Covering several Bluelounge products in our review section, astute readers will now be somewhat familiar with the product line. Creating items from packs to docks, Bluelounge attempts to combine form and function for their small, yet clever array of items. The company, taking hints from both art and architecture, prides itself on “forward design aesthetic.”
Well over a year ago, the MiniDock became a staple item for users trying to get rid of desktop clutter. A portable charging dock made carrying a 30 pin cable around the house a thing of the past. Today, Bluelounge updates their MiniDock with Lightning compatibility and refines a few nice touches at the same time. I was able to get my hands on a prerelease model and am impressed with the new features…
Function and design
The MiniDock functions as a portable charging dock for iPhone 5. It operates simply, by plugging into your AC USB charger, making any wall outlet a charging dock. No additional equipment is needed, no screws, no cords. The dock tilts the iPhone back slightly, thus reducing the weight at the end of the dock and preventing it from slipping off the wall.
On the previous model, the tilted angle prevented the user from adding or removing an iPhone while plugged in. There was not enough room between the wall and the phone. With a quick bit of genius, the new lightning pin is hinged. Now, if the unit is docked in the outlet, simply tilt your iPhone forward and remove gently. Problem solved.
Another improvement is found with the included spacers. The MiniDock is created to fit with medium to small cases or naked iPhones. However, to properly accommodate the variation, Bluelounge includes two different size spacers to ensure a proper seat for your device. Previously, the included spacers were foam strips of varying sizes. Now the MiniDock comes with a color matched plastic spacer, which fits very naturally in the curve of the dock. I carry my iPhone naked, which required me to use the larger spacer, making up the gap. It fits perfectly with no wiggle room.
The MiniDock creates a dock right on your wall, eliminating cables with a clean design. It is especially useful for kitchen counter charging, where having a mess of cables is annoying at best. Having used the original MiniDock for more than a year, I can vouch for its excellent design and compact size. I often leave it in my travel bag, as it is perfect for taking on the road where cables are wasteful. Speaking of, it can completely replace the cable, as the MiniDock fits in any USB port and even works plugged into the side of your MacBook. Better yet, it is data compatible, allowing iTunes syncing, just like I would expect.
Ultimately, it is a great purchase, but a little on the pricey side. At $39.95, it is twice the price of its older 30 pin brother. A great product and excellently convenient, but with a $40 price tag, I would have to think more than twice before spending the cash.
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