In this review I am going to take a look at the XtremeMac InCharge Duo which was sent to us by Memorex. The InCharge Duo is a dual charging dock for iPod and iPhone. I will test this product with an iPhone 3G and an iPod 5G.
What’s in the box?
- InCharge Duo unit
- Four dock-inserts
- AC Power Supply
- USB Cable
Some of the AC plugs:
When unpacking the box I noticed immediately that the power supply is designed in such a way that the dock can be used in many countries. The InCharge Duo comes with four different plugs (including those used in the United States and Europe). This makes the dock very useful when traveling. The charging dock is very lightweight and therefore easy to take with you. Its size is around 16 x 7 x 2,5 cm so it doesn’t take up too much space either.
Besides that, the charging dock comes with four different inserts which are designed for most iPhone and iPod types (an iPod Shuffle cannot be charged with this dock). I’ve only tested the dock with a Fifth Generation iPod and an iPhone 3G and for both there’s a perfectly fitting insert.
Some of the dock inserts:
Using the dock
The user manual is quite limited and doesn’t give you more information than to just connect the AC adapter and plug your device into the dock. Well, I can tell you, it’s not that easy. The dock comes with already two inserts ‘installed’ into the dock. Unfortunately, both were not the ones I needed for my iPhone and iPod so I had to remove them. It took me a lot of cursing before I just grabbed a screwdriver to get those inserts out of the dock. Only one insert has an easy handle to remove it, the other three don’t. Trying to remove them with just your hands is quite difficult unless you have long fingernails. With a screwdriver it’s work of seconds, but I don’t think it was the manufacturer’s purpose to let you remove the inserts like this.
iPhone and iPod in the dock:
When putting in the devices, the dock immediately starts to charge, indicated with a red light. According to the manual the red indicator will turn off and the green indicator will light up when the battery is more than 80% charged. Indeed, when putting the devices in the dock, the red indicators light up. However, after a while my iPhone itself said it was charged but the red indicator still burnt and it took around three hours after being fully charged before the green indicator lit up. With my iPod, the green indicator started flashing while the red indicator was still on. So, the dock does charge but it’s advisable to check your device itself to see if it’s fully charged instead of relying on the indicators on the dock.
Is the InCharge Duo worth its money?
Although a dual charging dock can come in very handy, and is in especially my case (daily using an iPhone and iPod) very useful, this dock really has its flaws. It’s not that the dock doesn’t do what it’s designed for (charging), but that is all that works flawless. The designers should have come up with a way to make removing the inserts easier. Besides that, it would be nice if the indicators did really show if a device is charged or not and charging directly from your computer without having to plug in the AC adapter would come in handy too.
These are all flaws that should have been repaired, but besides that the duo charger is useful for people who use more than one Apple device, or for a family with multiple iPhones (there are two inserts into which the iPhone fits, although only one insert fits perfectly). I personally find it a very useful device and I use it every day. It does what it is designed for (charging) and once you have put in the right inserts and know that you have to check the device itself instead of relying on the charging indicators, you will like it too.
The pros and cons of the charging dock: