If you have less than three things that require USB charging sitting on your desk, then I’m impressed with your minimalism! My electronics tend to sit in a “charging pile”; it’s neither pretty nor visually efficient. Now that I have the udoq400, there is no more charging pile; I can see and use my devices as they charge.
The udoq400 is one of a series of multi-device chargers offered; you can configure your udoq’s size by the number of devices you want to charge as well as by the types of devices you’ll be charging. I was sent the udoq400, which is a medium-sized dock. It can hold up to four (or five if they’re all phones ) devices in portrait mode with a bit of space in between each. It also happens to be a perfect Father’s Day gift … just sayin’!
udoq was created from Founder Marcus Kuchler’s desire to organize the chaos resulting from multiple devices, cables, and chargers. “I’m the father of two active kids, and of course they love their smartphones and iPads,” said Kuchler. “After struggling with our various charging and syncing routines and the chaos of it for several years, I got sick and tired of the daily search for cables, chargers, and phones. Bringing all my expertise of 25 years working as a product designer with my company, marwin, for brands like Adidas, Porsche, Rimowa, Cherry and Leica – and my 12 years of ‘internship’ as a husband and father – I invented udoq.”
Included in my package were the udoq400 aluminum dock, a microUSB connecting cable, a Type-C connector cable, an Apple Lightning connector cable, an Apple 30-pin connector cable, two universal adapters for support (perfect for balancing devices with an off-center charging port), a hex tool, a pair of cable straps, two udoq stickers, and a user manual.
My udoq also included the optional 4-port Ravpower USB charging hub and a Cable Box Small (for hiding the connecting cables and a 4 – or 5-port USB charging hub). I’ll discuss those options more in a bit.
The udoq400 measures approximately 15.75″ long by 3.5″ tall by 3″ deep. The dock portion is all made of sturdy and elegant machined aluminum with two rubber bumpers running across the dock’s device support area.
As mentioned, my udoq400 sample came with pre-selected connection cables for microUSB, Type-C USB, Apple Lightning, the Apple 30-pin connector; it also included the Cable Box Small, and the 4-port charging hub. This set-up actually works perfectly for me because I have an older iPad that I still use (hey, if isn’t broke …).
The back of the typical udoq400 without the optional Cable Box Small (CboxS) looks like this. As you can see, there would be four USB cables exiting the back, so if you go with this basic setup, you’ll also need to buy a USB charging hub.
If you don’t think that’s an elegant enough solution, then you can pay an additional $10.90 on your order by adding the CboxS. The CboxS is a matte-black ABS plastic caddy which hides all of the cables and a 4- or 5-port USB charging hub, leaving one single power cable for plugging the udoq400 into a wall socket.
Here you can see all of the cables and the 4-port Ravpower USB charging hub that would normally be exposed. It’s a snarl, right? No one wants to see that! If you have a piece of furniture you can tuck all these wires behind, that’s great … but on a desk (or a table without sides), you’ll want something a bit tidier — get the CboxS.
With the CboxS, you can just tuck everything inside the caddy …
… and you have one attractive setup! I think the CboxS is a wise investment, just because I hate extra cables dangling. If you already have a favorite smaller USB charging hub, you can slip it inside with all of the cables, but if not — they also sell them on the udoq site.
What makes the udoq so special, beyond its clean and efficient design, is that it is future-proof. If I were to ever decide that instead of a microUSB connector cable, for instance, I wanted another Type-C connector cable, I could order a replacement cable connector from udoq. They are priced as follows:
• $10.90 for the microUSB connector cable
• $16.90 for the Apple 30-pin connector cable
• $15.90 for the USB Type-C connector cable
• $17.90 for the Apple Lightning connector cable
And before you think — hey, I’ll just use one of the replacement cables I have lying around instead of purchasing one of these, stop right there. The udoq connector cables include the assembly to make your devices fit, stand properly, and angle right when installed inside the udoq; you can adjust the cables height from inside their holder’s to work with cases you might be using, and your devices won’t flop about or wiggle. Keep your udoq working and looking right by using the proper cables, okay? okay.
So let’s talk about how you can customize the udoq to work with different connector cables. Mine came with them installed, but I’m not sure if that is always the case.
The end caps on the udoq are held in place with a hex screw, and that’s where the included hex tool comes in. After removing the hex screw and the end cover, you slide out the connecting cables until you hit the one you want to replace. After inserting the new connecting cable and rerouting the cable the back it’s a simple matter of tucking the remaining cables back inside the CboxS caddy on the rear of the udoq if you have that optional piece. If not, they just shoot out the end of the udoq. And just like that, the udoq can be configured to meet your present or future needs.
The udoq400 has enough room to charge three phones and a 9.7″ iPad, Granted, when you have all your devices on the udoq for charging, there isn’t a lot of room in between the devices, but it works perfectly well. Four phones on the bar will have plenty of room in between the devices, and you could probably fit as many as five.
If you look closely at the picture below, you’ll see that the device on the right is a battery pack; its microUSB charger is on the right side, which means that when mounted on the charger, the battery pack won’t sit quite level — and that’s where the little black plastic universal adapter comes in. This is also perfect for those devices that have their charging port on the side; you can lay them in the udoq in landscape mode, and the universal adapter will hold it at the perfect viewing angle.
The universal adapters snap into the groove that holds the connecting cable plugs; you can slide them wherever they need to go to properly support your device while charging, and you can adjust their height by screwing or unscrewing them into their bases. It’s really impressive to me how udoq thought of everything.
Udoq even sells an Apple Watch adapter, a wall mount set, and there’s a Qi wireless adapter coming soon (want!). In other words, you can start with a shorter or longer udoq, and the customization possibilities from there are up to you. You can personalize and later upgrade the cables on the udoq to make it the perfect charging station for your particular needs.
Udoq features include:
• Elegant high-grade aluminum docking station, built for years of use
• Available in four different lengths
• Includes user-selectable cables for Lightning, Micro USB, USB-C, and 30-Pin
• Includes udoq’s patented slideable connectors
• Apple MFi certified
• Devices can be moved back and forth by sliding sideways
• Adjustable in height (up to 8mm) to fit protector cases or bumpers
• Includes tool for adjusting the height of cables in the udoq connectors
• Includes silicone strips for extra protection from slippage
• Optional Wall Mount is available to attach any udoq to the wall
• Udoq’s CboxS box neatly stores and hides all cables
I’m using the udoq on my desk, but it would also be perfect for a more central location like the table by your front door, in your family room — anywhere that you or your family often find yourselves looking for a charger. Where you put it and how you personalize it is completely up to you — in other words, it’s the perfect gift for someone with a lot of gadgets.
The udoq400 starts at $115; It is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Elegant aluminum dock that can hold your devices at the perfect viewing angle for charging and viewing at the same time; You can order the udoq that will hold as many or as few devices as needed; You can customize the cables to work with the exact devices you own; You can order additional cables to work with future device; Changing out cables is easy; You can side the cable connectors in the udoq to make room for larger devices or devices that need to be charged in landscape mode; Universal mounts hold devices with off-center ports or landscape mounted devices at the perfect level
What Needs Improvement: A fully tricked-out udoq isn’t inexpensive, but it will last forever