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iPhone Dock Review: Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock
      #40770 - 06/05/11 04:49 PM

iPhone Dock Review: Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock
Reviewed by Tong Zhang

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 4

What's Hot: Built-in night clock in a charging dock, small and light.

What's Not: Doesn't have a built-in alarm.

Want to turn an iPhone charging dock into a night clock with daily weather? There is an app for that! Kensington has found a very interesting way to turn a small portable charging dock for iPhone and iPod into a very functional night clock using your iDevice's screen. On top of that, the nightstand can report daily weather and 5-day weather forecast. All you have to do is download a free app after you get the charging dock. It's unlikely that it will replace your home nightstand clock, but for traveling, the Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock is a great choice.



Design

The Kensington Nightstand charging dock is a small dock and weighs only 4. 48 oz. It?s designed to stand your iPhone 4 in a tilted landscape angle that?s comfortable for viewing when you are laying in bed. The charging dock has some heft that can hold your iPhone 4 steady on the desk. The dock comes with a USB charging cable that?s 3.28 ft long and you can use either the iPhone/iPod AC adapter or the included AC charger (100-240V) to power the iDevice. The Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock outputs 500mA when it?s charging your iDevice and comes in two colors: black and grey.



Features

Instead of just charging your iPhone 4 overnight, the Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock uses the iPhone?s screen, in either landscape or portrait mode, as a night clock. After you download the Kensington Nightstand Clock and Weather app, you can turn on location-based service feature to get local weather. The app gives you options to change the clock style, screen brightness, color of the digits and more. You can display the time in three styles and change the colors in two of the three styles. If you are used to military time, the app offers a 24-hour mode. You can also set the flash colon between the Hour and Minute digits to flash or not to flash.

The Kensington Nightstand Clock and Weather app has an option to turn auto-lock off and keeps the iPhone screen on all night. You can set the bright of the screen within the app, but whichever brightness level you have set, once you are in the clock mode, you can swipe your finger across the screen to turn the screen brightness off, for when you are sleeping, and swipe your finger on the screen again to turn the brightness back on to where you set it before. Very convenient!



Once you turn on location awareness in the app, the Kensington Nightstand Clock and Weather will get you the local weather from the closest weather station. The current weather conditions are displayed along with the clock. If you need to see the extended 5-day forecast, tap on the weather info on the clock screen to go to the forecast screen.

The Nightstand app does well as a clock and weather app, but it replies on Apple?s built-in apps for some other essential functions that could have been integrated into the night clock. The app doesn?t have an alarm clock, but if you turn on the built-in alarm, it will come up when the alarm goes off. The Nightstand app also doesn?t have world clocks, today?s calendar items or any other app integration.



The Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock works not only with the iPhone 4 and all previous iPhones, it also works with iPod touch, iPod nano (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th gen), iPod classic and iPod mini, iPod (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th gen).

Conclusion

The small charging dock combined with a night clock and daily weather makes the Kensington Nightstand Charging Dock an ideal travel companion. It doesn?t add much to your travel gear bag but it gives you a reliable night clock, especially if you are using an iPhone whose time is synced to the local tower time, and location-based weather. The Kensington Nightstand app could use a couple of more built-in features such as alarm and calendar reminder, but it does the basics for free.

Price: $39.99
Web site: Kensington


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