iPhone docks are a dime a dozen, right? I’ve used a lot of docks, and very few of them stand out significantly above their peers. The Element Vapor Dock ($119.90), however, is quickly changing my mind! I’ve had a chance to run it through it’s paces, and I’m thrilled to tell you exactly why I am so impressed.
The Vapor Dock is a premium iPhone accessory, carefully crafted from durable aluminum, and built with extra weight in the base to allow you to easily remove a docked iPhone or iPad. From it’s aluminum construction to its aesthetically pleasing design, the Vapor Dock is like the long lost brother/desk companion to your MacBook or iMac. Be warned though: A dock built to this premium doesn’t come cheap, with a retail cost of $119.99.
If I could choose only one word to describe the Vapor Dock, it would be high-end. This is the sort of iPhone dock that Jony Ive himself might design in his secret lab at Apple. The dock is built from a single hunk of aluminum, using the same unibody process that Apple uses with their MacBooks.
The dock comes in two colors, black and silver, with the latter color designed to perfectly match the anodized aluminum color and texture of a MacBook, and many of Apple’s accessories. Place it on a desk next to your MacBook Pro and you may easily forget that this was designed by someone other than Apple.
Another of the finer points of the Vapor Dock is that it’s carefully weighted in such a way that you can easily remove your iPhone or iPod from the dock without the dock ever rising from your desk. The docking slot is also built to be large enough for iPhones with even the bulkiest of cases, while still accenting a naked iPhone without making it look silly.
The design also includes a small hidden compartment in the bottom for storing a 30-pin charge/sync cable (which screws in using the included hex tool for easy replacement), and soft rubber grips underneath to prevent it from sliding around on your desk or damaging any surface you might place it on. It also includes a small padded pocket in the rear to rest a pair of earbuds.
Finally, the design is finished with the inclusion of tastefully carved speaker hollows, which lead into carefully crafted air champers which allow the microphone to function correctly while preserving and amplifying the sound coming from your iPhone’s speaker – and all of this without requiring any sort on-board electronics!
As nice as the Vapor Dock is on its own, it looks even better when paired with one of Element’s precision aluminum cases, which protect your iPhone with a strong aluminum shield, as well as protecting the screen by extending slightly beyond the front and back of your device.
The Element cases and Vapor Dock look incredible together, no matter which color combination you choose, and combine to produce a stunning, highly industrial-looking effect. It looks absolutely gorgeous on a dek like mine that is strewn with Apple products.
It’s hard to find fault with a product like the Vapor Dock. It’s expertly designed, functional, and quite elegant, and I just can’t get over how great it looks next to all of my gear. In my view, it’s only substantial shortcoming is the price. At $120, this is perhaps the most expensive non-electric dock I have seen, which will put it out of reach of most consumers. Add a Vapor Pro iPhone case into the mix and the combo comes in at a staggering $250.
While this may be one of the finest docks I have ever seen, and while premium products do tend to cost more than their run-of-the-mill counterparts, it’s difficult to justify that sort of cost for something that is only intended to sit on your desk. As such, it’s difficult for me to recommend a product like the Vapor Dock to anyone that isn’t fairly high up on the economic ladder.
- Compatible both naked and encased devices.
- Durable, solid, and well-weighted.
- Gorgeous design carved from a single brock of aluminum.
- Looks like the long-lost brother to my other Apple products.
- Amplifies and improves sound quality.
- The Vapor Dock’s $120 price tag puts it out of reach of many consumers.