By now, 2011, everyone has a number of electronic devices at home that need to be charged. I keep rotating between two different sets of charging options: a special place for each device, like a nightstand or bookcase, or a location on the end of my desk with an snakes nest of cables. The Dock.ID tries to help manage the charging of devices with a desktop unit that has space for 3 devices to charge and/or sync at the same time. Click on ahead for the review…
The Dock.ID is a desktop charging/syncing stand with three corners, and setup with space for 3 round charging adapters at each of those corners. You pop the different adapters in as you need them, and the package reviewed is the Mobile edition which comes with adapters for Sony, Apple, Nokia, Samsung, micro USB, and mini USB adapters. Other packages include the Photo edition: 2 iPhone/iPod connector, 2 Mini, 2 Micro USB adapters and the Game edition with DS/PSP/iOS/Mini/MicroUSB. The top of the Dock.ID’s corners is a flat round surface with a 1/8 mini-jack that connects to each adapter. The idea is you place your device on top of each charging adapter to charge or sync. The plastic adapters that are setup for syncing have a switch on them to choose between sync and charge.
On the top of the Dock.ID is an LED that indicates which modes are active, basically one LED for charging and one for syncing. The back of the Dock.ID has the power and USB connectors, and an On/Off switch for turning the power to the mains off. Each adapter is a round base with the connector to your device on one side and the 1/8” Mini-jack on the bottom that plugs into the Dock.ID unit.
I put on the Apple Dock adapter, the Nokia adapter, and the USB adapter to try to work with my iPhone, PSP, and Nokia N800 at the same time. And here’s where I ran into a problem, a big one in my opinion. See, the Dock.ID doesn’t have any kind of bracing to secure the devices you have charging. If something bumps into your iPhone while it’s connected to the Dock.ID, the only piece securing it in the vertical position is the dock connector. This means there is a very good chance your iPhone’s dock connector or the Dock.ID’s connector will be ripped off.
The N800 was even more precariously balanced on the unit, and I didn’t feel safe leaving it on the Dock.ID to charge. I can say the devices all charged and synced without problems, even my iPhone. But I kept wanting to hold onto my PSP, because like the N800, the only thing holding it in is the Dock.ID USB connector. My iPhone synced too, a 3Gs, without any USB charging errors like I see on some 3rd party chargers. But the weight of the units, secured only by the docking adapter/usb adapter, made the whole operation feel like it was one slight bump from a crisis.
Recommending the Dock.ID is hard; I like the idea, and it performed exactly as promised, but keeping devices connected while only secured by the dock or USB adapters felt very risky. I do appreciate the convenience of the Dock.ID, but my concern for my iPhone/PSP/etc being bumped and having the connectors damaged makes this a hard product to recommend. Unless you are very careful with it, I don’t think it’s worth the extra convenience. Keeping it away from children or pets, maybe on a bookcase shelf, would be the best bet if you decide to purchase the Dock.ID.