gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Griffin iPod iPhone Powerdock


The Griffin PowerDock is one of those products that does exactly what it says on the tin in a largely unexciting but elegant way. Capable of charging either two or four iPods, be they iPhones, iPod Touches or any other iPod product bar the shuffle, the PowerDock is an attractive desktop stand that will consolidate all the iPod charging a family could need into one single and tidy solution that occupied only one mains plug.

There are plenty of ways in which the PowerDock could be improved, but none of these pertain to its primary functionality of simply charging devices. Sure it would be nice to have a switch-able audio output, and a USB port for syncing docked devices but it really doesn’t need any of these things.

In fact, because it doesn’t include superfluous speakers or other fluff there’s little to break or go wrong, and there’s absolutely zero possibility of annoying inteference from an iPhone.

The PowerDock has an attractive, solid, brushed aluminium upper surface that curves gracefully down toward the front of the dock. Depending on the version either two or four docking points can be found cut into this surface and each of them will take a universal dock adaptor which will tailor it to suit a particular flavour of iPod.

The PowerDock comes supplied with a range of such adaptors but, as with every other iPod dock equipped device, I find myself reluctant to bother using them, even though they offer protection from undue force breaking the delicate dock connector. However, I’ve yet to ever break either end of a dock connector using them “naked”.

A PowerDock without dock adaptors could make a great office accessory. With potentially many iPod owners charging via USB or using untested mains adaptors the PowerDock can offer a single PAT-tested charging point for employees iPods. This is an idea I’m quite keen on, but have yet to find a suitable place to actually put the dock in this office so I can try it out.

Overall there’s little that can be said about the PowerDock. If you want to simultaneously charge 4 iPods without using up 4 plug sockets or USB ports and facing the tangled mess of wiring that might ensue, then look no further than this compact, stylish and unobtrusive little wonder. It does this one, highly specific task perfectly well and will fit easily in the kitchen, living room or hallway where you can drop off your i-devices for charging and never have to worry where they are at 7 in the morning. It takes a generic 2-pin power cable, too, meaning there’s no horrible big plug to deal with and, should you lose or damage the power cable it’s easy to replace.

Monday, January 19th, 2009, Featured, iPhone, Personal Audio.