CES of THINGS: Best Dock, Cable, and NanoCable

As you can imagine, there are plenty of docks and cables at CES, so it's hard to stand out. Yet, three vendors were able to do so.

First, HengeDocks offered the massive Gravitas. This is a great dock and a great name for it, as the first thing you will notice is the weight. This is a dock that is meant to stay put, and allow for undocking even an iPad with one hand.

The weight and non-slip grip mean you should find a nice place for the gravitas and let it stay there for eternity, or at least as long as the Lightning standard lasts! Thanks to removable inserts, you can accommodate iPhones, iPads, and iPad minis with or without cases. I've owned and written about HengeDocks and their docking stations for MacBooks so it's nice to see the iOS line of products get some loving!

Sometimes you just want a cable that you can throw your gadget bag; but should you bring a short cable or a long cable that takes up more room? The good folks at Cord Cruncher have taken their earbud technology and translated it to a Lightning cord. The CordCruncher cable is nice and short, normally, but by grabbing both ends and stretching, it becomes about three times the length! It's like a magic trick that's useful!

If that's too long, check out the CulCharge, an almost microscopic cable by comparison. The CulCharge, which got its start via IndieGoGo, is about the size of a USB thumb drive and has a USB port on one side, and a connector for you phone on the other end.

They offer Lightning, 30pin, miniUSB, and microUSB versions, and each comes with a keyring so you can carry the CulCharge with you all the time. The tip is a little wide, so you might need to remove your iPhone from its case, if it's a bulky case, but other than that, the CulCharge is a must have if you are always looking for a Lightning cable!

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone.

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip, but over the years, Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62.

In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.