AccessoriesReviews

Kensington StudioCaddy: The Review

Kensington StudioCaddy

Kensington is one of the largest computer accessory manufacturers, creating a number of accessories for Apple products in particular. Recently I had the opportunity to review the impressive StudioDock, a charger and hub designed for the iPad Pro. The StudioDock makes it simple to turn an iPad Pro into a second monitor for a Mac. It also has wireless charging spots for iPhone and AirPods, as well as USB 3.1, HDMI and Ethernet ports. Today I’m reviewing the Kensington StudioCaddy (US$179.99), a brand-new product offering another take on keeping Apple products charged.

Kensington StudioCaddy

Design

The StudioCaddy is a much more generic product than the iPad-focused StudioDock. It consists of two parts:

  • A powered wireless charging dock for iPhone and AirPods, with USB-C and USB-A ports for charging other devices
  • An unpowered stand padded with silicone bumpers to hold an iPad and MacBook at the same time

The powered dock comes with a large AC adapter equipped with plugs for most outlets around the world. The long power cable provides flexibility in StudioCaddy placement. The power cable comes in on the left side of the unit, and there’s an LED-equipped power button if you wish to eliminate any power drain when not in use.

An attractive neutral gray/tan fabric covers the surface of the charging dock. There’s a small depression for the AirPods charger to sit in, while the iPhone sits vertically on a padded arm with a silicone “bumper” at the bottom. The right side of the unit features the USB-A and USB-C ports. These are perfect for charging an Apple Watch (USB-A) and keeping a MacBook Air or Pro charged (USB-C).

One More Port, Please

I think the StudioCaddy would be perfect if it had just one more USB port. The accessory could theoretically charge AirPods, iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad Pro and MacBook with an additional USB port. As it is, it’s missing the ability to charge all of those devices at the same time.

The two-part construction of StudioCaddy is actually quite smart. The unpowered section holds an iPad / iPad Pro and MacBook vertically, with a weighted base that keeps everything in place. The stand magnetically locks to the powered section . It also stands alone if you prefer.

StudioCaddy is solidly constructed and doesn’t feel cheap. That’s quite different from many of the chargers and stands we see from other manufacturers. Of course, you’re paying for that quality, and the StudioCaddy commands a premium price.

Function

StudioCaddy’s design makes it perfect for everyday charging of your Apple devices. It doesn’t take up a lot of desktop real estate, and the padded bumpers hold a MacBook Pro or Air securely. Moving the two sections apart gives the StudioCaddy flexibility not found in other solutions. The stand and charging sections are separated in the image below:

Kensington StudioCaddy with stand and charging sections separated

With the two pieces magnetically locked together, StudioCaddy appears to be one one large charging stand:

Kensington StudioCaddy with stand and charging sections connected

I like the fact that the front of the StudioCaddy has two white LEDs to indicate that wireless charging is taking place. Another good touch is the power button. All electronic devices use just a bit of electricity except when powered off, and it’s nice to know that the charging section can be totally shut off.

Review overview

Wireless Charging10
USB Ports7
Construction10
Flexibility of Design10
Value8.9

The Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Good looking
  • Flexible placement
  • Usable with most current Apple products

The Cons

  • One USB charging port short of perfection

summary

9.2Both the Kensington StudioCaddy and the StudioDock are quality products that serve separate needs. I highly recommend both of them. The StudioCaddy is less iPad-oriented than the StudioDock, so if your primary need is to keep your devices organized and charged with a focus on holding a MacBook, it's perfect for you. iPad Pro owners should seriously consider the StudioDock instead.

the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!

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