When packages containing review items show up at my office, they're usually quite lightweight. So I was really surprised when a package arrived recently from Grove in Portland, Ore., and it was heavier than usual. Like "someone sent me a brick?" heavier... However, I was pleasantly surprised and relieved when I opened the box to find a Grove Dock for iPhone (US$99) inside.
One of the standout features of the Grove Dock is that it is heavy, so it's not going to move when you try to unplug your iPhone one-handed. How heavy? Three pounds. So what's it made out of, depleted uranium? No, just good, old steel and wood.
The steel is used for the bottom of the Grove Dock, providing a heft that is rare in iPhone stands. Channels are machined into the top and bottom of the Dock -- the bottom channel provides a route for the charging cable you supply, while the upper channel holds a molded plastic piece that holds the top of your charge cable. Don't worry, as Grove has thoughtfully provided the plastic inserts for both the 30-pin Dock connector and Lightning connector. That upper channel also provides an outlet for sound, cleverly routing the sound to the front of the Dock.
The plastic piece also serves to squeeze on the connector and hold it into place. This is useful if you need to extend the connector above the plastic a bit so that it works with a case. Once it's inserted into the metal channel, that connector isn't going to move one bit.
Lest you think that this dock is just a hunk of steel, it's not. Grove is famous -- well, at least in my mind -- for its use of beautiful bamboo in their products. In this case, there's a laminated bamboo "case" that goes over the top of the metal, so that you have an attractive metal and wood stand.
The entire thing requires no tools to assemble, just your two hands. Your iPhone can be pulled out of the Dock without the Dock moving a bit. There are rubber feet on the bottom of the Dock so that chunk of steel isn't going scratch furniture.
The steel can be finished naturally and also comes in black or white if you want a finish that matches your iPhone. The wood comes in one finish, but if you have a corporate-sized order of these lovely docks, Grove will laser-engrave a logo on it for you.
Watch this video for more details on why you'd want one of these, then read on for a chance to win one courtesy of Grove and TUAW.
With a price tag to match the care in design and construction, the Grove Dock for iPhone is a solid and beautiful dock that holds your iPhone in style.
Weight ensures that the Dock won't move when you pull out your iPhone.
Design accommodates all models of iPhone from the iPhone 4 to the 5s and 5c.
A choice of metal finishes provides a way to match your decor, while the naturally finished bamboo top is perfect in almost any situation.
Design of the Dock works well in channeling sound from the bottom speaker of the iPhone to the front of the Dock.
Definitely not in the price range for everyone, but as I've said before, you get what you pay for.
Who is it for?
The discerning iPhone owner who wants the best dock possible for their device.
Yeah, you guessed it. We have one of these lovely Grove Docks ready to head your way.
Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before October 28 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected and will receive a Grove Dock for iPhone valued at $99