While the MacBook Air’s blend of portability and functionality is hard to top, its puny hard drive, lack of an optical drive, and dearth of USB ports put it far behind a normal notebook in terms of everyday usefulness. Apricorn aims to change this with its new Aegis NetDock, a compact, 3-in-1 USB docking station designed for notebooks, ultra-portable notebooks, and tablet-style PCs.
Incorporating a triple threat of a 500GB hard drive, a dual layer DVD burner, and a 4-port USB hub—all in a package not much larger than a standard external DVD player—the Aegis NetDock could very well bring your MacBook Air up to par with a full-sized notebook.
The NetDock, which connects to your Mac via a single USB cable, comes in a candy-red enclosure and sits either flat on your desk or vertically with its included stand. Its four USB ports provide ample connections for your peripheral devices, and since the NetDock already gives you 500 GB of storage, you probably won’t need to devote any of those ports to an external hard drive. Furthermore, two of the NetDock’s USB ports are always on, so you can use them to charge your mobile devices even while your MacBook Air is disconnected or off.
The built-in dual-layer DVD player is perfect for playing movies and can record up to 8.5 GB of data on compatible DVD-Rs. The NetDock also includes a power saving feature that powers the device down when not in use, and automatically turns it on when you connect it to your Mac.
The NetDock sells for $189, and can also be purchased without a built-in hard drive for $89.