Review: Dexim Dual Dock Charger for iPhone 3G + iPod
Dual dock iPod accessories began to materialize in early 2008, shortly after Apple and third-party developers began to realize that there were people out there with multiple Dock Connector-equipped devices in their homes. Thus, we saw speakers such as JVC's NX-PX7 and charging stations including Griffin's PowerDock 2 and 4; now, Dexim has its own entry called the Dual Dock Charger for iPhone 3G + iPod ($45).
What the Dual Dock Charger offers is essentially a repackaged version of the PowerDock 2—two Universal Docks connected to a wall adapter—with a look and one different feature that you may or may not like. PowerDock featured a prominent brushed metal top plate and black plastic body, while Dexim’s design is longer, made almost entirely from black plastic, and piped with transparent, light blue lines. Six black plastic Universal Dock Adapters are also included in the package, handling the shapes of recent iPod and iPhone models alike.
Dexim’s sole new feature is cosmetic. Plug in an iPod or iPhone, flip a switch on the unit’s right side, and the light blue lines glow blue, all across the unit’s sides and top. Unplug the device or flip the switch and the lights turn off; the lighting will not stay on if there isn’t a device in one of the docks, and doesn’t change in color or intensity if two devices are there. Though it’s simple, we’ll admit to actually liking the effect, though it has a certain 1980’s neon appeal that is definitely not for everyone, and the look of the glowing glossy plastic Dual Dock Charger is certainly not as room-neutral as the PowerDock’s design.
Not surprisingly, the Dual Dock Charger does what it’s supposed to do electronically: USB-powered iPods and iPhones alike can be plugged into the dual docks without warning notices or charging complaints, and separately receive standard 500mA rather than “fast” 1A recharging power as they charge. The only port on the rear of the device is for the included wall power adapter; like PowerDock, there’s no audio-out, data-out, or other functionality here to evaluate. This is solely designed to be placed somewhere convenient in your home or office, charging the devices docked inside.
Aesthetics aside, the only factor weighing in one dock’s or the other’s favor is pricing. Griffin introduced PowerDock 2 at $50 and now sells it directly for $40, with Apple carrying it for $50 and Amazon selling it for $30. By comparison, the Dual Dock Charger is being sold by Dexim and its U.S. partner RichardSolo for $45. All things considered, PowerDock 2 strikes us as a better buy, but if you prefer Dexim’s design or lighting system, you’ll find the Dual Dock Charger to be functionally near-identical and a nice charger.