Just to be clear, this isn’t a review for jerks, but rather an accessory for them.
Ever make an online purchase that you almost instantly regret? Something that seems like a good idea when you’re looking at the product page, but turns out to be a massive disappointment once it arrives and you take it out of the box? That’s Griffin’s PowerDock 5, a shoddily-built, pointless accessory that nobody needs.
Seriously, this thing will make you hate yourself.
I seem to remember from my days as an Apple user that Belkin made the high-quality third-party accessories while Griffin made the tawdry crap that falls apart soon after you buy it. My PowerDock 5 would seem to confirm this theory. Right out of the box the base of it has this garish pink hue, like they didn’t put enough blue in the dye for the plastic mold. See how the strap on my LG G Watch is white, and the base of the PowerDock isn’t? That’s what I’m talking about.
On Griffin’s website, Amazon and other places you’ll see pictures of this thing charging a full-sized iPad. If you care at all about your iPad that’s just not gonna happen—the “dividers” that hold your devices in place are really just cheap plastic tongues that, when snapped into place on the base of the unit, have way too much give. I don’t even trust them to prop up my Anker batteries, let alone a full-sized tablet.
The PowerDock does, at least, charge phones. But at any moment I’m expecting one of the dividers to give, and the whole flimsy structure to collapse in a domino effect, sending my devices tumbling to the floor. To be honest I’m secretly hoping for this to happen—and sooner, rather than later. More on that in a minute.
Did I mention that this $100 CAD powered US hub doesn’t ship with any USB cables? That should have been enough to steer me away from the get-go, but like a moron I went ahead and ordered it anyway.
Effects on Your Self-Esteem
There’s another, less-tangible aspect of the PowerDock to consider: owning one will crush your soul.
I ordered my PowerDock at the behest of a local tech blog, an unfortunate action which speaks to my own lack of confidence more than anything else. “LOOK AT ME, I AM BIG-TIME HOWARD FORUMS BLOGGER FOR FRONT PAGE. THIS ARE TAX WRITE-OFF AND AT SAME TIME SHOWS WORLD HOW IMPORTANT I AM… LOOK AT ALL THE TECHNOLOGIES ON MY DESK!!!”
[I find that the all-caps bit above works best if you read it aloud in a Cookie Monster-type voice…]
Instead, the PowerDock is a gaudy altar to the excesses of the tech industry, and my own shortcomings as a human being. “Oh look, there’s the G and G3 that Motorola and LG were giving away like candy at their press events. And there are those two batteries that that Chinese start-up shipped across the planet for free—the ones that I could only be bothered to write a short blurb about. I really should take that other free thing they sent me out of the box and review it someday. Oh, and there’s my old Nexus that I’m too selfish to re-gift to someone in need… Wow, I’m kind of a dick.”
I’m not even going to bother listing the specs. You don’t need this. I don’t need this. Nobody needs this. If you’re an IT person managing multiple devices there are better tools for the job. For everyone else a bedside table will suffice. The Griffin PowerDock 5 is only good as a constant, nagging reminder of the monster that you’ve become.
-100 Howies out of 5. Can I go lower?