Sat. Oct 1st, 2022

Today we take a look at the just-released Genki Covert Dock, a $75 third-party dock for the Nintendo Switch console. It’s the size and shape of a compact USB charger, with foldable 120VAC plugs for US power supply (sliding adapters for other countries are included in the box). We know everyone is concerned about third-party docks right now, but Genki’s chief engineer is the one who first discovered Why Switch consoles tended to build into third-party docks. So the Covert feels like a safe bet.

Although Covert Dock comes with a manual, you don’t need it – it’s very easy to use. You plug the Covert Dock directly into the socket, just like any compact phone charger. Connect an HDMI cable from the Covert Dock to your display and plug the included USB-C 3.1 charging cable from your Switch to the Covert. Voila – a few seconds later your Switch’s video and audio will be routed to your screen via HDMI and it will start charging.

Simple device, real technology

Genki Covert Dock for Nintendo Switch product image

Genki Covert Dock for Nintendo Switch

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It’s basically impossible to buy a Nintendo Switch right now – I know, I’ll keep looking. When I bought our family’s Switch, I just wanted to play Untitled Goose Game-where the kids and I laughed, bonded and discussed for eons why we really shouldn’t make jokes we learned from goose game about in real life. But today, for my family and for many others, the Switch has basically become a devotee Animal Crossing: New Horizons console, and it has become worth its weight in gold.

I’m telling you this because the Genki Covert is the first product I ever tested that provoked actual threats from my wife. When I told her I got a 3rd party dock for review, she immediately asked how I would replace the Switch if it was bricked. “I don’t think you understand how important the Switch is to the kids,” she stated. “You can’t even buy another one now.” The word “divorce” may or may not have come up shortly after, presumably in jest. The mood was grim

Thankfully, we now know why third-party docks kept frying Nintendo Switch consoles — in the most famous case, a programmable microcontroller sent the wrong voltage to the Switch. Problems cropped up with other third-party docks because Nintendo used a non-standard design for the Switch’s USB-C port — and Genki Covert Dock’s chief engineer is the Redditor who eventually found out.

The Genki Covert Dock itself seems to confirm that original attention to detail. You can’t really make a compact USB charger with a wall look like a glamorous device, but it feels solid in your hand, the hinged pins of the power supply swing in and out smoothly and there are no rough seams.

Using the Genki Covert Dock

There really isn’t much to say about using a device without a single button on it – plug the Covert Dock into the wall, connect it to your TV with an HDMI cable (not included) and plug your Switch into the Covert Dock with a USB-C cable (included). That is it.

Waking your Switch across the room with a docked Joy-Con works with the Covert Dock, just like it does with the OEM dock. There is an additional USB 3.1 Type-A connector that can be used to charge your phone or connect additional Switch-compatible USB devices: Ethernet adapters, microphones, mice, keyboards, etc.

There’s a slight delay from when you plug your Switch into the Covert Dock to when the Switch’s content appears on your TV or other screen — about five seconds. This is slightly faster than our official Nintendo dock, which can sometimes take over 10 seconds for the HDMI output to go live. We also noticed that while the HDMI out on the OEM dock stays live when the dock is unplugged, unplugging the Genki Covert instantly kills the HDMI along with it.

While the Covert Dock requires you to plug in a cable rather than plop your Switch into the OEM dock with one hand, I actually prefer the cable. The Switch doesn’t always come out quite right in the OEM dock, especially when kids are doing the docking. With a cable, you’ll know very well whether you’ve plugged it in properly or not, so the short wait for the HDMI display to go live doesn’t feel so daunting.

Like most USB chargers, if you plug the Covert into the wall with an electrical charge already connected via USB, it will produce an audible electrical “pop”. We highly recommend plugging the Covert Dock into the wall before connecting your Switch or your display to the Covert – this should extend the life of the Covert and keep your precious Switch from getting electrical signals out of range.

We weren’t kidding about the near impossibility of replacing a Switch now – the Switch Lite usually sells out within days of a store receiving stock, and the full Switch itself is generally in. minutes

conclusions

If you have a Switch that lives a normal non-portable console life and just stays connected to one family TV 24/7, the Genki Covert Dock might not be for you. It’s a bit cheaper than the official Nintendo dock, but instead of having your Switch sit neatly in the Nintendo dock, you now simply place it on a counter, with a greater susceptibility to possible spills, falling items, etc. You’re also dropping from three USB accessory connectors to one — probably not worth the $15 savings.

On the other hand, if you take your Switch with you everywhere, the Covert Dock starts to look very good indeed. It takes up virtually no extra space in a backpack, serves as a high-quality phone charger, and is much less cumbersome to plug into any TV to get a few minutes of playtime.

If you build a Switch now, you cannot replace it. We strongly recommend turning on this or any dock first and plugging only the switch into the dock after the dock has stable electrical power.

The good

  • $15 cheaper than an OEM dock for the Switch
  • Ultra-portable – fits almost as well in a pocket as a backpack
  • Designed by the people who figured out why other third-party docks bricked Switches
  • Fast Charging
  • Global Power Adapters – 150+ Countries Covered
  • Rectangular USB-C connector on included cable is a nice touch

The bad

  • Won’t lift your Switch off the counter or protect the screen like an OEM dock does
  • Fewer USB accessory ports than an OEM dock

the ugly one

  • We really didn’t like the electrical “bang” when plugging in the Genki Covert Dock with a charge (like the Switch) already plugged in
  • Limited availability of replacement consoles is no joke – it can take months to replace a Switch

List image by Genki

By akfire1

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