We had the pleasure here at Pure Nintendo to check out IOGEAR’s newest portable dock for the Nintendo Switch. Featuring a compact size, charging ability, and several other features, this dock could easily become a part of your travel bag. But does the price match up with the current offerings for this item? Well, we put it to the test to find out!
As far as third-party Nintendo Switch docks are concerned, we as a fan base have had some ups and downs with the products that have been made thus far. With a serious issue where some docks would brick Nintendo Switch units, attaching third-party items to our favorite little handheld has, at times, given us immense anxiety. I am pleased to announce that the IOGEAR Dock Pro USB-C 4K Station with Game+ Mode did not hurt my Switch in the slightest in the playtime I had with it, and as purported by the team at IOGEAR, they have finally cracked the code with this dock.
Now that we have that little nugget out of the way, we can move on to the specific offerings this unit has for your convenience.
First of all, this dock is not just for the Nintendo Switch. It can also be used with smartphones and tablets, making it quite the little piece of hardware when it comes to taking mobile platforms to the big screen. I will start by saying that I can see a lot more uses for the dock with platforms outside of the Nintendo Switch, as the handheld nature of the Switch is built into its very design, with the docking nature already implicit to the system itself. So, that takes the Nintendo Switch audience’s uses for this dock down purely to its portable nature, as well as the built-in mouse and keyboard support.
The glaringly obvious major plus to this unit is its ability to add on mouse and keyboard support to your Switch in a nice, seamless fashion. For those competitive gamers out there, or those who simply like to play PC-style games in their intended fashion, I found this dock to be the easiest way to attach that additional hardware. Marked ports on the unit and its size allow for easy set-up and better placement in comparison to trying to get behind wherever you have placed your traditional dock. Perfect for a desk set-up, where you can place the unit behind your monitor.
After this feature, however, the dock starts to lose some of its functionality for Switch gamers. As nice as it is to have a toned-down dock for those travelers out there, you really have to ask yourself if this is worth the initial asking price. I say that because the unit’s MSRP is $79.99, which is on track with what a first-party dock costs. The portable nature and added features would instantly tell you that maybe you should consider the IOGEAR unit, especially if you’re going for a second dock, but there are a few issues that push it away from its usefulness.
You must use a first-party AC adapter with the IOGEAR unit in order for it to function at all, so you must either unplug one of your first-party docks, or purchase an entirely separate AC adapter for this dock specifically. Meaning, after the initial $80 entry point, you then would have to consider buying a $30 first-party cord. From there, the IOGEAR unit also doesn’t come with an HDMI cable, so that adds on a few more dollars as well, depending on the brand and quality of the HDMI cable you choose. Therefore, if you want a whole unit with all the pieces necessary, you are looking at more like $120-135 to kit this unit. At that price point, you have to ask yourself if the space the IOGEAR unit gives you is really worth it, as we are talking about the difference between carrying a book or a deck of cards in your travel bag, which I think most would have to spare.
Don’t get me wrong, you can 100% unplug your first-party AC adapter and HDMI cable from your docked unit in order to utilize the IOGEAR unit without those additional costs, but when the point is to have a travel dock, it defeats the purpose a bit to have to mess with your original set-up. Especially when after unplugging said cords, you could literally just grab your first-party dock and throw it in your bag instead.
With all of that in mind, I can say this dock works perfectly and as advertised. I think the IOGEAR Dock Pro USB-C 4K Station with Game+ Mode is best utilized for those gamers with the extra money who are really looking to save on a few inches of space in their travel bag, for those who also want to project mobile platforms to their TV, or for the Switch gamers out there looking for a convenient set-up for mouse and keyboard play. Outside of that, the price point and lack of distinguishing features for the traditional Switch gamer take this unit a bit outside the realm of reason.
THE VERDICT | Gear Review: IOGEAR Dock Pro™ 60 USB-C 4K Station with Game+ Mode
The IOGEAR Dock Pro USB-C 4K Station with Game+ Mode is best utilized for those gamers with the extra money who are really looking to save on a few inches of space in their travel bag, for those who also want to project mobile platforms to their TV, or for the Switch gamers out there looking for a convenient set-up for mouse and keyboard play. Outside of that, the price point and lack of distinguishing features for the traditional Switch gamer make this one quite the upsell.