What's up, dock?
I recently received a box in the mail I suspected might contain a brick.
Actually, it was a 1.4-kilogram, solid steel Grove Dock for iPhone, which works with the iPhone 4 up to the new iPhone 5/5s lightning cables.
Built into the base is a cable-management system to run your cable up to the device. Once it's there, it wedges in place (and stays there) to let you dock your phone for charging.
The steel base comes in black or plated silver, but what makes this an attractive piece is the wood covering available in bamboo (my review unit), walnut and maple.
All your phone functions are accessible when docked, and there are rubber bumpers on the bottom to prevent any surface scratching.
The dock costs more than the average but it's really a great item and even works with most iPhone cases.
It's made in Portland, Ore., and personalized engraving is available with orders of 10 or more.
Details: US$79 for Bamboo, US$99, maple or walnut; grovemade.com
Cord hits a chord
INNERGIE'S Lifehub USB charging hub has something many similar devices do not have: a cord to reach more than three metres from its power source.
When you add in the reach of the included AC power adapter, you get another 1.5 metres, giving you a total of more than 4.5 metres of extended power. This enables those needing a boost of power to avoid being confined to sitting next to an AC plug.
A cable-management system is built into the hub for easy, tangle-free storage.
You get three high-powered (2.1 amp) USB ports to charge any variety of portable electronic gadgets simultaneously.
Innergie has built this with smart technology for high performance and energy efficiency. You can charge your devices without worrying about a short circuit or overheating, and it works with more than 10,000 current USB-charging gadgets.
Details: US$54.99, www.myinnergie.com
Siri hits the road
MOBILE Home is a small but very useful device for truly keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
The 7.6-centimetre device clips onto your sun visor and connects Siri from your iPhone to your car's sound system via Bluetooth.
Once your connection is made you have a simple way to make calls, get directions or even have a text or email read to you.
With the device positioned in a convenient and reachable position, just hit the home button, which activates Siri on your iPhone.
The home button is the only control on the gadget, which is display-less. The internal lithium button cell battery should last about six months before a replacement is needed.
There is no microphone on the Mobile Home so you'll have to use the one built into your car or on the iPhone. Cars without a hands-free Bluetooth system already built in won't be able to use Mobile Home.
Details: US$79, www.beancotech.com