Lightning Review: BookEndz Docking Station for MacBook, MacBook Pro

The Gadget: A laptop docking station for your Apple MacBook and MacBook Pro that makes it extremely easy to plug in all your various ports in one easy lever-based motion instead of one by one like some sort of neanderthal. The ports are replicated in the back of the BookEndz so you can always keep your equipment "plugged in." BookEndz has been making docks for Apple laptops for years, and they're the number one search result on Google for "Apple laptop docks" and "MacBook Pro docks", so they're quite definitive.

The Price $299 for 15-inch MacBook Pro, $319 for the 17-inch MacBook Pro, $159 for the 13-inch MacBook, $274 for 15-inch PowerBook G4 and $179 for 12-inch PowerBook G4.

The Verdict: BookEndz does exactly what it advertises it does well. Slide your laptop onto the tray-which is exactly form-fitted for your size laptop-and flip the lever up. The two ends will dock neatly into your laptop's ports in a manner similar to the 2001 Spaceport scene, but without the Blue Danube playing in the background. It's very nice. To de-dock, just turn the lever the other way and all your ports will come ripping out of its sockets like Phil Hartman in the SNL all-drug Olympics.

But what you want to know is if it's worth it for yourself to pay $299 to automate the 60-second activity of finding all your cables and plugging it in. The answer? Maybe. If you're like us and you dock and de-dock your laptop multiple times a day, it's slightly easier to justify the price. If you're only occasionally going to be plugging in your monitor or USB cables, or going to replace your laptop with a newer model in the next couple years, then stick with what you have.

Nevertheless, this is as smooth an implementation of a laptop dock as we've seen. [BookEndz]