DockCase for New MacBook Pro Models Combines Protection With Ports

Apple's newest 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models offer new features like the Touch Bar and an expanded Trackpad, but they also lack features many deemed necessary, most notably any port other than USB Type-C. That means adapters, adapters, and more adapters.

DockCase is hoping to help by introducing a case for the MacBook Pro that has a USB-C dock built in, eliminating the need for most adapters.

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As detailed in our video above, the case is made from a leather-like material that held up well in everyday use during our testing. The inside of the case is lined with micro fiber, and a magnetic flap helps keep your MacBook inside. The bottom of the case is what makes the DockCase different, with a full USB-C dock with Ethernet, HDMI, USB-C, USB-A, and SD card ports built right in. The dock connects to your MacBook Pro with an included USB-C to USB-C cable that tucks inside the case when not in use.

This case is currently a fully funded Kickstarter project so changes may come before the final release, but even with this pre-production model, everything works as it should. There are no connection issues and the data read speed is fast with support for USB 3.1 transfer speeds.

As for issues, it would have been great to see the included USB-C cable built into the case instead of free floating. Also, the case is rather large, particularly the 15" model. While it protects your 15" MacBook Pro, the case won't fit into many bags and will have to be carried.

DockCase will retail for $129 for the 13" MacBook Pro and $139 for the 15" MacBook Pro, and there's also a limited edition version for the MacBook for $119. However, if you back the Kickstarter campaign, you can snag the case for $50 cheaper. DockCase says the first orders will begin shipping out in November, but as with all Kickstarter projects, there could be delays, so use caution when backing a product from a first time manufacturer.


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9 months ago
I like it. Maybe Apple can implement some of these features in their next laptop. They could call it the "Pro". I think it would catch on.
Rating: 9 Votes
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9 months ago
This looks amazing but there's an even easier way to solve the problem: having Apple put more than four USB-C ports on the darn thing.
Rating: 3 Votes
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9 months ago
They don't know their market. Should be charging double that price
Rating: 3 Votes
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9 months ago
Personally, I don't view Type-C exclusivity as a problem at all. I don't use adapters and more adapters. I have a Type A adapter (see below) that I use on rare occasion - about as often as I pull my HDMI adapter out (very rarely). I just invested fully into Type-C and eliminated as much Type-A stuff as I could, as well as Micro-B, Mini-B, etc. For those purposes I have some nice Type-C to Micro B, Type C to Mini B, and Type C to full-size B cables. I bought battery power banks with Type C to utilize my new cables on the go, and have Type C chargers plugged into my car's 12V ports. I use a "legacy" Dell 5K display that takes dual DisplayPort input via two Type-C to DisplayPort cables that cost me $20 on Amazon. I use a tiny MicroSD card reader where the MicroSD card insert into a Type A port on one side, and has a Type C on the other so it works in either. I had an LG 5K display at my previous job, and the brilliance of it was that it did NOT try to be one of these stupid "shove every port in existence into it" dongles - it simply expanded the number of available Type C ports.

The adapter I use for Type A is the same one I use for wired Ethernet - it's made by Anker and has 3 Type A ports in addition to a network port. I rarely use those Type A ports since converting as much as I could to Type C though...

The "MacBook Pro's biggest problem" hasn't been a problem for me since about a week after I bought it. The biggest problem in our household computer situation now is all the old cables and devices I need for my previous MacBook Pro (now my wife's) to work with all the same stuff. It's just not enough of a problem to motivate me to spend another $4k!
Rating: 3 Votes
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9 months ago

What's the name of the bamboo table in the video?


Charles.
Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago
Not a horrible idea - at least when compared to the need for either one large multipurpose dongle or multiple smaller dongles. However it still bugs me that Apple made these compromise solutions necessary in the first place.

I'll be sticking with my 2015 MacBook Pro for the foreseeable future. I can live without a USB-C port easier than I can live without all the other ports.
Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago
Honestly, if this product utilized more premium materials (genuine leather & stainless steel strip) with a higher price tag and I owned the newest MBP. I would likely purchase this product. The expansion even goes beyond the 2012 rMBP, so that's really impressive.
Rating: 1 Votes
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9 months ago

Not a horrible idea - at least when compared to the need for either one large multipurpose dongle or multiple smaller dongles. However it still bugs me that Apple made these compromise solutions necessary in the first place.

I'll be sticking with my 2015 MacBook Pro for the foreseeable future. I can live without a USB-C port easier than I can live without all the other ports.

