This morning, I forgot to bring the USB-C adaptor I use to connect my 2016 MacBook Pro to my monitor at work, and now I’m working off my laptop’s display instead of using my dual-display setup.
I’m all for the transition to USB-C, as it lets me plug several accessories like monitors, hard drives, peripherals, and even my laptop’s power cable into a single USB-C dock, which uses up a single USB-C port on my computer and makes it easier to unplug from my desk.
More importantly, USB-C supports standards like Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1, which makes for ultra-fast data transfers between computers and external hard drives, and among other devices, they can be used to connect to USB-C monitors.
But for now, and until more accessories use the USB-C standard, I need to remember to carry around the USB-C dock to benefit from USB-C, and even use my non-USB-C accessories at all. It’s just something else I need to remember to carry around, and it’s a hassle.
Thankfully, a solution seems to be cresting over the horizon. A startup called Dockcase has come up with an idea that should help resolve that problem of forgotten USB-C docks by incorporating a dock into a protective case for the MacBook Pro. Assuming you’d always be carrying around a protective case for your MacBook Pro, Dockcase’s proposition is very interesting.
The company is currently undergoing a Kickstarter campaign for the Dockcase case itself, which has raised nearly $US120,000 of its $US30,000 goal from over 1,400 backers (at the time of writing).
Check it out:
The case's exterior is made of 'microfiber leather,' a high-grade synthetic leather to almost looks like the real thing. There's also a limited number of genuine leather cases on offer on Dockcase's Kickstarter page.
The Dockcase includes an Ethernet port, HDMI port, USB-C port for charging, USB-C 3.1 port for fast data transfer between devices like external hard drives, three regular USB 3.0 ports that also provide fast data transfers, a microSD card port, and a standard SD card port. It's a comprehensive list of connections that should cover most people's needs.
The USB-C Dock is encased in a solid enclosure, just like a regular USB-C dock. It's simply embedded into the Dockcase case.
The idea is that you take your MacBook laptop out of the case, rest it on top of the case, and connect the Dockcase to your laptop with the included short USB-C cable.
Everything you connect to the Dockcase, including power, will be transferred through the included USB-C cable that connects the Dockcase to your laptop.
Then you can hook up all your non-USB-C devices. There is, however, one caveat with using the Dockcase.
Unfortunately, using the Dockcase means that you'd have to unplug all your external devices one by one from the case itself, which takes away USB-C advantage of using a single USB-C port on your computer. Still, since the Dockcase USB-C dock is built into the case itself, you're less likely to leave it behind and end up in a situation like mine where I can't plug my MacBook Pro into my monitor at work.
The included USB-C cable has it's own enclosure inside the case itself so you're less prone to loosing or forgetting it.
You can pre-order the Dockcase through the company's Kickstarter campaign for a discount before they're sold at full price.
There are three different models of Dockcase cases for different MacBook laptops.
- 12-inch MacBook (2016-2017): $US75 from Kickstarter (full price $US120)
- 13 and 15- inch MacBook Pro (2016-2017): $US89 from Kickstarter (full price $US130 and $US140, respectively)
Check out Dockcase's Kickstarter page here.