If you wanted a high quality Nintendo Switch docking station you could actually throw in your pocket, the Genki Covert Dock for $ 70 was your best bet – 30W USB-C power, 1080p60 HDMI output and a USB 3.1 port to external devices, all stuffed into a tiny device. foldable charger thanks to the power of GaN.
But now its manufacturers are making the choice a little harder – with a new $ 49 Genki Covert Dock Mini (via Gizmodo) it is way smaller, adds 4K30 output and unfortunately makes a few sacrifices along the way.
At 1.7 x 1.3 x 1.3 inches, the Covert Dock Mini is only slightly larger than the tiny 5W chargers that Apple used to supply with iPhones (which admittedly did not have folding legs or GaN), and it is only half as long as the original Covert Dock and barely a third of its volume.
And it recently supports 4K output at 30Hz, which – while apparently not nearly as useful as 4K output at 60Hz – seems like a good advantage considering you pay $ 20 less. As Genki points out, it can be useful for Steam Deck or similar handhelds that may not have the power to play all games on 4K60 anyway. Or for movies and TVs that are generally not recorded at 60 fps and therefore do not require the higher frame rate.
Unfortunately, it also only emits 20W USB-C power – not 30W anymore – and although that’s fine for today’s Switch, I strongly doubt you’ll want to play and charge a Steam Deck at the same time with any remote-intensive game that way. I used a 20W USB-C PD battery in my own tire test and found that it did not charge very well unless the cover was off. There’s a reason Valve sends it with a 45W PD power adapter.
In addition, the Mini unfortunately does not come with a USB-A port, which means you do not have to connect a GameCube controller adapter to your Smash Bros. sessions on the Switch, or an Ethernet adapter or a wireless headphone dongle, or external storage to the Deck , or … you get the picture.
But if this sounds like exactly the docking station you need, Genki is currently taking “limited” pre-orders on this Kickstarter page with an estimated delivery to August 2022.