The purpose is for Apple to obviously push the rest the world to a much needed better solution, one I/O. Otherwise the rest the world sits stagnant for 20 years and not even care about...a BETTER SOLUTION
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The purpose is for Apple to obviously push the rest the world to a much needed better solution, one I/O. Otherwise the rest the world sits stagnant for 20 years and not even care about...a BETTER SOLUTION

It's the exact way of thinking that the auto industry sat stagnant for 30+ years selling us expensive crap with very minimal technological upgrades...and then someone with a brain, Elon Musk, and other companies finally did something about it. Apple still does this in the world but very un-creative people still fail to recognize the overall picture.
Rating: 1 Votes
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9 months ago

everything currently requires you to bring the appropriate cable to connect it,


No it doesn't. Pretty much everything came with the appropriate cable to connect it, and the cable mostly stays with the device. In some cases its a captive cable. When I pack up my laptop and go to work, I don't gather up all the USB cables from my desk and stuff them in my bag. I've got an ecosystem of spare mini/microUSB and lightning cables at home, at work and in my travel bag if I get caught short.

so why not simply replace the cables with the following:


Yeah.
That $60 of cables would do for my work desk.
But... about the same $60 again for my work desk, unless I want to have to unplug those cables and carry them to work with me every day.
Oh, and I've got a cinema display at work with a magsafe so I don't currently need to carry a charger every day - so add, what, $80 for a spare charger?
OK, so even with the old MBPs I needed to carry a VGA adapter around for presentations (yes folks, here in the real world HDMI in a meeting room is a bit cutting edge) but I'll need to replace that, too. Probably a couple more USB-C to A adapters too, lest somebody hands me a memory stick... because I'm leaving the

So, anyway, I sit down at my desk, plug in my charger, plug in my external display and... aw, snap! That's it for a non-touchbar MacBook Pro! On an Air, I wouldn't even have started on the USB ports yet. On a 2015 MBP I'd still have two USB ports, a thunderbolt port, an SD slot and either the HDMI or the second TB port free. Ok, maybe I've got a touchbar model with 4 ports - so I can plug in my ethernet and keyboard - then, that's all of my wonderful high speed TB3 ports used up. Practical upshot: I now need a $200-$300 multiport dock - probably one for work and one for home - something that, with the old macs, was an indulgent convenience.

...and all for, what? 40Gbps TB3? I don't have any 40Gbps TB3 devices - and the market is not exactly awash with possibilities. USB-C devices? I don't have any of those, either, and the vast majority on the market are only 3.1gen1 - which will run happily from a USB-A port and, more often than not, actually ship with a USB-C-to-USB-A cable. What I do have is a metric shedload of USB-A devices, with USB-A cables, including several brand new products bought in the last 6 months.

Thunderbolt 3 is such a huge step forward in every way


Not for a thin'n'crispy ultrabook that only gives the advertised life if you confine yourself to updating Facebook and light WP and will thermally throttle its CPU and mobile-class GPU before you get anywhere close to using 80Gbps of i/o bandwidth.

Anyway, Thunderbolt 3 itself isn't the problem here, except insofar that it has become joined at the hip with USB-C.

Thing is, USB-C - despite what the evangelists seem to think - is nothing more than a bunch of existing technologies that all work perfectly well over existing "legacy" connectors combined in a single connector. (It would be nice to say "and cable" except that is manifestly untrue because there are half-a-dozen different types of USB-C cable with differing capabilities). Now, that is a great step forward for phones and tablets which only have room for a single connector (and the mini/microUSB connectors are a fugly train wreck anyway) but its a massive step backwards for serious computing devices that have plenty of space for multiple dedicated connectors (or, at least, would have unless you make them too thin to accommodate an adequate battery and cooling system).

Thunderbolt 3's speeds could be a huge step forward for high-throughput workstations hooked up to huge RAID arrays or specialist A/V hardware - but do you know what systems like that don't need? Ans: an all-in-one connector designed for mobile phones that does power, video, USB and PCIe meaning that all of those have to be routed to every port (or have a confusing array of identical ports with different capabilities and needing different cable types). What Intel are doing is quite clear - they're trying to sneak Thunderbolt in to the back door by making Alpine Ridge the go-to solution for system builders who want USB-C and USB 3.1gen2 capability (you'll see quite a few high-end PC motherboards with one USB-C/TB3 port and one red USB A port supporting 3.1gen2).

Apple had a very simple option - take the 2015 MBP, replace its two TB2 ports with TB3/USB-C ports (so the future-proofing would be there) and keep the rest of the ports as they were. Maybe a couple of years down the line it will be time for USB-C everything, but we're a long way from that.

At least with the iMac, they've done that... but do you know what I'd find useful on my iMac? Ans: a DisplayPort or two so I could connect a second display without "wasting" a TB3 port that could at least be used for USB until/unless I need it for a future TB3 or USB 3.1g2 device. There's plenty of space (not that the iMac needs to be as thin as it is, anyway).

TB3 (the protocol) has its uses (at the high end) and USB-C has its uses (on phones and tablets - although those will probably be 100% sealed and wireless within a few years). Combining the two and pushing the result out on "pro" PC/Laptops only makes sense in fantasy post-PC world (we don't live in a post-pc world, we live in a post-buy-new-pc-every-2-years world - most serious work is still done on PC/Mac).
Rating: 1 Votes
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9 months ago
Useful if you also need a case. However, I wish it was USB 3.1gen2, that is, 10 Gbps. Then, HDMI could support 4k60 and not just 4k30. This case is, currently, only usable for non-4k folks - unless they use a separate USB-C cable to drive their 4k monitor, of course.
Rating: 1 Votes
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