Review fans will be quick to recognize the Bluelounge company name as an accessory manufacturer we tend to frequently cover on iDB. Regularity is due to the creative products Bluelounge designs and produces on a continuing basis. The company is an international design studio that creates relevant and well detailed accessories for Apple products. The creative director, Dominic Symons, believes Bluelounge products should solve a problem, look great, and be well built.
To that end, today, Bluelounge announces the Saidoka desktop iPhone companion that is “docked by your side.” The clever and streamlined design utilizes a minimal footprint and is an officially licensed MFI dock with a Lightning charging pin assembly built into the cradle. Thanks to a friend at the company, I enjoyed playing with the dock before its public release…
Design and function
In the past, many iPhone docks we discussed stood upright at an angle similar to a monitor. The iPhone faces the user at a more direct angle. However, the Saidoka uniquely rests the iPhone on a flatter plane. When docked in Saidoka, the iPhone is tilted at the same angle as an Apple wireless keyboard, giving your whole setup a very matching appeal.
Inside the dock’s base, a rubberized insert provides only enough room for a naked iPhone. It may accommodate an iPhone with skins, certainly not a case. Consequently, the insert is removable to provide room for assorted cases, but there is no doubt, the best fit with this dock is a naked iPhone. The angle is perfectly receded to access the Lightning pin without causing any torque issues.
Next to the pin, speaker holes are cut into the cradle area and channels inside the dock’s rim, push sound down and out. This design feature allows music to play through a docked iPhone while causing limited distortion or volume depreciation. It is not a perfect solution, but to provide a clean look, holes are not bored straight through into the speaker areas. Instead, the channels are hidden internally.
To keep Saidoka from scurrying across the desktop every time it is utilized, micro-suction rails keep everything steady. Placing and pulling iPhone from the dock is a one-handed process because the rails stick to smooth surfaces. Anyone with a natural wood or rough surfaced desk may have variable results with micro-suction performance. To be explicit, the rails are not stickers. Instead, they require a suction style connection to the table surface. Therefore, an uneven surface can cause issues for some users.
Saidoka comes with a USB to USB mini braided cable, all in white, which matches the dock and other Apple accessories very well. The whole setup is very Apple in appearance. However, the plastic base leaves a little to be desired. At a whopping $49.95, I am a little shocked by the build materials. Design and build quality are spot on, especially with the exacting tilt angle and precision snug fit on the naked iPhone.
Utilizing plastics is acceptable, but $40 would be a little easier to stomach. Now, to give Bluelounge some credit, when producing an MFI product, the licensing and requirements for Lightning certification are pushing prices a little higher.
Overall, I say give it a solid look. If you prefer a dock that has a lower profile but is still incredibly easy for typing while docked, it is worth a little more research. At the price point, I have a hard time giving it a definitive thumbs up. I can say, my wife has been using the Saidoka 30 pin version, $19.95, since I brought one back from CES and she loves it. So, maybe I am just too picky. No?
What do you guys think? Do you prefer a dock with a lower profile or one that stands your iPhone upright?
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