Gravitas: seriousness or sobriety, as of conduct or speech.
Henge-Docks' $89 Lightning Gravitas is one serious dock for iPhones and iPads. Sporting an all-metal construction and weight of about 2.5 pounds, this dock is going to stay on your desk like no other.
Despite its heft, it has a small footprint (3 x 3.3 x 2.5 inches). How's that possible? The folks at Henge-Dock says its due to its metal alloy that's "265% more dense than aluminum."
As you might guess from its name, the Lightning Gravitas is designed to work with iDevices sporting a Lighting connector. However, it also sports a USB port for charging and syncing (more on this in a moment), so it will work with just about any iPhone or iPad (including the big ol’ 12.9-inch iPad Pro).
Of course, these devices come in various sizes. That's why the Gravitas comes equipped with inserts to accommodate different devices. There are inserts for the fourth gen iPad, iPad mini, iPad Air, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5/5s. The inserts also, theoretically, let you use your iDevice with the dock without removing the case. If found that this was true in most cases, although the fit was more than snug with thicker cases attached.
Inserting and removing the iDevices we tested (iPhone 5s, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display) was easy; there was no unnecessary force required to insert or remove our gadgets — at least as long as they weren't wearing extra thick cases.
Unlike most other docks, the Gravitas comes with an audio line-out that allows it to be used with an external speaker system. Connect a 3.5 to 3.5mm cable to the Gravitas and an audio system and the music is channeled from the iOS device into whichever speaker system you choose.
Alas, the charging/syncing feature isn't perfect. The connection allows for easy connection go iTunes and draws power no matter what’s plugged in. However, it doesn’t support full 2.4-Amp o speeds. With my wife's iPad mini with Retina display connected, the Gravitas was only drawing about 1.9 A. That's not a deal breaker, but is a slight concern.
At almost $90, the Gravitas isn't inexpensive. However, it does, as mentioned, include a built-in Lightning connector, is heavy enough to allow one-hand operation (you don't have to the dock with one hand and pull on your iDevice with another), and audio line-out. If you don't need or want either of those items, you should go with a cheaper dock.
However, if you want a sturdy dock with some serious extras, the Gravitas is a heavyweight contender.