Enhancing the Mac Experience: Henge Docks, Clique and TwelveSouth HoverBar

In a way that pretty much no-one 15 years ago could have seen coming, Apple are reigning supreme in the tech world. Once seemingly consigned to the dustbin of history with the Mensheviks (who talks about them any more) Apple products are now becoming ubiquitous in certain industries. This has created an unprecedented demand for Apple accessories, and cunning designers and engineers are able to create all sorts of opportunities to enhance “the Mac experience”.

Clique

Henge Clique
I love my Magic TrackPad. With Lion OS in tow, I think it’s fair to say it has significantly enhanced my desktop computing experience. And that’s not something I throw around lightly either, as I’ve been playing with various user interface peripherals for many many years. Once you go Magic TrackPad, you can’t go Back(Pad).

I also love the design and feel of my Apple wireless keyboard (before you complain I have many problems with Apple as a company. But I like these two things.) and Henge Docks’ Clique enables you to marry Apple’s wireless keyboard and Magic TrackPad in one secure and sturdy compartment for use whilst away from a desk. I tried shaking and dropping the Clique but it was very robust. What Henge has put together, let no man rent asunder.

The Clique’s cleverly designed power buttons means you don’t have to remove the device to toggle the power. For the style conscious the glossy white finish and light grey accents found blend seamlessly with the wireless keyboard and TrackPad.

Henge-Dock-Air

Henge MacBook Air 11″ Dock

I love my 11″ MacBook Air too (ok this is starting to sound a little crazy), as it’s light, portable and with an SSD installed, incredibly fast. But that’s cute little screen could be a little bigger at times.

Fortunately Henge have quick and easy docking solution that lets you plug your MacBook Air into an external monitor or TV. The dock is well-built and secure, and there’s very little risk of damaging your mac. It’s a software free solution so you can simply pop your laptop directly into it and marvel at the magic of the big screen. Henge Docks’ patent-pending solution utilises a customer’s existing Apple supplied MagSafe power adapter and Mini-DisplayPort adapter and you can choose which output you need for your end.

HoverBar

TwelveSouth HoverBar

I love my iPad (Ok I hear it now. I hate my first generation Apple TV. Does that make you happy now?) and it’s an ideal second display for when I’m working on my iMac. It’s great to have various apps open and interacting with them while I write. I have Timeli open right now.

If you like the sound of this combo, you’ll love the HoverBar – a sleek flexible arm that clamps to the back of your iMac (or Apple Display) and allows you to float your iPad either above or to the side of the display. Flex the bar and tilt iPad in any direction to find your favorite viewing position. You can even extend the workstation by adding a second HoverBar.

The HoverBar is available from the Apple store and amazon from £69.95

Henge Docks for MacBooks review

Making a MacBook dock is a difficult task – how do you complement Apple’s design perfection without adding a premium price? Henge Docks thinks it has the answer with a new range of 13″, 15″ and 17″ MacBook compatible accessories.

Henge-Dock

If you have an Apple machine from late 2008 (when the MacBooks got a shade slimmer) onwards, you’ll be able to use a Henge Dock on either your 13, 15 or 17″ MacBook.

The dock itself comes in four incarnations. The entry-level is compatible with the old plastic models, while there are three more versions for the Macbook/Pro unibody at 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch models.

Unfortunately, none of the docks are compatible with each other, so you’ll need to buy a new one for each model should you choose to update.

The Henge Dock is basically a finely sculpted piece of plastic that snuggly holds your MacBook closed and upright, allowing air to flow around the machine and keep it cool for intense processes.

It comes with a series of holes which you can pin cables to – such as your Macbook charger, a mini DVI-out or any other post you’ll find on the left-hand side of the laptop.

With these cables plugged in (including USB extensions), you can then use your MacBook as desktop system and easily pull it out when you need to get moving – it’s pretty simple and works well.

Once connected, your laptop feels snug and secure – there’s no need to worry about it accidentally toppling over.

The problem we found, however, is that the white-plastic looks a bit tacky compared with the smooth aluminium finish of the Apple products.

Our other issue is the price – it’s not the cheapest – £59 – for the 13″ version, and if you’ve already forked out for 17″ MacBook Pro, you’ll be looking at £79. Ouch.