Solving MacBook Pro's dongle woes

The DockCase Adapter Kickstarter campaign will end on Nov 22.
The DockCase Adapter Kickstarter campaign will end on Nov 22.

Mac accessories maker DockCase has started a Kickstarter campaign for a protective case that can become both a USB hub and charger

For users of the Touch Bar MacBook Pro laptop that has only USB-C ports, carrying a few USB dongles wherever they go has become inevitable. Along with losing them.

Mac accessories maker DockCase has started a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign for the DockCase Adapter (http://kck.st/2CZBP0z) to solve this dongle issue.

The DockCase Adapter is a simple concept. It is a protective case for the MacBook Pro's power adapter. But on the inside, there is an embedded USB-C connector. Outside, there are additional USB-A ports, one USB-C charging port and either a USB-A 3.0 QuickCharge 3.0 charging port (QC version) or an HDMI 2.0 4K port (HD version).

Thus, once the MacBook Pro's power adapter is inserted into the DockCase Adapter, it becomes both a USB hub and charger.

The DockCase Adapter comes in four versions - a QC version and an HD version for the 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro as well as a QC version and an HD version for the 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro.

For the 13-inch version, the DockCase Adapter has only two USB-A ports due to its smaller size, while there are three USB-A ports for the 15-inch version.

The Straits Times received prototypes of the QC and HD versions for the 15-inch MacBook Pro for an early first look.

The DockCase Adapter looks almost like the MacBook Pro power adapter itself. There is an opening in front - with a removable latch - to insert the power adapter.

At its rear, you will find the USB-C charging port, three USB-A ports and the QuickCharge 3.0 USB-A port (QC version) or the HDMI port (HD version). The package also includes a USB-C-to-USB-C charging cable.

For the HD version, the HDMI port will not work unless the included USB-C-to-USB-C charging cable is being used. At least for the prototype.

But when it works, it is really convenient that users no longer need to carry an extra USB-C-to-HDMI adapter with them anymore.

And for the QC version, both the original and included charging cable worked fine when connected to the MacBook Pro. The QuickCharge 3.0 (QC3) USB-A port works as advertised, providing quick charging to a QC3-supported Android smartphone.

All the USB-A ports of both QC and HD versions allow users to connect their USB thumb drives or external drives to transfer files. Or users can simply use them to charge their mobile devices on the road. The DockCase Adapter is really a convenient all-in-one package.

The recommended retail price of the DockCase Adapter starts at US$54.90 (S$76) for the 13-inch MacBook Pro version and US$64.90 for the 15-inch MacBook Pro version. But backers of its Kickstarter campaign can get savings of up to 48 per cent.

The DockCase Adapter Kickstarter campaign will end on Nov 22.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2018, with the headline 'Solving MacBook Pro's dongle woes'. Print Edition | Subscribe