The irony of the MacBook Pro’s sharp, clean aluminum lines is that the instant you plug an external hard drive, wireless mouse dongle, extra monitor, and headphones into your machine, it looks like a tangled mess. Never mind that when you’re ready to head out with your laptop, you have to unplug all of those cords one by one. Sure, there are docking stations available for Macs, but most of them aren’t very pretty and take up a fair amount of desk space. A husband and wife entrepreneurial duo have come up with the Zendock by Zenboxx. It’s a new dock that not only looks nice when attached to your MacBook, but also controls cord clutter on your desk.
It’s a unique design for a dock that hardly looks like a dock at all. A small brushed aluminum piece with receivers for the power port, gigabit Ethernet port, Firewire 800 port, mini DisplayPort, and one USB port plug into one side of the MacBook Pro. That piece is connected to a discrete cord that is attached to the dock base, a wall-mountable box that replicates the laptop’s ports and adds a few others. The idea is that you only have to line up one plug when you’re ready to sit down at a desk with your MacBook, but it also eliminates a rat’s nest of cords that either sit on your desk or fall behind your desk the instant you try to grab one. Seriously, if we had a dime every time our power cord slipped between the wall and the desk, we could afford a new Retina MacBook Pro.
Speaking of Retina MacBook Pros, the Zenboxx will launch with a model to accomodate the newer Retina model as well as older MacBook Pros. The Retina model includes a Thunderbolt pass-through port on the laptop end of the dock so that there’s minimal loss of data transfer speeds. The dock base on the Zendock Retina model features three USB 3.0 ports, Mini DisplayPort, an optional gigabit Ethernet adaptor, and headphone and mic jacks. The Zendock Power model includes all of the above, but switches out the optional Ethernet adaptor for a permanent one and adds Firewire 800 to mimic the ports on the older MacBook Pro models.
Zenboxx plans on launching and shipping the Zendock as soon as possible, with an expected retail price of $179. However, the company has just started a Kickstarter campaign for the Zendock Power and the Zendock Retina with an early bird price of $99 for backers.