Apple Universal Dock and Component AV Cable review

First things first. I’ve just got both these (expensive) products home, plugged them in and have come away with nothing more than a huge feeling of being ripped off. Some of this is due to limitations of the iPod but the rest is due to the limitations of the Universal Dock.

I’ll start with the good part, the Component AV Cable. This has a solid build and the cable splits to separate leads for audio, USB and component at a good length to allow for some distance between these different connections. There is also a handy mains power-to-USB adapter.

Now the bad part, the Universal Dock. This comes with a remote that can only be said to be crippled. This has a click wheel style button array and a ‘menu’ button. The click wheel does not allow scrolling as on an iPod and the menu button is non-functional on all the iPods I own, iPod Touch 1st gen, iPod classic 120Gb and iPod mini 6Gb.

The remote allows:

  • navigation within songs,
  • navigation from one song to the next (only in the same album/playlist *) and
  • increase/decrease volume
  • That’s all. There is little point in having a remote as all the rest of navigating the iPod’s menus requires you to have the iPod in your hand. Trying to use the iPod’s click wheel whilst it is in the Dock is best not attempted unless you don’t mind possibly bending the Dock’s connector.

    Lastly, and this isn’t really a criticism of the Dock, the Dock comes with Dock Adapters to fit various iPods but these are all useless as all my iPods are in (hard) protective cases. This leaves the iPod sitting in the Dock applying pressure to the Dock’s connector. Not ideal.

    There must be a manufacturer out there making adapters for various cradles for hard cased iPods. If you know of one please comment.

    *Note: playlists of music videos are music playlists and cannot be played as videos. Another ripoff but this time a limitation of the iPod.

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