Review: DLO Flexible Dock
Sometimes a solution to a problem is right under your nose, yet it’s always missed. One such problem is that iPod shuffles are too fat. The shuffle is hard or even impossible to use directly with the USB ports on notebooks, eMacs, Mac minis, and plenty of USB hubs. In short of putting them on a diet, most people get a USB extension cable. Some are relatively cheap (the good ones aren’t), but aren’t that elegant and can fall off of a desk. Apple’s offers their own shuffle dock, but it’s not much better.
Flexible Dock Tangled
Flexible Dock Even More Tangled
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters, the makers of plenty of other iPod accessories have recently introduced their own solution. The Flexible Dock, a 7-inch gooseneck USB cable is designed to put your iPod shuffle, flash drive, bluetooth receiver, or any other small device within easy reach (and makes a USB port easy to get to).
There isn’t much to say about the Flexible Dock other than it’s simple, matches Apple hardware perfectly, and can be positioned any way you like. As the Flexible Dock’s USB connector is the same size as most USB cables (and even looks similar to Apple’s cables), it’ll have no trouble fitting into recessed or tightly-spaced USB ports.
Besides the cable part of the Flexible Dock being gooseneck metal (like DVForge’s MicFlex, the end that gadgets plug into has a rotating range of 180 degrees (+/- 90-degrees in relation to the USB cable).
We tested the Flexible Dock with a bunch of different items including an iPod shuffle, a Lexar JumpDrive, a USB cable going to a regular iPod, and a flash card reader. Everything worked as expected, and we found the cable to be very sturdy.
Although a price near $20 might seem high to some for what is essentially a USB extension cable, the Flexible Dock is still cheaper than Apple’s official iPod shuffle dock, and is a much cleaner and flexible (pun intended) solution than a USB extension cable.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The Flexible Dock is great for anyone who has an iPod shuffle, flash drive, or something else that is hard to plug into their computer’s USB port.
Pros: Clever design, rotating connector at peripheral end, matches iPod shuffle and other Apple hardware
Cons: Does the same thing a USB extension cable would