Because All The Cool Kids Have Them
February 9, 2010 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for a desktop iPhone dock/charger. 3Gs compatible, must allow me to dock the phone without taking it out of its case, under $30. I don't need fancy, and I don't even particularly case how it looks so long as it works.
posted by DWRoelands to Shopping (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
must allow me to dock the phone without taking it out of its case

This is going to be a major sticking point, as cases all come in different sizes- docks that have a "well" in which the connector sits to hold the unit upright are sized to a caseless one. Personally, I just use the cable with the outlet adapter.
posted by mkultra at 7:49 AM on February 9, 2010

What features do you want other than charging? Because I also just use the cable with an outlet adapter, or the USB adapter.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:59 AM on February 9, 2010

My husband and I both just use a wall outlet adapter with the cables. To make it look nicer, we also bought a little charging station that just helps keep the wires tidy and has a little compartment for our keys and other misc junk. I found this similar one for $15 at Amazon, you can also find them stupidly cheap at places like TJ Maxx or Marshalls.
posted by tastybrains at 8:13 AM on February 9, 2010

Response by poster: I use the cable currently, but I'd like something that
holds the phone upright for easier viewing of the screen.
posted by DWRoelands at 8:19 AM on February 9, 2010

mkultra is right, a dock-style charger that is case compatible will be the hardest feature to find fo sho.
posted by Gainesvillain at 8:19 AM on February 9, 2010

FYI I use one of these floofy sleeves and this dock. I like them both a lot, but I'm more careful with my gadgetry than the average bear.
posted by Gainesvillain at 8:25 AM on February 9, 2010

So, does a charging station that lets you use the cable fit the bill? You wouldn't have to take it out of the case, and many of them hold the phone up at a tilt.
posted by tastybrains at 8:25 AM on February 9, 2010
posted by ranunculus at 8:29 AM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

You haven't mentioned what case you use, whether you're willing to get a new case, or if you like a thinner/thicker case style.

I fairly regularly use the incase Slider Case with the Apple iPhone dock. It's a fairly protective case, and after sliding it a few times, the motion to take off the bottom piece to dock it is easy.
posted by mikeh at 8:30 AM on February 9, 2010

As others have said, good luck with this.

Pretty much any docking station is going to be molded to fit the uncased phone.
The other way is to find a docking station/case combination where the two are meant to go together, but good luck finding that under $30, if at all.

I second the recommendation of getting one of the slider cases, where you can leave the majority of the phone encased, and fit the uncased lower third into the regular apple charging dock.
posted by willmize at 9:06 AM on February 9, 2010

You might try using a charging dock without the iPod/iPhone specific insert. I recently sold a Griffin Powerdock and the buyer was able to charge their iPhone w/ case with the insert removed.
posted by wongcorgi at 9:09 AM on February 9, 2010

I have a plastic credit-card-sized card that i heated with a lighter and then folded into thirds on the edge of my desk, and i put the iphone on it on its side and connect up a docking cable to charge it.
it looks like this.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:25 AM on February 9, 2010

I hate to get all artsy-craftsy DIY reusable, but...
posted by rhizome at 10:23 AM on February 9, 2010

Ranunculus's link seems to be exactly what you're looking for. They show you a list of case makers and you can get the right width of slot to fit your case. Nice find!

I have the Griffin AirCurve that Gainesvillain linked to. It's okay - if I had known about the made2dock one, I would have bought that instead.
posted by acridrabbit at 10:42 AM on February 9, 2010

I take my phone out of the case at home. This seems to work well. At first, I was concerned that the thin phone would be too easy for me to drop, but that hasn't happened. Outside the house, the screen would be exposed to pocket junk, so the case is a must. Oh, yea, I got one of those docks with speakers, so I can hear spoken podcasts over the sound of running water.
posted by Goofyy at 12:39 PM on February 9, 2010

my rebel case came with an insert for the standard dock. I haven't tested it (not having a dock) but I can't think of a reason it wouldn't work.
posted by defcom1 at 4:39 PM on February 9, 2010

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