Griffin PowerDock 5 Review: Is This Gadget The Solution To Your Charger Battles?


As anyone who lives in a house of more than two normal humans (or less if that number includes even a minor gadget fan), there just aren't enough chargers in the world. It's difficult to explain, but no matter how many millions of USB plugs, cables and solutions that are made around the world and shipped to your door, there's always one less available than you actually need.

The Griffin PowerDock 5 attempts to solve this problem. This handy-looking gadget is essentially a powered USB dock, designed to charge and store up to 5 iPads, iPhones or in our ill-advised experience (not recommended by the T&Cs) pretty much any device charged through USB.

The charging station has five USB slots, and five physical spaces (with dividers) for your tablets and phones to sit while they're charging. The dock is weighty enough to stay put on a desk, and has a rubbberised material on the bottom to prevent it sliding. And it works. Up to five 2.1-Amp devices are able to be charged at once, without fail.

There are two major downsides, however.

The first is that in practice the PowerDock 5 is quite ugly. Unlike in the press shots above, there's no way to effectively manage all the cables. Your dock ends up looking cluttered and messy, which probably isn't what you're hoping for from a storage device. Especially one this expensive - which is problem two. The PowerDock 5 is £79.95 from the Apple Store - and it doesn't come with cables to actually plug in your iPads or other devices. You'll really need to think through whether that's a price worth paying for something that isn't technically that much more useful than a normal plug extender.

With all that in mind, however, if space is an issue and your house is unusually resplendent with iPhones, iPads and iWhatevers - say you have a lot of power-hungry teens, or happen to review gadgets for a living - it can be really useful. But like most gadget organising solutions, the reality is that it's not your gadgets that are messy - it's you. And sadly the PowerDock 5 isn't yet a solution for humanity as a whole.