Element Case Vapor Dock review


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Gear Diary Element Case Dock

Does your iPhone NEED a dock? The short answer is, “No. No, you don’t need a dock for your iPhone.” After all, you can simply attach the sync/charge cable to it and you will be good to go. From there, your iPhone will charge or sync and be ready to go when you are. It will also get buried under papers, be crushed under the box that just came and crash to the ground when you go to grab something on the other side of the table and hit it in the process. On second thought, maybe you DO need a dock for your iPhone.

And if you ARE going to get a dock you might as well get one that is solid, good-looking, built to last and heavy enough to keep your precious iPhone (or iPod touch) securely in place. In other words, if you are going to get a dock you need to take a look at Element Case’s new Vapor Dock! I’ve been using one of the early production units for the last while and I can safely say this is a great accessory for your iPhone and an even better gift for the iPhone-lover in your life.

Let’s take look.

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From Element Case:

The Vapor Dock has a sturdy machined Aluminum body and uses the proven Apple-style 30 pin cable to sync or charge iPhone or iPod devices. Cable management is design into the bottom of the Vapor Dock to keep desk tops clear of excess cable clutter. Finely machined holes in front of the Vapor Dock work in conjunction with machined air chambers to amplify sound emitted from the tiny iPhone speakers.

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As you can see, the Vapor Dock means business. It is an aluminum dock with enough heft to stay in place and keep your iPhone secure. The two grill areas in the front let the sound flow through. In fact, in my use of it the sound seemed to be enhanced by the grills since it is directed out instead of down!

The white cable that looks like an Apple sync/charge cable… is a white Apple sync charge cable. (Personally I think I will be replacing it with one of the after-market black cables I have. The white just looks way out of context.)

And I’m still not quite sure that the oval area with the felt is all about. It looks pretty enough but… scratches head… I’m not sure if it has a purpose.

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Here’s a side view. See how the metal is carved so cleanly and the finish is so fine? This is part of what makes Element Case such a superb company.

They also have a great attitude. We were a bit hard (appropriately so) on the antenna degradation of their first iPhone case offering. We were honest but blunt. They took note, fixed it and let us review the revision. We love working with companies that take feedback and use it to improve their products.


Charges and syncs your iPhone and most iPod devices

CNC Machined aluminum for a sturdy precision feel

Works with a case or naked devices

Amplifies sound of iPhones

USB cable installed

non-skid rubber feet

Integrated cable management system

Designed and made in the USA

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The bottom of the Vapor Dock has a space that houses the extra length of the sync/charge cable. This is a great feature since, once you find the appropriate home for the dock, you can set the cable to be only just as long as you need it to be. That means less cable mess… and we love that.

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Doesn’t the iPhone 4S look regal in its new home? At $119.99 the Vapor Dock is not cheap but this kind of quality costs. And the result, well you can see for yourself in this next picture.

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The iPhone is safe, secure and stable in the Vapor Dock. The soft-feel finish on the aluminum looks and feels great and the whole deal simply adds style to an already stylish phone.

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Here’s a look from the back. Again, it makes for a nice package. Yeah, I’m pretty happy with it!

And if you are still wondering why you would go for a premium product like this instead of a far cheaper dock for your iPhone let me give you yet another reason.

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You see that small strip of plastic that is “coming loose”? It isn’t coming loose at all. The dock is made to work with Element Case cases right our of the box. But if you are using an iPhone in a thinner case, or in no case at all, the company includes two inserts that make the interior space a bit less deep. As a result there is less chance for the iPhone to be torqued on the dock and damaged.

And in yet another fine detail, the gap into which the inserts go are deeper on the sides. This means, as you can see in the picture, you can push in on the left… and the right side pops out for easy removal. It is details like that that make a premium product premium.

So let’s end this review with the question that started it. Does your iPhone NEED a dock? No, but it sure is nice to have one and Element Case’s Vapor Dock is a great way to go! The Vapor Dock is available directly from Element Case. You can check it out here.

MSRP: $119.99

What I Like: Great looking; Strong and sturdy; Made from a block of aluminum and the craftsmanship and refinement show; Sync/charge cable locks in place and extra cable stored beneath; Adjustable for different cases or no case at all; Enhances the sound

What Needs Improvement: White cable stands out from the black dock; Pricey

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.