October 28, 2008

Review: Griffin Simplifi Dock/Charger/Reader 3-in-1

Griffin Technology has been on a roll with iPhone/iPod related innovation this year. One of the latest products launched is called "Simplifi", a beautiful looking iPhone/iPod charger, sync, memory card reader all in one. The memory card support and two more USB expansion is really the main reason why this product exists (unless you own an iPhone 3G which no longer comes with a dock, this would be an alternative to an OEM dock). I like the simplicity of this device as its name suggests, it simplifi(s) your workstation with a docking/reader package.

The device is designed to match with the MacBook/MacBook Pro's aluminum finish and rounded corners. As seen on the pictures I took, it looks amazing on my new work desk at "the mobile experience" headquarter next to my MacBook Pro and the red stapler. The package comes with the dock itself, USB mini cable (this is what powers the dock, for sync'ing and charging), an AC Adaptor for other external USB devices, as well as a series of inserts for the dock opening accomodating various generation of iPods, iPod Touch, iPhone, Nano and Shuffle (1st Gen. USB version); for a complete list of Apple products supported, check out this page.

The dock itself is pretty straight forward to connect and operate; with an opening big enough to work with iPhones even with Griffin's protective cases on them (much like the way I like about the Griffin PowerDock); therefore I can charge my iPhones with the Griffin Wave or ClearBoost case on them without removing them, a very good design! For those using their iPods or iPhones without a case on, I would recommend choosing a proper insert adaptor which can help protect the charger in case you snap the connector off by accident. I successfully sycn'd an iPhone and iPod Video 30GB without any problems. The readers work as promised, in fact, I used it to transport the pictures off of an SD card taken for this review, it is plenty fast like any other USB readers I've owned. The reader supports SD, SDHC, xD, Memory Stick/Pro and Compact Flash. On the back of the dock, there are two USB ports for other product expansions such as keyboard and mouse. The USB expansion comes handy since my MacBook Pro only comes with a total of two USB ports, so even with this dock connected, I can still attach 3 more devices to my laptop.

Overall, I am very pleased with this product's style, design and functionality. With its good looks, I wouldn't mind adding it to my small workstation, proudly stand next to my red stapler :)

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