To save you reading right to the end (unless you want to):
- Rating for the product: 4 out of 5
- Pros: Well-built, Apple MFI Certified, charger surface material is non-slip
- Cons: Expensive product, charger comes away from the dock too easily, cable cannot be replaced
Whilst I contemplate whether or not to get a new MacBook Pro on Education Pricing, I decided to treat my shiny-and-new Apple Watch Series 2 to something. So, I present to you an expensive aluminium paperweight that doubles up as a charging station for my new Apple Watch, courtesy of Eastern Collective.
This is the Apple Watch Charger and Dock by the Eastern Collective. The woven nylon around the cord is the 'confetti' colour/design, which is my favourite, as you can see:
I've been buying Eastern Collective products (mainly the woven cables) for quite some time now (here's a post about their cables from last year). They've not really caught on as a brand here, though my friends and colleagues are often asking me where I got my iPhone Lightning cable from. There's a number of braided/woven nylon cables out on the market, but the Eastern Collective has long been an Apple MFI Partner, which is quite important if you want your gear to last as it means your Apple device isn't going to throw a wobbly the next time you upgrade your firmware. I wanted a stand for my Apple Watch and I wanted to perhaps have somewhere to park my iPhone at the same time, but I didn't like the look of Apple's official offering, so I decided to $69.95 on an Eastern Collective product.
Unboxing the watch stand is a bit of a mare. The box is a conventional one with a tucked in lid, but they've stuck a vinyl label over the opening part of the flap. Unless you're willing to risk the contents of the box by running a knife around the edge, you've simply to get at the table and pell it right back. The contents aren't protect or padded with anything, which is a shame as the USB end of the cable was running a little free and had left a few marks on the aluminium.
Bearing in mind that contents of the box fit quite snuggly inside it, I was curious to see a magnetic pad loose in the box, which had a self-adhesive backing and was of the same flexible-but-flimsy material you get with tacky magnets. The bottom of the charger had a non-slip rubber surface, which you had to stick the magnet to in order to get it to be a bit more secure on the dock
Pop the charger on the aluminium dock and you'll feel a small magnet let itself known you're around, but that's about it, as it's not particularly super strong at all.
I'm still deciding over whether or not I like the look of the charger and dock (they certainly don't look like much when I'm at home and have taken my watch off). Annoyingly, the cable is not replaceable for anything shorter or longer, but you do get 1.5m worth of cable.
The one thing I've been worried about on the charing front is the plastic Apple Charger. I'm worried that it may be scratching up the watch back, however the Eastern Collective have managed to make a charger which has a bigger area to cover up the watch back and it's a subtle non-slip, not scratching surface.
As for "Night Stand" mode – yes, it's doable. You just have to turn the dock and charger onto their sides.
Don't try and lift the dock on its own though thinking your charger is going to stay attached with that abysmal sticky-backed plastic. Because it won't, and you risk dropping your watch:
The aluminium dock also features a slight lip to the bottom of it so that you can use it as a phone holder for looking at things on the screen. I'd advise using a case with your iPhone/iPad though, because of the aluminium on aluminium contact.
I do use my iPhone and my iPad as secondary displays for my MacBook Air at the moment for various things, especially when doing essays. It's worth noting that the stand does accommodate an iPad Mini with a case, though I think any bigger and the tablet would collapse forwards.
I had decided to give this a 4 out of 5. It is expensive for a piece of metal, but it's versatile and can go on a desk or a beside table. If the flimsiness of the charger (in relation to the stand and how they stay together or come apart) is addressed, I'd be more happy to give this top marks, but as it is, it may be mistaken for an expensive paperweight!