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Review: Bluelounge MiniDock

Rating: 4/5

Posted in iPhone, iPod, Reviews on 15/01/2012 by Jim Gresham

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Award-winning design studio Bluelounge has created the MiniDock to eliminate cluttered charging spots.  Without the need for a charging cable, the MiniDock creates a dock space on any outlet by utilizing the standard AC Adapter provided with any iDevice containing a 30 pin connector.  As a company that prides itself on “forward design aesthetic,” which is derived from interest in art and architecture, the MiniDock is truly an expression of technology and modern construction.  Neither form nor function reign supreme over the other.

Usability

To use the dock, first plug the Apple AC adapter into the wall.  Second, cradle your iDevice onto the the MiniDock.  Third, plug the MiniDock into the USB port on the AC Adapter.  If placing the iDevice last, there may not be enough room between the wall and the dock to fit the device without scraping the wall.  The slanted angle of the dock causes this issue, but it is not without reason and can be explained with an elementary understanding of physics: leaning the iDevice toward the wall shortens the fulcrum distance; consequently, the MiniDock does not need extra support to remain plugged into the outlet, even with the weight of the iDevice. Nice.

I used the included spacer stickers to close the gap between the phone and edge of the dock, as I do not keep my iPhone in a case.  The supplied spacers come in 1.5mm, 2.5mm, and 3.5mm variations.  At first, I applied the 2.5mm spacer, but the angle was too acute, causing the iPhone to rest against the wall.  If the iPhone does not have a case, I recommend using the 3.5mm spacer.  Bluelounge has also allowed for cases in their design.  The MiniDock will accommodate iPhones with cases – just make sure to try each spacer before sticking them to the dock.  The words you will utter trying to peel a spacer off…. just measure twice, stick once.

Function

The MiniDock is perfect for anyone who hates cords or wants a slick way to charge an iDevice. A dock is the perfect solution for over-the-kitchen-couter charging or in a hotel room above the night stand.  The polished look is appealing to the eye and, perhaps most importantly, is likely to make your house guests jealous.  In addition, the lightweight design makes the MiniDock a perfect travel companion.  The only concerning aspect of the unit is its tendency to get very warm when charging.

Conclusion 
Rating: 4/5

I am a sucker for any accessory that looks great and performs its primary function without delay or complication.  The MiniDock ($19.95, link) is a great way to charge your iDevice in style without cord-clutter.  Ultimately, the dock charges your device, but does your current charging solution offer such a visually pleasing experience?

The MiniDock is a well designed product all the way down to the box in which it is packaged.

Pros

  • No cords!
  • Supports the weight of an iPhone without extra support
  • Plugs easily into Apple AC Adapter
  • Perfect for travel
  • Works with laptop USB ports as well and will sync with iTunes
  • Looks really cool

Cons

  • Gets warm while charging – I’m no electrician, but could be cause for concern
  • Spacer stickers are difficult to get off if you use the wrong one

Bluelounge

I recommend keeping an eye on Bluelounge as they have a complete  lineup of excellent and well designed products.  To monitor and interact, follow @bluelounge on Twitter,



Jim Gresham

Author

Jim Gresham

An avid Macintosh convert, Jim appreciates the fine, detailed, and progressive products Apple designs. He spent his younger years tinkering with computers, reading about technology, and watching Star Wars. Since 2008, he has worked on improving his Apple arsenal and spends his free time researching the latest gadget trends. A native of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he enjoys the stiff crease on a well-ironed dress shirt and dons a bow tie on a regular basis.