By Todd Bernhard on Fri, 06/27/2014
My Macbook has a bunch of wires plugged in at any time: Lightning cables, USB hard drives, Ethernet, video and more. I'm always looking for anything that makes it easier to disconnect so I can take my laptop and work somewhere else. Plus, when the Macbook comes back to its home, it's nice to have an uncluttered desk.
Kanex has a reasonable solution. Unlike expensive Thunderbolt-based hubs or proprietary docking stations that only work with a particular MacBook model, the Kanex simpleDock uses a single USB 3.0 connection to the MacBook and delivers multiple USB ports, Ethernet, and more! In a shift from Kanex' typical white or black plastic offerings, their simpleDock uses solid aluminum and looks like it came from Apple. It's a perfect complement to any MacBook.
Because it doesn't use Thunderbolt, it's more affordable ($120 compared to $200 to $300) as it doesn't try to do too much. You still connect your displays directly to the MacBook, but hard drives, phone cables, and other USB devices are now connected via the Kanex simpleDock, and USB 3.0 means the speeds aren't an issue. Your one USB 3.0 port on a MacBook now becomes three USB 3.0 ports plus a USB 2.0 port suitable for an iPhone, and an Ethernet port, via built-in USB to Ethernet. So by connecting that one USB cable, you can have a wired network connection as well as connections to other high speed devices.
The simpleDock even has a 'valet' stand for an iPhone to rest, and the iPhone cable can be routed conveniently through the dock. This helps eliminate the spaghetti wiring that plagues too many desktops. The best part is that the simpleDock will last as you change computers, making it an event better investment!