Following the recent release of the StudioDock, an opulent stand that turns the iPad Pro into a mini desktop computer, Kensington is expanding its Apple-focused offerings today with the $179.99 StudioCaddy. It’s an unusual product with a simple goal: it’s meant to be the place where all your Apple devices can live.
The StudioCaddy is comprised of two halves that attach magnetically. The first half is a basic metal stand that you can slot a closed MacBook into, and there’s also a rubberized shelf out front designed to hold an iPad. The second half attaches onto the front and includes two Qi wireless chargers, one vertical for an iPhone and one horizontal with a recess that you can put an AirPods case into.
You could, of course, use the StudioCaddy with many combinations of Windows ultrabook, Android tablet and phone, and Qi-equipped wireless earbuds. Kensington is focusing on the Apple ecosystem, though — the product’s full name is actually “StudioCaddy with Qi Wireless Charging for Apple Devices.”
The StudioCaddy feels very well built, and each stand is sturdy enough not to get knocked around a desk. The wireless charging stand also has USB-C and USB-A ports for extra power, providing up to 20W over USB-C — enough to charge an iPad (but not a MacBook Pro) reasonably quickly, or even an Apple Watch if you want to complete the set. That’s useful, although the external AC adapter is a little bulkier than I’d prefer.
While I’ve found many vertical Qi chargers don’t work with my iPhone 12 Mini, Kensington has included a swappable part that lifts the phone to raise its wireless charging coils to the right level. It’s also recommended for use with smaller phones like the iPhone SE or the 11 Pro, though I found various larger Android devices would also charge just fine with it in place.
The main idea with the StudioCaddy is that you can save a lot of desk space by storing all your Apple devices in the same place. In practice, though, I’m not sure that people would need their iPhone charger to be attached to their laptop. Until recently I almost always used my MacBook Pro in “clamshell” mode on another stand, and I put it out of the way to save space, which the StudioCaddy does well. But I’d rather have the iPhone charging in front of me at my desk so I can see notifications coming in, so the benefit of the all-in-one approach is mostly lost on me.
If your desk setup allows it, which mine does not, it could be neat to put the StudioCaddy next to your monitor with your phone facing you and your MacBook in clamshell mode. That’s quite a lot of horizontal space to give up, however. You could also just use the StudioCaddy’s two halves independently of one another, and then you’d be left with a good wireless charger and a good MacBook/iPad stand. But there are lots of other options out there for both of those use cases.
You know your own desk situation better than I do, and I can recommend the StudioCaddy if you think it’d be a decent fit. It’s a well-made, versatile product that does what it sets out to do, and most people with a lot of Apple devices could probably make good use out of it. It’s not cheap, though, so you’d have to be sure it was a better option for you than replicating all the functionality with separate products.