All-Dock Charging Stand Is Effective, Attractive — but Not Nearly as Magical as Its Kickstarter Video Implies
Crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo let inventors appeal directly to the public for funds. They’ve made a lot of entrepreneurial dreams come true.
If you’re inspired by the inventor’s pitch video, you send some money. It’s not an investment; you don’t get rich if the invention becomes a hit. But you do get some memento — a T-shirt or a discounted version of the invention once it’s manufactured — and the rosy glow of knowing that you helped to bring a cool idea to life.
Until now, there’s been only one problem: You had no way to know if the invention was actually any good. You had to trust the inventor’s video.
That’s the beauty of our Kickstarter reviews. We actually test the prototype, find out how much promise it has and help you decide if the thing is worth funding or buying.
Today’s invention: The All-Dock, a handsome universal charging dock for all your gadgets.
The claim: The All-Dock is the fastest charger in the world for phones, tablets, cameras and other gadgets that charge from a USB jack — four or six of them at a time, depending on which model you get. It’s also a convenient stand for using the touchscreens while they’re charging and an attractive way to conceal cable clutter.
Price: $60 for the compact four-gadget model, $90 for a four-gadget model with bigger slots, and $110 for the full-sized six-gadget version. (These are estimated prices for the final versions when they ship in May.)
Goal: This Kickstarter project needed $40,000 to go from prototype to manufacturing. With three days left in the campaign, more than $87,000 has been contributed — more than double the goal. It’s a go!
Status: There are two working prototypes, both in pretty much final form.
What I tested: The inventor, Klemens Dittrich, sent me the glossy white four-gadget model (plastic). A black plastic one will also be available, along with a wooden one (walnut or bamboo) and, eventually, anodized aluminum models in silver or black.
My test unit was final in every way except that its USB jacks don’t supply as much juice as the final version will (2,000 milliamps instead of 2,400) and therefore don’t charge the gadgets as fast.
What I learned: I’ll come right out and say it: I’ll bet a lot of the people who contributed to the All-Dock project were misled.
The video on the inventors’ Kickstarter page quite clearly depicts something irresistible: a charging stand that lets you plop your phones and tablets into perfectly sized slots — with one hand.
What a glorious setup, right? Snap in, snap out. No fiddling with cables.