Until Apple gets around to releasing an Apple iTV, to get your Mac desktop on your television or a large monitor you still have to plug in your MacBook Pro. That, if you are one of those tidy people, can be a very cluttered affair with a stack of cables strewn everywhere.
In steps the Henge Dock docking station that costs £59 and comes in a variety of sizes to deal with the MacBook, 13-inch Macbook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro, and 17-inch MacBook Pro. The unit will fit all MacBook and MacBook Pro models from 2008 right through to the latest models, although you have to make sure you get the right one. For our purposes we opted for the 13-inch MacBook Pro dock for our 2009 model.
The idea is that you dock your Apple laptop into the docking station - vertically no less - and that not only tidies the cables, but means you can take your laptop away with you quickly when needed.
Henge Dock says that this orientation allows users to connect and disconnect all peripherals in a single motion, minimising the footprint of the computer and reducing cable clutter, and they would be right.
Included with each dock is a USB, Ethernet and audio cables as standard. Some models also include FireWire cables, all of which have been designed to work specifically with the Henge Docks system.
In practice, it takes about 5 minutes to set up the Henge Docks docking station with the right cables in the right place. Once done, it then takes just a few seconds to drop the MacBook or Macbook Pro into place - connecting all those cables at the same time. The design is solid, well built, and is study enough not to fall over.
The cables themselves are hidden out of sight, although we felt that the DisplayPort cable is a little tight in the hidden void where all the cables hide. Judging by the instruction manual, Henge Docks feel this is the case too.
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones, and while this gadget serves an incredibly niche market - those who want to stand their MacBook Pro next to their TV without the fuss of cables - if you are a Mac owner looking to tidy up your living room, this might just be the docking station for you.