Review: Satechi Aluminum Mobile Dock + Aluminum Watch Stand
Satechi has recently released two new aluminum docks — one for small iOS devices, and another for Apple Watch. Aluminum Mobile Dock ($25) — also known as Aluminum Charging Lightning Stand — is made for iPhone/iPad mini, and Aluminum Watch Stand ($25) is for Apple Watch. Both docks are minimalist in both design and setup, and both of them are fully aluminum outside of a soft-touch base. Each dock comes in either silver, gold, or space gray.
Aluminum Mobile Dock requires a short setup — the arm holding the iPhone, iPod, or iPad mini is screwed onto the base with two small screws and a hex key. After that, a user-supplied Lightning cable is slid up through the bottom of the base and clipped into the dock. (Keep in mind, like many docks, Aluminum Mobile Dock is specifically designed for Apple’s Lightning cables or similarly-sized cables.) The cable is then routed through the bottom of the base and out the back — the cable is kept in place with little aluminum “spikes” that will surely make little dot marks in your cable, at the very least. You can move the cable up slightly to ensure it will work with various cases.
Aluminum Watch Dock allows users to charge an Apple Watch in standard orientation, or in Nightstand mode. It’s similar to Spigen’s Apple Watch Stand S330 — a simple one-piece aluminum stand with the charging cable routed out the back of the dock. Unlike Spigen’s stand, however, Aluminum Watch Dock is fully aluminum, save for the rubber on the base and charging puck areas. It’s also a bit sturdier and more elegant than Spigen’s option, for the same price.
There’s little to find fault with in Satechi’s newest aluminum docks. While some may be concerned with the aluminum digging into the Lightning cable on Aluminum Mobile Dock, it likely won’t be an issue unless the cable is removed and re-installed often. If that’s the case, we urge caution during installation. But overall, both of these docks are handsome, inexpensive successes that compare favorably to the competition, and both earn our high recommendation.