Under the Radar

Henge Gravitas Docks: A Weighty Solution for iPhone


The Henge Gravitas iPhone/iPad dock offers a sharp contrast to all the cheap plastic device stands on the market. The device comes in both Lightning and 30-pin connector models, so you can get a stand for whatever Apple device you're using. The docks are made from a metal alloys that's "265% denser than aluminum" and the result is a 2.5 lb. Lightning model and a 1.8 lb. 30-pin model that won't be easily knocked over.

The Gravitas name is appropriate: the device feels serious, important and expensive. It is expensive: the Lightning version sells for $89 and the 30-pin version sells for $69 (plus tax and shipping) at the Henge online store. If you're the kind of person who has a relentlessly organized desk or bedside table and you can afford one, this is an impressively beautiful product. There are some things to know before you buy.


Apple tried to abandon the dock business because they think your iPhone or iPad can charge just fine laying flat on a table. Lots of folks like having their device upright, so they're selling half-hearted plastic iPhone docks for $29. Henge is much more ambitious with the Gravitas with a device that aims to match the design and build quality of the devices they charge.

They've has created a system with custom plastic adapters for each device. The Lightning version comes with adapters for the iPhone 5/5s, the iPhone 5C, the iPad and iPad mini that you can swap out based on the device you're using. The 30-pin Gravitas works with the first three iPad generations and the iPhone 4/4s. The adpaters come off easily but don't feel flimsy: you've got to give it a solid pull to get one off.


The Gravitas has an audio connector in the back that pulls audio direct from the Lightning connector. It comes with a well-made 3-ft. USB cable. You're going to have to spring for a separate cable if you need something longer.


Each of the four adapters is labeled, but you may need a flashlight to make out the names since they're stamped into the plastic way up inside the bottom of the adapter. That keeps the design clean on the outside, but it's a minor challenge if that kind of thing frustrates you.


The biggest issue comes up if you use a case for your iPhone or iPad. The adapters are designed to hold your device firmly in place and cases just won't fit. You can use the Gravitas without the adapter if you don't mind exposing yourself to some sharp corners that are usually covered up by the adapter and you don't mind ruining the visual design that's part of what makes dropping $80 on a dock attractive in the first place.

You can get an iPhone or iPad dock that may or may not work for less than $5 on Amazon or you can buy a cable organizer and just charge your devices on their sides. The Gravitas is designed for users who want the executive model that makes an impression on people who visit your office. It's expensive, but it also looks and feels expensive. If you're willing to use your iPhone or iPad without a case, it's a nice option.

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