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Genki Covert Dock review: smart but expensive

The Genki Covert Dock does not look like a dock. It’s more like a wall brick that replicates the functionality of Nintendo’s much larger Switch Dock, but it’s small enough to fit in a pocket. It’s a great Switch accessory if you travel a lot and want to connect your console to a TV anywhere.

That’s part of what makes it great. Another reason is that, unlike the many third-party dock alternatives sold on Amazon, the Covert Dock was made to use the same power specifications using Nintendo’s dock. So you don’t risk damaging your Switch in the long term – or worse, sealing it. This draws the right amount of power from the outlet with its retractable pins. It even comes with three international adapters, which is a nice bonus if you get the chance to travel again.

The Covert Dock is slightly thinner and shorter than this 65W Aukey Omnia charger.

Build quality is also excellent, with matte, translucent black plastic encasing the GaN-based guts, similar to what can be found on Nintendo’s Switch Pro controller. It is even slightly smaller than the 65W Aukey Omnia USB-C charger I have at home. Since this dock replacement is much more capable than the average power brick, it is an impressive achievement.

These benefits come in one high price of $ 74.99, which is slightly lower than the $ 89.99 that Nintendo charges in the US because of its standalone dock. The latter also includes an HDMI cable and a power adapter. An HDMI cable is not included with the Covert Dock, which is difficult to understand given the price. But what makes the cost more palatable is that it can be used as a laptop dock, something the standard dock can’t.

It is even possible that this dock eliminates the need to take multiple chargers with you when traveling. It has a single 30W USB-C PD port that you can use to keep your phone or laptop charged when not in use to power the switch. Having only one USB-C port isn’t great if you need to charge multiple devices at once – or a laptop that needs more power than the 30W USB-C port can provide. So there are cases when it is not necessary to bring another adapter.

In addition to charging devices, the USB-C port can be used in conjunction with the HDMI input to mirror or extend your device’s screen to a TV. It’s worth noting that it outputs a maximum 1080p 60Hz signal regardless of the fidelity of your content.

The Covert Dock also features a single USB-A port, which can charge a device. Alternatively, the port can be used to connect accessories to your switch, such as a wired gaming headset, a receiver for compatible wireless headsets or, if you have a laptop connected, a flash drive or a USB to Ethernet adapter. It would be great to have more ports, but when it came to keeping the size small or having more ports, I would choose the former over the latter.

Genki Covert Dock

The portable dock includes a USB-C cable with one L-shaped side for better cable management, as well as three travel adapters.

Using the Covert Dock is not as elegant as a standard dock. Instead of sliding the switch into place, simply plug the included USB-C cable (which has an L-shaped side for better cable management) into the console. As a result, if the entertainment center you set up on the console is small, you may need to put the switch on the floor or in some other precarious position, as there is no crib here. Having to stress whether someone or a pet can pull the switch off the shelf is a concern in my apartment when using this portable dock. If there’s one thing good about Nintendo’s design, it’s that it keeps things out of sight and possible danger.

Despite its high price, the Covert Dock does a simple job and does it well. This allows me to play the Switch on my TV as well as it does on the official dock, and when I’m ready to go portable, the console charges for my trip. Plus, it serves as a laptop dock in no time. If you travel often or just want a handy, pocket-friendly dock to take with you when you’re not at home, this is a great option.

Photography by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge