Review: An Elegant iPhone Dock without the High-End Price

If you have Apple products, Satechi is a great accessory vendor to keep an eye on. It specializes in iOS and Mac add ons that look right at home on any Apple user's desk or even in the Apple Store, with one difference. The price tag. While Apple charges a premium for its gear, Satechi's products are quite reasonably priced. The Aluminum Lightning Charging Stand ($24.99) is a great example. Like Apple's accessories, it's constructed with aluminum components and sports a sleek, minimal design. The stand is sold in the same colors as the iPhone (except Rose Gold, for now at least), but at $24.99, it's cheaper than almost anything on Apple's pricelist. Additionally, Satechi often offers discount codes, when you sign up on its website. 

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There are some gotchas. One way Satechi keep the cost down is that the dock does not include a Lightning cable, so you need to provide your own authentic Apple cable. The dock also requires some assembly, using the included allen wrench. At first, this was annoying, but then, when I tried to use the dock with one of my bulkier cases, it didn't fit. By adjusting the cable with the wrench, I was able to get the best fit for my case, so the customization was helpful. Also keep in mind that while the dock works with the iPad mini, it certainly is not for full-size iPads.

Pros

  • Aluminum components
  • Assorted color choices
  • Very affordable
  • Sleek, minimal design

Cons

  • Requires some assembly
  • Does not include Lightning cable
  • Not for full-size iPad

Final Verdict

If you are looking for accessories that blends in with your Apple environment without breaking the bank, products like the Satechi Aluminum Lightning Charging Stand are a good fit. 

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. 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.