Laptops have increased in use, even as they have become more compact and powerful. This is very much true of the most recent 2015 Apple MacBook. But even as new technologies have filled its chassis, less connections between the laptop and the “world” has increased. So how to rebuild that bridge between the MacBook and the myriad of connections needed so as to have more opportunities? This is why the OWC USB-C Dock exists.
That it’s available in 3 colors to compliment a MacBook or maybe it’s a derivative from iPhone’s and iPads (Silver, Space Grey and Gold) doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the dock is made for durability and long-lasting use, not out of some cheap material that will fall apart after a few months have gone by. And while no heavyweight, the nearly 1 lb. weight means that it will stay put on its own and not requires constant realignment when it’s being used.
Now as to the Dock’s basic purpose. What it does is to expand and increase the connection options of a MacBook, so in order to accomplish this it requires its own power supply (AC outlet). This doesn’t make it non-portable but does limit its portability as regards being used in a location where there is no outlet. But what the 10 ports provide is more than worth the trouble of lugging around an AC power supply, although for many the dock’s main home will be a person’s home office, or desk or positioned in their bedroom, etc.
The ports include those that could be found in docks in the past, but also include those that are most recent indeed. As an example, there are four USB 3.1 ports, of which two are high-powered (one being on the front of the dock), for charging portable devices connected to the MacBook through the dock. The 5th USB port is USB-C, able to not only transmit data (if connected to a USB-C cable) but also provide charging capabilities for the MacBook directly (making the MacBook’s charger superfluous when taking the dock along).
Expanding on capabilities has an audio output on the dock’s front for connecting to external speakers or other audio equipment — for those who are keeping the dock in one location this means having the ability to listen to music or video chats with greater clarity and volume. There’s also an SD card reading slot in front — something Apple has dabbled with having in the past (but not made a constant with their products) — so transferring content from a series of cards becomes simpler and less “messy” when moving photos to the laptop.
There are also two capabilities that stand out on the USB-C Dock. The first is having the singular capability of outputting a 4K signal from the MacBook through a HDMI port. This can go into a compatible display for showing a high-resolution image, with all the quality that 4K allows. The second capability relates to connecting to a home network. WiFi works of course but can be problematic due to interference or lots of folks sharing the WiFI signal — the list of negatives can go on and on. That’s why many would prefer to have a wired connection but don’t think about it since there’s no easy way to do it on the MacBook, other than buying an Ethernet adapter. So say hello to Gigabit Ethernet use via Dock and the MacBook — and while it should be pretty obvious by now, guess it can’t hurt to say that the Dock connects to the MacBook not through a multitude of connections but by syncing the entirety of its input choices through the laptop’s USB-C connection. If that doesn’t vindicate the viability of USB-C taking over, what does?
The OWC USB-C Dock provides for a superior experience when using a MacBook and helps to turn it from merely being one of the best laptops into one of the most input-savvy ones out there. Is that worth a $169 retail price? Most would enthusiastically agree to the affirmative.