Charging stations to organize our rats nest of charging cables aren’t a new concept. We’ve seen them in many shapes and sizes over the years, some of which achieve the goal more cleanly and fashionably than others. But I can’t recall one that does so in a “premium” form. That’s the spot a company called Udoq is trying to fill. They essentially have one design, constructed with Aluminum and is generously customizable. This Synopsis takes a close look at what you can expect.
Udoq makes a valiant effort to suit to different user cases. We live in a world with not only different device standards (Apple or Android) but also different charging connectors. One person may also have more devices than another. Therefore, Udoq offers the same dock in four sizes, as well as old and new connector support.
- Nice-looking, clean accessory for the home
- Rock-solid, expensive-feeling build
- Compartment at back to further hide cables
- Highly customizable ports, in amount, location, and height
- Very expensive for what it is
- Proprietary, add-on connectors also expensive
- “Starter Kit” will likely not have all you need
- Large footprint for a dock
What it’s like to use
- The Udoq dock is shaped like an elongated stand to place your devices side-by-side. So unlike most other charging stations, you can use any of the devices without moving them.
- The entire dock shape is machined from a block of Aluminum. This means that it has some heft to it, but also that the angles of the panels (backplate and kickstand) are rigid and not adjustable.
- No one would want to risk abrasing their device from contact with metal, so Udoq has top and bottom rubber inserts lined across the backplate. There’s also one under the back kickstand to help the tabletop scratch-free and the dock from sliding around.
- When buying the dock, you’ll have to determine which size will work for your device collection. Udoq 250 is the starting model, at 250mm (9.8″) and $89. It’ll be around $20 more for each increment in size: Udoq 400 (400mm or 15.7″) at $115, Udoq 550 (500mm or 21.6″) at $139, and Udoq 700 (700mm or 27.5″) at $159.
- It’s important to be aware that the standard kits (or as Udoq calls it, “Starter Kit”) come with one of each connector that Udoq makes. That is, a microUSB, USB-C, 30-pin Apple, and Lightning connector. This option may work for an office setting, but not for one user, who likely is in either Android’s or Apple’s camp.
- On Udoq’s website, you’re able to configure your purchase, but it’s a little half-baked. For instance, the “Android” option can only be fitted with microUSB, not USB-C for some reason. You can just buy the dock by itself and add the USB-C connectors to the purchase, but the USB-C add-on price costs more than microUSB, so you’ll be paying roughly $20 more than the preset bundle.
- Udoq’s configuration tool is an efficient way to tailor the purchase for your situation, which further emphasizes that despite some of Udoq’s pre-configured options, this is ultimately a custom product. We strongly suggest to use it. You could know how many connectors you need but not necessarily the dock size. The configurator takes into account specific device sizes and tells you what size you’ll need for what devices you plan to use.
- Beside the build, the other way the Udoq stands from the rest is in its thoughtful customization. Mobile devices comes in different shapes and sizes, and the Udoq can conform to any. Firstly, the position of all the connectors can easily slide within their barrel housing.
- Secondly, the caps at the end of the barrel pop off, allowing the connectors to be removed or expanded on.
- You’ll see that the connectors are housed in a cylindrical module so that they can sit in the barrel. These modules split open, revealing a standard-looking jack.
- Unfortunately, they aren’t standard, otherwise, we could just buy our own cables and avoid paying Udoq a premium for the add-ons. We can understand that jacks come in different shapes/sizes, but would’ve liked for Udoq to offer some kind of solution for at least most third-party cables.
- A feature of the proprietary modules is that you can adjust the height that the jack sits. This is considerate, because the depth of insertion differs among devices. You can adjust it to minimize how much your device(s) naturally leans when seated on the dock.
- Speaking of which, you may have a device where the charging port isn’t centered. Udoq thought about that too. There’s a gap-filler tool pre-installed that will catch the other end of device.
- On Udoq’s newer models (which we have), they have adhered a cable/charger compartment on the back of the dock. To charge, the kit comes with a 4-USB, RAVPower charger, which fits within the compartment. This is a nice solution, because the compartment is out of direct view and you’ll only have a single black cable exiting the unit (which you just plug into a wall outlet).
- However, one thing Udoq didn’t think about is the faster charging standards. The included RAVPower charger only charges at a standard rate. You can buy a different one yourself (if you can find the dimensions that don’t exceed the height of the rear compartment), but this is another added cost.
The Udoq is an interesting solution to organize our multi-device world. No one else has a dock this premium and this thought-out/customizable, so we certainly appreciate the company’s efforts. That said, we’re afraid that the price will be way out of range of what most consumers will pay on a device with such basic purpose. This is especially that most charging stations of the like can be had for around $20-$30. Sure, they won’t look as nice, but they’ll do the job.
It also doesn’t help that the Udoq can get rather large, with its elongating design. We also didn’t like the steep cost of adding on extra connectors. Being a proprietary system, you’re stuck paying up if you add another device or change standards. As of right now, we see the Udoq being most useful to spruce up offices/reception areas, especially when considering the comprehensive “Starter Kit”.