Steph alerted me to the existence of a very cool product — a dock for Macbook Pro laptops that stands them vertically. This has two advantages: saves desktop space and promotes better cooling. Macbook Pro machines are industrious heat generators and you have to be really careful about what kind of surface you leave them on. I’ve found that mine will shut down or have BSODs (when running Windows) if I have it flat on a plastic or formica surface; wood seems to be okay. The best bet, though, is to put it on a little stand that elevates the rear of the laptop and allows air to cool the underside. So, yes, I was really keen to check this out.
What I found, however, was this dreck. I have to admit that it’s a very sweet piece of machined aluminum; very pretty, matches the look of the Macbook Pro. However, this is not a dock; it’s a stand with delusions of $305 grandeur. This is a dock; note the integrated plugs. That handy little lever at the top moves all of the plugs into matching position on the sides of the Macbook, allowing you to quickly and easily put the laptop in place and make connections (and here’s the important bit) without having to manually plug and unplug all of the various cables you’re using every time you put the laptop in or take it out. It’s not as sexy, and it takes up more desk room (quite a bit more, which is one of the reasons I don’t have mine actually in use yet), but it’s functional.
That other block of aluminum? That’s designer silliness. Sadly, I bet far too many Mac folks will fall for it.
Edit: okay, looking closely at the Balmuda page shows that they never call it a dock, simply a stand. Kudos for them — however, it makes the price tag even more mind-boggling. Razzes to Apartment Therapy Unplugged for the mis-identification.