The Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pro is a fantastic laptop with great performance and sleek design.
However, it comes with only USB-C ports - four of them.
So, if you have old thumb drives or external drives, it means you have to carry adapters, which can be easily misplaced. Fret not, the DockCase is here.
It is a leather protective sleeve for the Touch Bar MacBook Pro, with a built-in USB-C docking station at one end. This docking station has all the ports you need - two USB-C ports (with one for power pass-through), three USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, one LAN port, a microSD card slot and an SD card slot.
There is an included short USB-C-to-C cable, which can be kept in a small compartment inside the sleeve, to connect the laptop to the docking station.
You can rest your laptop on the sleeve's top when working, and the included cable will fit neatly between laptop and docking station. This way, your beloved MacBook Pro will not get dirtied too.
The DockCase comes in two sizes for the 13-inch and the 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro. I reviewed the 15-inch black version. It will also be available in red and two shades of brown.
PRICE: US$129 (S$175), available in October
CONNECTIVITY: 3 X USB 3.0, 2 x USB-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x SD card slot and 1 x microSD card slot
WEIGHT: 397g (15-inch version)
VALUE FOR MONEY: 4/5
The idea of the DockCase is quite neat, since you are more likely to lose your USB-C adapters than to lose a laptop sleeve. Also, a laptop sleeve is something you use when you take the MacBook Pro out.
The DockCase's sleeve is made of microfibre leather with a rough exterior that is resistant to slipping, while the interior has soft lining that ensures your MacBook Pro is not scratched.
I found it easy to insert the MacBook Pro into the sleeve, and to take it out as well.
I plugged SD cards, microSD cards and USB 3.0 thumb drives into the docking station, and everything worked without a hitch.
Transfer speeds were pretty decent too. It took 21.4sec to transfer 740MB worth of pictures from my SD card to the MacBook Pro via the memory card slot. Transferring a 8.58GB folder of data from an external USB 3.0 hard drive took only 2min 46sec.
In addition, the docking station's LAN port and HDMI port both worked perfectly. The HDMI port also supports 4K monitors, though I did not have a 4K monitor to test this out.
One downer is its weight. At 397g, it adds 20 per cent to the carrying weight of the 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro.
In addition, I found it hard to pry the DockCase from my laptop backpack because of its slip-resistant exterior - which is a nuisance when you need to go through security checks at airports.
Also, the DockCase is not exactly cheap at US$129 (S$175). But you can back its ongoing Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign (http://kck.st/2fOMYqG) that allows you to get one for as low as US$79. The crowdfunding campaign will end on Sept 22.
•Verdict: For Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pro users, the DockCase will be a good accessory to get so you can leave the adapters at home.