I feel sorry for the Mac Pro. Here it is, the shining example of Apple's technological prowess, and the poor thing doesn't get much love from accessory manufacturers. Well, at least one company has come out with something to keep your Mac Pro from getting too lonely. Albuquerque, NM-based Hive73 has created a sweet, all-aluminum desktop shelf called the Mac Pro Deck (US$173.00) that keeps all of your peripherals and goodies right near your favorite cylindrical computer.
- Dimensions (Studio Edition): 14.25 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches (362 x 241.3 x 241.3 mm)
- Weight: 9.2 lbs (4.17 kg)
- Materials: 5000 series aluminum, steel tubing for headphone hanger
The Mac Pro Deck Studio Edition is designed to sit on your desktop next to your Mac Pro. It's about the same height, made of very solid sheet aluminum. There's an adjustable shelf held in place by four steel alloy bolts, so when you get it in place, it's not going anywhere. On one side of the Deck is a cutout that matches the curve of the Mac Pro, allowing the two to nestle together.
Those steel bolts allow you to put the shelf into six different configurations, creating an amazing variety of ways that you can pop your peripherals into place. The top of the Deck is padded with a thin layer of a grippy rubber material, perfect for making sure that your iPhone or iPad don't slip off.
On your desktop, the Deck takes up only 126 square inches, yet if you put something on the bottom, the shelf, and the top, it's equivalent to having 378 square inches of storage area.
One other nice feature is the headphone rack. It's made of 1/4-inch steel tubing and screws into the side of the Deck, providing a nice place to hang your favorite 'phones.
If you have any rack-mountable accessories, Hive73 is taking pre-orders soon for a 19-inch wide version called the Producer Edition. Think of it as a standard rack mount for your desktop!
My desk is usually a very large and unruly mess, so for my testing I thought that I'd see if I could use the Deck to bring some semblance of order to it. I don't own a Mac Pro - they don't pay me that well - but my thought was that this would make a good "dock" for an MacBook Pro. I could hang my headphones on the side where they'd be easily accessible instead of buried beneath a pile of stuff, maybe even have my DSLR close at hand for taking product shots.
Size-wise, the top of the Deck is almost a perfect match for a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, so that was a fortuitous coincidence.
Installing the headphone hanger is simple and just requires a hex wrench of the right size. Once the entire Deck is ready to go, you can just start loading its up with your equipment.
I have only two little niggling gripes: first, I wish they'd put the rubberized material on both the top and bottom. On a hard surface, the aluminum can slide a little bit, so either another sheet of that material or some screw-in rubber feet would be great. The other gripe is also about the rubberized material, which curled up a tiny amount at the corners, so the adhesive may have dried out a little bit.
The construction of the Hive73 Mac Pro Deck is otherwise first-rate, and anyone who owns one of Apple's flagship desktop machines should seriously consider getting one of these for keeping their office organized. If you can afford a Mac Pro, then getting a Mac Pro Deck needs to be the next purchase you make.
Kudos to Hive73 for coming out with a quality "sidecar" for the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro Deck is a perfect companion for Apple's top-end Mac, with a price tag that's affordable.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible