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What’s the biggest problem with every gadget you own? At one point or another, it runs out of battery. When that happens, it doesn’t matter how cool and expensive your gadget is, it’s as good as a brick until you charge it. Electricity is literally everywhere, and still, our phones and tablets run out of battery all the time. Why? According to the folks at FUZ Designs, it’s because charging is just too darn inconvenient. And they may have a point.

One way to solve the never-ending clutter of cables is a dock, but most docks are very specific. They’re either for iPhone and iPad (most cases), or for micro-USB connections. If you look for a dock that can do both, you’ll either find big and bulky things, or things that require some work to change the plugs.

Other solutions are popping up all over the place, and one of those solutions is FUZ Design’s EverDock. We received a pre-production unit of the EverDock Duo for testing, and see if the impossible — having a small and slick dock that can charge both iOS and Android devices — is actually possible. One lucky reader will also win a final version of the EverDock Duo worth $69! (ships in December)

What Is EverDock?

As briefly mentioned above, EverDock is a small dock that’s aimed at accommodating almost any type of phone or tablet you own. It’s a successfully funded Kickstarter project that managed to raise over $450,000 in 30 days. There are two versions of the EverDock available: a single-device dock, also known as plain the EverDock, and the EverDock Duo, which can hold and charge two devices.

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The idea behind the EverDock is that it doesn’t come with built-in plugs. Rather, you get to use any cable you want inside the dock, thus letting you connect any device you have in the house to the EverDock. How does that work? To understand that, you first have to understand how the EverDock is built.

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Made out of a slick one-piece aluminum body, the EverDock comes with two silicone adapters to fit your plugs in tightly, and two silicone protectors you can use to protect your device from the aluminum body. The silicone protectors on my model are attached using the silicone dot you can see below. The final versions will include a silicone strip for better attachment of the pads.

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Flip the EverDock over, you’ll find little cable channels into which you thread your charging cables. Of course, the single version of the EverDock will only have one cable channel and one hole for the plug. The black areas on the bottom of the dock are the micro-suction pads, used the stabilize the dock to any surface.

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Do you get the idea now? In order to charge your devices using EverDock, you need to get the right cables, thread them through the cable adapters and cable channels, stick the EverDock on your desk or to any other surface, plug the cables in, and charge your devices. It should all look something like this.

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Using The EverDock Duo

Unlike the final model of the EverDock, which will come with some sort of instructions booklet, all I had was the EverDock, and I tried to figure out how to connect my devices. All in all, it wasn’t too complicated. But I did hit a few snares.

First, I tried to connect my iPad Mini. The iPad’s Lightning connector fit right into the silicone cable adapter, making my life super easy.

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The cable adapter then fits into its slot in the EverDock, leaving the connector sticking out just enough to plug into the iPad (or iPhone). The plug is held steady by the adapter, so it’s easy to plug the device in and out without moving the plug or the cable.

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If you own an older iOS device, the EverDock works great with Apple’s 30-pin connector as well. In this case you don’t have to use the silicone cable adapter. Simply thread the cable in from the top, USB end first, and pull it all the way through until the 30-pin plug sits comfortably in the slot.

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But Apple docks are a dime a dozen. What about Android? As expected, things didn’t work so smoothly with my micro-USB cables. As we all know, these cables are not all made equal, and it just happens that none of the three cables I had in the house would fit the EverDock properly.

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As you can see, the plug is simply too wide, and would not fit into the adapter. After trying three different cables with the same result, I decided to try fitting the cable into the EverDock like this and see what happens. The result was a dock I could use to charge my Android device, but it wasn’t as sexy nor as convenient as with my iPad.

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After trying my own cables, though, I found out that the final production EverDock units will ship with special micro-USB cables that fit in the same adapter as the Lightning plug, so you have nothing to worry about. You probably won’t be able to use any micro-USB cable you already have in the house, though.

Once both cables are threaded and plugged into the wall, it’s time to place the EverDock in its desired location. The micro-suction pads come covered in plastic. Once you remove that, the EverDock will stick firmly onto any smooth surface you place it on. While the pads are not glue, they sure feel like it, and dirt does tend to stick to them irremovably. Unlike glue, however, you can pick up the dock (with a little effort) and move it to a different location at any time you choose.

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The EverDock adheres nicely to surfaces, making it easy to plug and remove devices without the whole thing moving, slipping or falling. While the guys at FUZ Designs managed to use the EverDock to pull their entire weight without it coming off, I tried sticking it to my window, from which it promptly fell on the floor (device-less, of course). I can’t see why sticking the dock to a window or a wall would be comfortable anyway, though, and as long as you keep to fairly horizontal surfaces, you have nothing to worry about. It did look nice on the windows, though.

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In order for the EverDock to stick well, you need to make sure it’s really lying flat on the surface. If the cables are not completely tucked in underneath, you may end up with a wobbly dock. I didn’t find this to be too much of a problem, and as the final dock should have even better cable channels, this shouldn’t be an issue for you at all.

Should You Buy The EverDock?

The EverDock is a great little invention, and with the right micro-USB cable, is a great way to charge any device you own. Keep in mind that while switching a cable over in the dock is not hard work, it might not be something you’re going to want to do several times a day.

At the end of the day, if you regularly need to charge just one device, go with the regular EverDock, but if you need to use two types of plugs on a regular basis, get the EverDock Duo.

The EverDock is a solid, beautiful and fairly priced dock that doesn’t tie you in to any device. Decided to switch your iPhone for a Windows Phone? The EverDock is just as useful as ever. Traded your Nexus 7 for an iPad? No problems there, either. If you’re tired of investing in docks just to have them turn useless on you, EverDock is a perfect solution.

MakeUseOf recommends: Buy it.

How do I win the EverDock Duo?

You may enter by submitting your name and email address. You’ll receive one entry simply by doing so.

After that, you’ll also be offered various methods to earn additional entries. They range from sharing a link to this giveaway on social networks; to commenting or visiting a specific page. The more you participate, the higher your chances of winning! You will receive 5 additional entries into the giveaway for every successful referral via your shared links.

This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, November 15. The winner will be selected at random and informed via email.

The Winner

Congratulations, Jen Bolander! You would have received an email from jackson@makeuseof.com. Please respond before December 8 to claim your prize. Enquires beyond this date will not be entertained.

Send your products to be reviewed. Contact Jackson Chung for further details.

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