Linedock 13 full review

The Linedock is a docking station for MacBooks that sits underneath the Apple laptop, adding 9 ports, a battery and up to 1TB of internal storage.

It doesn’t look like most docking stations in that you place the MacBook on top, where you’ll hardly notice it.

Its design is right out of the Apple design studio. It looks like the slimmest MacBook you’ve ever seen. It is just 0.9cm (0.35 inches) in height. The other measurements follow the 13in MacBooks. It weighs 912g (2 lbs) so is portable enough for travel.

It’s available only in Space Grey, so no Silver or other Apple colour.

Your MacBook can connect to the Linedock using a little U-shaped connector to one of the side USB-C ports, so no need for a snaking cable.

Sitting underneath the laptop, it saves you 100% of the desk space any other dock takes up.

At the moment, it’s available for just 13in MacBook Pro and Air, but the company is promising a version for the 16in MacBook Pro in the future.

Linedock 13 ports

Linedock features

  • USB-C connection to laptop (5Gbps) with up to 60W charging
  • Two USB-C ports (5Gbps) each with 30W charging
  • Three USB-A ports (5Gbps)
  • HDMI port - 4K at 30Hz
  • Mini DisplayPort - 4K at 30Hz
  • SD Card reader
  • 20,000mAh battery
  • Internal storage (up to 1TB)
  • 100W max power to dock – requires wall charger

It’s easy to connect an external display to the dock and therefore your laptop via either the HDMI or Mini DisplayPort. You could also add a display using one of the USB-C ports.

The Linedock can only support one external display, however.

Mini DP seems an old connection to include, and we’d have preferred a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired Internet connection instead, which you get on most other docking stations.

What the Linedock offers that you won’t find in most other docks is a built-in battery that can charge your MacBook when it’s away from a wall charger. You can charge both the Linedock and your MacBook at the same time as the total power input is 100W. The 13in MacBooks require 61W.

The extra wattage also means you can simultaneously charge other devices via the other USB ports.

The Linedock supports something called Saiyan Mode, which offers faster laptop charging. However, in case of over-heating, you can’t use this when the MacBook is on top of the Linedock, which seems to defeat the purpose of the dock somehow. You also need to charge via a separate USB-C cable rather than the little connector.

Another unique feature are the integrated storage options. At the point of purchase, you can buy 256GB or 1TB of built-in SSD storage. You can also choose not to add any, and then use the SD Card reader to add more flexible and portable storage whenever you need it.

The use of 5Gbps USB-C instead of 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 (used by most MacBooks since 2016) means the laptop connects at much reduced bandwidth. Along with the lack of Ethernet, this will hobble the Linedock for professional use.

Linedock price

Linedock doesn’t just look like an Apple product, it’s priced like one, too.

The base model with no internal SSD costs $349. With a 256GB SSD, it’s $449. And with 1TB SSD, the price is $699.

Shipping to the UK costs an extra $10, and you need to add on 20% taxes - another $80 / $100 /$149 in total for UK buyers (so no SSD: £350; 256GB, £440; 1TB, £680.

That makes it the most expensive docking station we’ve tested, but remember that you are getting a 20,000mAh laptop power bank and potentially some fast solid-state storage in the one package.

See our other best MacBook docking stations.

Verdict

The Linedock is a great looking docking station that you’ll hardly notice as it sits underneath your MacBook. It fits right in with the Apple aesthetic, and adds nine ports including three USB-A, HDMI and an SD Card reader.

It isn’t cheap, but it will save you desk space, and those extra ports come in very handy – although the lack of a Gigabit Ethernet port is a pity, and USB-C instead of Thunderbolt 3 limits the MacBook's generous bandwidth.

The built-in battery and SSD are unique features that may well tempt you to ignore the high price compared to other docking stations.

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