Griffin are a well known mobile phone accessories brand, with products ranging from speaker docks, to phone cases and screen protectors. Today I am going to provide a quick overview of one of their more recent products, the PowerDock 5 Charging station.
We are finding ourselves carrying more and more mobile devices like smart phones, MP3 players and tablets so it makes sense for Griffin to produce a charging station that can handle the charging of up to five devices as large as an iPad. It works on the basis that you connect the dock to the mains, which then supplies the charging station with 15V 4A (total of 60W), which then in turn outputs 5x 5Vdc and 2.1A, which pretty much covers most portable devices.
The PowerDock 5 comes in a small box, with most of the components flat-packed. Griffin also supply various power adaptors – US and EU, which means you can use it in many countries without having to worry about getting a different power adapter. The clear plastic dividers have to be clicked into place and then using clever cable management you connect the mains power to the port underneath (below).
One thing Griffin does not supply with the PowerDock 5 is the cables required to connect the charging station to your portable device. Since it has five USB ports, you will need to provide your own cables if you wish to make the full use of all the ports.
In the image above I connected my Nexus 4 to test the dock’s charging capabilities. At one point I had filled out each port and had a total of two iPads, an iPhone, Nexus 4 and a Nexus 7 all charging at the full speed (some devices can be picky with the input voltage and amps). Everyone in the office found the device useful for charging as we no longer had to have various mains power sockets dedicated to chargers and we could just connect them to the station, then leave them to get on with filling up.
It was slightly annoying that I had to find a spare cable for each device, although Griffin also sell most USB cables for mobile devices so it makes good business sense to not provide them. I had to find fairly short ones, as when I filled out all the slots, there was a lot of cables hanging about, which did make things difficult.
Overall I couldn’t fault the Griffin PowerDock 5, it’s a great idea of integrating many chargers into one and with the right cable lengths, makes charging numerous devices a breeze. Whilst Griffin primarily advertise the charging station at Apple device users, the dock is more than perfect for any portable device which requires 5Vdc to charge. At approximately £80 RRP, it is fairly steep, bearing in mind five chargers can cost you much less (although thinking about it, official Apple chargers cost a pretty penny), but if you want to save space and free up some USB ports/mains power sockets, plus have a decent looking bit of kit all in one small footprint, then then the Griffin PowerDock 5 is ideal.