gravitas-dock-review

I don’t understand why Apple doesn’t sell a premium dock for iOS devices. There’s such an attention to detail when it comes to product design at Apple, yet they continue to sell a dinky plastic dock for select devices. I’ve never been a fan of these plastic docks and have been in search of something with a little more class for a while now.

Recently, I came across Gravitas from Henge Docks. This is a weighted dock crafted from zinc alloy that has interchangeable inserts for all of my iOS devices. It’s also advertised as having the ability to “stay put” when undocking your device thanks to the hefty 2.5lbs of weight it’s packing. This is definitely one of the best docks I’ve used, but it does have a few shortcomings…

I was very impressed with the way Gravitas is packaged. It has a clean Apple-like unboxing experience and inside of the box you’ll find everything you need to get it setup. No need to bring your own cable. Gravitas comes with a 3ft USB cable, and four dock inserts to accommodate the iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 5c, iPad Air/iPad mini, and fourth generation iPad. Henge Docks also includes an insert for Gravitas that’s compatible with most slim cases as well.

Check out our video review below:

The dock inserts are tailored to fit each compatible iOS device, and for all of you with an older-generation iOS device, Henge Docks sells a 30-pin version of Gravitas. They also promise to create inserts that will support future iOS devices, so this dock will remain relevant for quite some time. Each of the iPhone inserts also sports cutouts to help pass through audio from the device’s speakers.

As I mentioned, this dock is weighted and has a very premium look and feel to it, It even has an integrated Lightning connector, so all you’ll need to do is plug in the included USB cable to get up and running. Along with that, it also includes an audio line-out with a fixed-volume stereo output.

gravitas-contents

As you would imagine, this functions exactly as a dock should. It will charge your device and that’s about it. Unfortunately, Gravitas doesn’t do exactly what it claims. Like I mentioned above, Gravitas is supposed to “stay put” (thanks to its weight) when removing your device. In my experience, this was only true with the iPhone 5/5s. Most of the time, the dock would actually lift and not let go when used with my iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 5c. Though I did find that with a quick pluck of the iPhone 5c, it would quickly release and leave the dock in place.

audio-line-out-gravitas

The problem is, “quickly plucking” a device isn’t very natural. I just want to casually remove my device when I need it. Using two hands to undock an iOS device is certainly not the end of the world, but it does specifically advertise being able to stay put, right on the box. Not a deal breaker for me, but I’m sure some people will find this rather annoying.

Gravitas won't let go of an iPad easily.

Gravitas won’t let go of an iPad easily.

Either way, Gravitas is still a very fancy dock. It has a very beautiful Apple-esque design, takes up little space on a desk, and includes everything needed to work right out of the box. I won’t dock too many points for the lack of 100 percent “stay put” functionality, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind. If you’d like to check it out for yourself, Gravitas is available for $89. It’s a bit pricey for a dock, but I think the build quality and design makes it worth having. Be sure to check out our video review for a closer look at Gravitas.

Update: Henge Docks acknowledged the issue with the iPad Air/iPad mini insert and said they’ve created one with a better fit.

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3 Responses to “Review: Gravitas from Henge Docks is a premium dock that ‘stays put’…almost (Video)”

  1. Tim Jr. says:

    Twelve South’s dock makes more sense.. for one main reason.. I don’t have to buy anything new if I upgrade to the iPhone 6.. or 7.. or 8 when they come out.. Unless the connector changes..

    Yes, I need to use 2 hands.. but it still looks good and works with cases too.

    Also.. if you want Twelve South’s dock to stay, you can get that micro-suction tape and put it on the bottom of it.. Works well…

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  2. Oflife says:

    Finally, someone gets it re weight and industrial design. All said, I do hope Apple go the wireless dock route with the iPhone 6/iTime and onwards, like LG have with the (excellent) G3 that has built in wireless charging and a nice folding wireless dock to go with it.

    The process of constantly plugging in and unplugging or docking and undocking using a mechanical I/O port seems so yesterminute.

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  3. The USB male to USB male cable is not a common household cable. If it were to break I’d have to go out of my way to buy a new one. Whereas if it was a more widely-used cable (such as a USB to USB Mini/micro…) it would make much more sense.

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