Wish your laptop had more ports and your desk a little clearer? Brydge’s latest pack of peripherals is all about pushing ports with appropriate placement.
Working from home has sure changed, and changed the way we look at our desks. Whether you’re working from a proper desk or still from your dining room table, there’s a good chance you’re now dealing with the prospect of clutter.
Clutter from excess cables and gadgets and such, all to add more on your laptop, and it’s all probably in such a location that it might even be bothering someone else in your home. “Clean it up,” you might hear them mutter under their breath, and it’s something you agree with, but things are complex.
No one expected to be working from home quite this much, but the world has changed, and adding extra ports to computers these days isn’t typically easy. Laptops are designed to be sleek and minimalist, and so adding ports typically needs cables and gadget and such.
A dock is one way to remedy this, providing a small external accessory that offers many of the ports you might be looking for, but with one cable. Think of it as a quick fix to needing your laptop to be more like a desktop in terms of adding more gadgets, and it’s one you can find from several companies.
Australia’s Brydge is one such, and after taking over Henge for its stand-up docks last year, the company has moved into something else Henge was known for: port replication.
As such, Brydge is releasing three docks for modern computers, offering the small 5-port Stone Lite for Windows, the slightly bigger 7-port Stone II for macOS and Windows, and the even larger again 11-port Stone Pro for Mac and Windows, as well.
Each is a little different, but all come with a similar design philosophy: a small port replicator for your desk that can hide under a traditional laptop base. Simply put, it sits under the laptop and raises it up at an angle, while hiding those ports and cables underneath. The models are a little different, though, based on size and price dependent on what you might need.
In the Windows-specific Stone Lite (above), it’s a small black dock with two USB Type C charge ports to charge a USB C laptop, plus two HDMI ports and one standard old USB Type A port. The HDMI ports can provide one screen for 4K at 60Hz — the good refresh rate — or two 4K screens at 30Hz (less useful), but it’s basically a small break out box for Windows users looking for a little more.
Windows users looking for a lot more — as well as Mac users keen to push past the 2 to 4 port maximum on their laptops — may want to consider the Brydge Stone II and Stone Pro, both of which are coming shortly.
The Stone II (above) is actually the mid-range of the two, delivering one HDMI port for 4K video, plus two USB Type C, three USB Type A (the standard rectangle), and one Gigabit Ethernet port. It works the same way as the Stone Lite in that it will sit under a laptop, but you’ll need to plug your laptop’s Type C charger directly into the Stone II to supply it power.
If you don’t want to do that, and if you would prefer to make your MacBook or Dell charger an optional thing to leave in your bag, you might want to glance at the Stone Pro. Packing in 11 ports, this is basically the beast of port replicators that sits under a laptop, offering two Thunderbolt 3, one USB Type C, three USB Type A, that lone Gigabit Ethernet, a DisplayPort (no HDMI here), and a 3.5mm headset jack, plus an SD card slot, something that has been missing in action on many a computer lately.
The Brydge Stone Pro (above) also comes with its own power supply, and can cater up to 87 watts of power to even the heaviest of machines, making it ideal for something like Apple’s 15 inch MacBook Pro, though may not deliver all of the push the 16 inch MBP needs with its 96 watt charger. It should still work there, you just might want to leave it plugged in at your desk.
These days, that’s not such a hard ask, as most of us are doing that. Working in the office doesn’t come with the same regularity it once did, and so your laptop’s adaptor might just remain plugged in. But if slash when we all head back in, at least there’s a port replicator that can let you keep carrying that charge pack with you.
You’ll find the Brydge Stone models available for order now online at Bridge and possibly at select retailers, with the Stone Lite for $199.99, the Stone II for $249.99, and the Stone Pro for $349.99.