Keeping all of your gadgets charged is a perpetual modern life struggle. Between phones, smartwatches, tablets, laptops, headphones, game consoles, battery packs, and fitness trackers, there are too many gadgets that need to be charged at all times.
The Dock (a very descriptive name) is a new product from ThanoTech that looks to solve the charging conundrum. It’s a big, hulking tray thing that you’re meant to put on your nightstand or dresser that has a built-in wireless charger (which also pops out of the dock and works as a portable battery pack), an integrated nook to snake through an Apple Watch charger, and a pair of USB ports for charging up devices the old-fashioned way. Rounding out the features is a pop-out drawer on the side for stashing things you presumably use less frequently.
The whole thing is tastefully housed in a leather and aluminum base. That looks okay, but I’m just not convinced that the Dock is the way to go here. With devices like Apple’s AirPower around the corner, I’m increasingly frustrated with charging docks that require stuffing an Apple Watch charger through some cutout to make it look like it belongs. Ultimately, the Dock isn’t offering a whole lot in the way of functionality; there are easier, cheaper, and smaller devices that offer a wireless Qi charger and a couple of USB ports. Aside from the Apple Watch charger, it doesn’t look like the Dock offers a way to manage those other cables — meaning if you’re using it for anything that’s wired, you’re right back where you started in terms of clutter. Unless you’re truly enamored with the compartmentalized tray layout that the Dock provides, I’m just not seeing the benefit here.
The Dock is available to back on Kickstarter for early bird prices ranging from $150 to $170, with a final retail price of $189 following the campaign. ThanoTech hopes to ship in July and has actually delivered on previous crowdfunding products. (But, as always, use your own discretion before backing.)
I believe in my heart that someone will eventually solve the charging problem. Maybe it’s Qi charging, some kind of ultra-fast wired quick charger, or something we haven’t seen yet… but a desk tray organizer with a couple USB ports doesn’t feel like the solution.