share the Ethernet connection my iMac enjoyed with my MacBook Air, so when offered a chance to test out the Kanex simpleDock, which includes a Gigabit Ethernet port, I had to say yes.
Setup is easy and requires nothing more than deciding where to place the dock and plugging in a few cables. The top of the dock has a smooth finish, with a slot for a charging cable to connect to your device of choice. The underside of the dock leaves room for excess cable to be routed and stored in, but it’s not enough. The USB cable that connects your Mac to the dock is long, and when bundling the excess in an attempt to hide it under the dock, the dock no longer sits flat. And that’s from just one cable. The only change I would make on the dock after my time with it is to include shorter cables, or cables that don’t take up so much real estate.
In addition to providing a Gigabit Ethernet connection (which does require you to install a driver from Kanex before it will work), you can take advantage of 3 USB 3.0 ports and a dedicated 10W charging port.
The added USB connections along with another port dedicated to only charging devices even when you’re not “docked,” is invaluable. We consumers sure do love the slim look of thin laptops such as the MacBook Air, but the look comes at the cost of losing out on ports. The simpleDock is a quick and easy way to gain some ports while looking good.
At first, the Kanex simpleDock appears to be nothing more than a USB hub, until you get to the fact that it carries over that Gigabit Ethernet connection, becoming so much more. For those who are looking to gain extra ports, along with the added functionality, you can’t go wrong. Just be aware if you’re the type who likes a completely clean desktop, you’re going to have trouble hiding all the cables and wires going in and out of the simpleDock.
You can sign up to get notified when the simpleDock becomes available to ship, which should be in the last week of November, on Kanex’s website.
* Review sample provided by Kanex