Genki Covert Dock Review – The Perfect Dock for Nintendo Switch and Everything Else?
Genki Covert DockJuly 31st, 2020
I love my Nintendo Switch console when portable, and I love playing games on the big screen. I hate bringing the chunky official dock with me when traveling. But I am terrified of bricking my Switch. It wasn't that long ago that the fairly infamous Nyko dock and a few other unofficial products had people report that their Switch would no longer charge, or had even been bricked entirely. These reports are horrifying to anyone that sees a console as a big investment, and as a result, I stayed away from unofficial docks, to the point that I even took my big official dock overseas with me so I could play with friends in comfort. It's certainly not convenient, but it felt like the only option I was left with. Until now, that is.
The fear surrounding bricking systems has essentially shut down the unofficial dock market, and only now are we seeing competitors step up to the plate and swear by their products, and one of the biggest ones right now is Genki and the Genki Covert Dock. This is the size and shape of an ordinary power cord, comes with multiple adapters for use in the UK, US, and EU, and promises to do absolutely everything the ordinary Nintendo Switch dock does, but with a much smaller profile. This is an incredibly enticing proposition for any Switch fan that likes to take their games with them. But is it the best or even most cost-effective?
It comes at an odd time because it was only a few months ago that I made my own portable Switch dock. No, I'm certainly not an engineer, but I simply purchased an official Switch dock from ebay, and transplanted the innards into a far smaller shell that I purchased on Amazon. The process took only an hour or so and was quite simple. Now I already have a portable docking alternative which I know won't brick my console, so the Genki Covert Dock certainly has more to live up to.
But Genki appears to have the bricking issue on lockdown. In a blog post on Reddit, a Genki engineer went into extensive detail regarding why they believe unofficial docks would cause bricking, and what the Genki dock does to fix it, and it all comes down to power delivery. The jargon can go over your head, but the bottom line is that the Genki Covert Dock shouldn't brick your Switch, and in my testing, all has been great. The Genki Covert Dock works exactly as intended.
You plug the Genki Covert Dock into a power supply, you plug in an HDMI cable and the Switch itself, and it's done, it's outputting at 1080p to whichever screen you've connected. Simply disconnect the HDMI cable, and you find yourself with a fast charger for any of your USB-C devices. There are no switches on the Genki Covert Dock, no toggles, and nothing to mess with - it does exactly what it is meant to, and this simplicity is a thing of beauty. Sure, a 4K upscaler built-in would be nice, but the product might be a bit more expensive at that point.
In terms of features then, it is almost identical to the official dock, aside from the fact it lacks the two extra USB ports you'll find on the official dock - though the Genki Covert Dock does include a high-speed USB port which you can slap a USB hub into for more accessories, like wired controllers. Once everything is plugged in and tidy behind your TV, the Genki Covert Dock and my portable official dock and almost identical. The main difference is when you try to transport them.
At first, I didn't think the Genki Covert Dock would have many advantages over my own portable dock, but I was wrong. The Genki Covert Dock is smaller in profile than Nintendo's official power adapter. That's right, the whole dock is smaller than the power adapter you find with the official console. I didn't think about it until I compared them, but one thing my own portable option can't do is operate without a separate power adapter. If I choose to take my own portable dock overseas, I would need to pack an official power adapter still, and that takes up space the Genki Covert Dock doesn't require.
It didn't take long for the Genki Covert Dock to become an obviously more convenient way to dock games and take them on the go, but that's when I discovered what else it could do. I have only been thinking of the dock as an accessory for my Nintendo Switch, but it can do much more. On the box, the Genki Covert Dock advertises itself as being compatible with Switch, MacBook, iPad Pro, iPhone, and Android. I don't own all of those devices, but I plugged in my Black Shark 2 phone and it instantly appeared on my monitor, without any delay. The passthrough was crystal clear, audio came through perfectly, and it would've been a simple task to plug in a capture card and record perfect mobile footage, something which is notoriously difficult on certain Android devices. I did a test to see if the device would mirror my iPad Mini 4, but clearly something between the lightning charging cable I used and the USB-A to USB-C converter was wrong. After speaking with other Genki Covert Dock users, I've also been told it effortlessly casts the screen of a Chromebook with little effort.
The last question that needs answering is if the price is right - and I have to say yes. The price Genki is asking for their Covert Dock isn't very different from what you would expect to pay for a new official Switch dock and comes equipped with the ability to cast a variety of other devices. If you're thrifty you can do what I did and build your own small Nintendo Switch dock, which is admittedly less costly than the Genki Covert Dock, but it'll still be a fair bit larger, less portable given the fact you need a power adapter and have fewer features.
I wanted a portable Nintendo Switch dock that wasn't going to brick my device, and it seems I've found that and more. The Genki Covert Dock is so small in profile and works so effortlessly that it has already convinced me to stop traveling with the portable dock that I worked so hard to craft myself. The Genki Covert Dock is the perfect travel companion for Nintendo Switch and doubles as a fantastic way to cast other portable devices to monitors and TVs. The Genki Covert Dock is more than a convenient way to play games, but can even be used as a handy gadget to improve your productivity.
Review unit provided by the manufacturer. You can purchase it from the official website.
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The Genki Covert Dock doesn't just work as a great portable dock for Nintendo Switch, but as a great portable screen caster for your other mobile devices, like MacBooks, mobile phones, and Chromebooks. Whether you just want to charge up your phone or cast a movie for all of your friends, the Genki Covert Dock is a great way to do it. But believe me, if my Switch ever bricks, that score will change...
- The most portable dock yet
- Casts a variety of devices to monitors and TVs
- Multiple power adapter attachments for international compatibility
- Feels like I might break the power adapter attachments since they connect very tightly