Carte Blanche BLOC charging dock review

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Oops, they did it again. The nice people at Apple, with their new products and popularity, are inspiring an entire ecosystem to sprout up around Watch accessories. We’ve reviewed several here, and I’m sure that trend will continue. This latest charging stand that I was sent comes from Boostcase, and is a rather formidable presence. It consists of a very monolithic stand, which hides a cable management system and a battery pack. Unless you look under it or view the right edge, which shows the battery’s charging port and power level indicators, it looks like a solid block of aluminum with a hole made for the puck of the Apple Watch magnetic charger. 

Note: Photos may be tapped or clicked for a larger image.

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Even in use, there is nothing that spoils the line of the stand.

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The real story of the Boostcase can be seen by simply flipping it over. Milled or molded deeply into that solid bar is a channel that can hide the full length of any Apple Watch charger’s cable – 1-meter or two, as well as a 2000 mAh battery pack that fits into the right-hand end. When I first looked at it, I thought “No way is this whole cable going to fit in that little groove.”

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Then, I carefully wrapped the entire 1 meter of cord from the silicon insert provided for the proper puck back to where the USB plug ends at the included battery pack. It was a perfect fit! Had I used the 2 meter cable that came with my watch, there is enough depth to the channel to simply run the cable through twice.

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Also included in the package is a white heavy gauge guitar pick, which I thought a bit odd. I actually thought it was something for reviewers only (Occasionally, review units will have little promo items like this.), but this is actually listed on the insert as a “Cable insert tool.” I found it much more helpful for removing the inserts from the packaging, and the cable from the channel, but it’s a standard part of the package.

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So, how does it fare in actual use? Kinda spotty, in my use and in my reading of other reviews. It turns out that the “standard” 1 or 2 meter cable is not always exactly the same length. With the tight confines of the groves of the charging dock, however, there is almost zero tolerance for shorter cables, so the actual connection to the battery pack is not constant. I would usually have to push the USB connector into the plug each evening to force the charging to start. While the battery pack can give 2-3 night’s charging (my Apple Watch is rarely lower than 40% by the end of the day), you may wake to find it still needs 10-15% because during the night, the natural resilience of the cord has caused it to pull the plug from the battery just enough to stop charging. And that’s more than a little irritating. I removed and re-routed it through the maze a few times, but it still had to be “convinced” to start charging by pushing the plug into the battery. I wish there was a way to remove just a little of the final turn, in order to allow the plug a little leeway. At that point, this would be a 5 star item. As it stands, it’s three.

Updates 03/31/16

Never made it into my personal device arsenal. Too bulky, heavy, and unreliable.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by BoostCase. Please visit for more info.

 

Product Information

Price:$80
Manufacturer:Boostcase
Retailer:various places online and offline
Requirements:
  • Apple Watch with band that lays out flat
Pros:
  • Striking looks
  • Amazing packaging
  • Interesting design
Cons:
  • Really tight tolerances for cable hinder use
Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, Reviews, Watches and Clocks
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