- Plenty of connections
- Complex and flexible charging
- Built-in SSD for some models
- Fantastic and thoughtful design
- Robust sustainability policy
- None that we could uncover
For a long time, Apple devices have been a staple within professional settings. Graphic designers, photographers, videographers, developers, and more all consider the Mac an industry-standard tool. This is because of its solidity and quality. MacBook Pro machines mean you can take this quality on the move, but there’s always been a question mark about battery life, hard drive capacity, and connectivity. In this Linedock 16″ Dock for MacBook Pro review, we introduce you to a docking station that could solve all of these answers for you.
The Price We Pay For Cooler MacBooks and Longer Battery Life
The idea of a docking station is that you should be able to power your MacBook with a feeling of comparable power to a desktop machine. At the very least, you’ll want the same experience you get from plugging your MacBook into the wall.
As time has gone on, Apple has removed a lot of the inner workings in order to deliver on the battery times consumers ask for. The MacBook Air line showcases this, as the newer model has two USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and little else. Even the last of the 2020 Intellectual MacBook Pros are minimal – 4 USB-C ports and a headphone jack.
For professionals on the move, who may only use a MacBook Pro, the newer models ask you to make some critical decisions regarding usage time and connectivity. This causes lots of users to switch to something like a Mac Mini, but with that comes more questions about which monitor and keyboard you should use.
Introducing the Linedock 16″ for MacBook Pro
The Linedock 16″ for MacBook Pro looks to solve all of these problems in one fell swoop. It’s a docking station that provides cable-free battery charging and vast connectivity on the move.
It’s fantastic from a personal and global view that Linedock also promotes its sustainability. This is front and center of practically every part of the Linedock. For example, the packaging is 100 percent biodegradable, while the whole of the dock is 99.7 percent plastic-free.
A Hands-On Review of the Linedock 16″ Dock for MacBook Pro
It looks as though it’s hand-delivered straight from One Apple Way itself, with sleek lines and a profile that looks like a closed-lid MacBook at first glance. The second thing you’ll notice is how many connections there are for the Linedock. It’s great to see separate USB-C and USB3 connections – three of each in fact – an HDMI connection, card reader, and fantastic lit battery gauge.
The latter is welcome, as it used to be something you’d see on older MacBook batteries, along with a glowing power light. It’s great to check how much power you have at a glance or from afar.
The typical way to use the Linedock 16″ dock is to sit the MacBook Pro on top of the station and connect to it using a USB-C cable that can deliver video, audio, and power. We had an ominous tin can arrive, which included two USB-C “jumper-type” cables (and not the sardines we feared).
Our other fear was that the jumper wouldn’t fit flush with our standing desk’s surface. Though, we should have known – it’s a great fit and gives us no sleepless nights. Also, there are magnets in the Linedock to help line up your MacBook with the station – a nice touch.
Linedock has also gone the extra mile to fill in the gaps that many photographers (this one included) and videographers ask for from a MacBook. For example, a card reader would be nice, but Linedock includes two.
Charging the Linedock 16″ Dock
The first element you’ll likely check is how fast the Linedock 16″ dock charges a MacBook without being plugged into the wall. Our testing – albeit an anecdotal one – is that it’s just as good as native charging, although even if there were a slight discrepancy here, we think it would be fine.
Speaking of charging, you can use any of the USB-C ports to plug into the wall, but there’s a dedicated port for this on the back. There’s also a “Saiyan Mode”: essentially a fast-charging option when you need it.
The Linedock uses “pass-through” charging, too. This means you can connect the MacBook to the dock, then plug a charger into the docking station. This will charge the MacBook with priority before moving onto the Linedock itself.
Free from the wall, the Linedock will give you around eight hours of battery life, which equates to a full charge for a MacBook Pro.
The Linedock 16″ Dock’s Performance
It’s all very well, the Linedock 16″ Dock for MacBook Pro sitting on the desk looking fantastic – it’s the performance that will ultimately make or break the device.
For this, we charged the MacBook to full, connected a SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card from a Nikon D7500, plugged a Wacom tablet into a USB3 slot, and worked with some photo edits in Capture One 21.
Without the dock, our MacBook would heat up and deplete its battery at a modest rate. While we’d often plug a charger in as standard, for this Linedock review, we decided to rely on the station itself.
First, we decided to transfer around 1.5GB of RAW photos from the SD card to the Linedock’s SSD to work with in the edit. This isn’t a typical practice but helps us stress test the Linedock in this situation. The transfer took about five seconds, which is solid and meets our expectations.
In short, the performance was impressive during our work. We barely heard the MacBook working at key points, such as brush editing or color work.
In fact, the MacBook was at 100 percent charge by the time we finished, and everything kept quiet. This is going to be amazing for musicians and videographers and will certainly see use beyond those areas.
Our Take on the Linedock 16″ Dock’s Build Quality
As a preface to this section, it’s worth noting that Linedock scores masses of “XP” because of its overall design philosophy. Every choice and decision is considered, and it shows from the outer packaging to inside the Linedock itself.
The Linedock 16″ Dock is sturdy and feels like a MacBook. You can see how much Linedock took expectations, strapped a rocket to them, and shot them to the moon. The big touches, such as the brushed exterior, are fantastic, while the smaller ones (such as the Linedock label), tell you that this is a piece of quality.
It’s much lighter than we expected, too, which is good to discover, as there is always a danger of trading functionality for weight. Much like Apple, Linedock has tried to pack in as much as possible in a streamlined, minimalist package – and succeeds in our opinion.
Linedock 16″ Dock’s Price and Available Models
The Linedock 16″ Dock for MacBook Pro costs $479. There’s also an option for 15″ MacBooks and a 13″ model that is suitable for both MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. The base price don’t include additional SSD drives. As an example, you’re looking at around $200 extra for a 1TB drive – our review model – and $350 extra for a 2TB drive.
if you’re interested in a Linedock but don’t have the budget, there are also monthly installment plans for you to consider.
The question we’re implicitly asking in this Linedock 16″ Dock for MacBook Pro review is simple: Is this docking station worth your money? In our opinion, it most definitely is. The dock itself is quality through and through: the company itself is making all of the right noises about their process and values, and the performance is stellar.
On the whole, the Linedock is an exciting product that delivers. Regardless of your creative industry, this product will be a welcome – in some cases, essential – tool in your arsenal. Even as a (very) amateur photographer, this author will get lots of use from the Linedock and may even look to purchase another in the future when the time is right.
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