CableJive has released HeroDock ($50), a universal stand designed to accommodate a number of different devices and cables, including newer iOS devices and Lightning cables. HeroDock is made of an aluminum base, with one piece designed to dock a device, and another piece used for rear support. The rear support piece can be moved to properly fit different cases. A small hook on the back of the rear support can be used to hold earbuds or an extra cable. Two sticky strips on the bottom of the base are used to affix HeroDock to a surface, which allows a device to be undocked using one hand only. Cable routing is also provided on the underside of the base, but no cables are included in the package.
Assembling HeroDock is, quite simply, a pain. CableJive boasts of the dock’s “no-tool assembly,” but that doesn’t make it an easy process. There are a number of small pieces, and the use and installation of each depends on which cable you’re using and what case is on your device. Though directions are included with HeroDock, we actually had to watch CableJive’s video to better understand the setup — not an ideal situation, to say the least.
Obviously, we used a Lightning cable for this review, and we wanted to adjust the cable’s length to allow for case compatibility. Even this may require some trial-and-error — too high and the device will wobble more than you’d like, too low and it won’t dock. Once we got it where we wanted it, we found HeroDock provided adequate support and there were no issues with charging. We docked an iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad mini 4, and even an iPad Air 2, but we’d be most likely to use HeroDock with an iPhone. Most prospective customers would likely feel the same way.
We feel that CableJive really did try to create a one-dock-fits-all solution here, but most users aren’t going to want to swap out cables to charge different types of devices, so docks often end up being a one-device type of accessory, anyway. And users certainly aren’t going to want to go through HeroDock’s installation process over and over, regardless. We know we’re biased, but a Lightning-only HeroDock likely would have made for fewer parts and easier installation.
Once you’ve got everything worked out and installed properly for your specific device/case combo, HeroDock is an attractive docking solution. It’s the setup that’s the problem.
Company and Price
Compatible: Lightning iOS devices, certain iOS devices with micro-USB charging cases