Review: Satechi USB-C Apple Watch Dock is ideal for power users
Satechi's USB-C Magnetic Apple Watch Dock comes at a perfect time for power users who want to charge their Apple Watch with all of their latest gear.
USB-C iterations of Apple Watch chargers are scarce, with Apple's own being the predominant option. Now that Apple has begun allowing third-party USB-C Lightning cables, it appears we will be seeing more USB-C Apple Watch charging pucks as well.
One of the first is the Satechi USB-C Magnetic Apple Watch Dock. It not only works via USB-C but has a detachable cable for added convenience.
The puck and cable are both made of anodized aluminum that most closely matches Apple's space gray finish found on the iPad and the Mac. This gives it a premium feel and a hefty weight.
Unfortunately, while the top and sides of the puck are metal, the back is only color-matched plastic. This feels decidedly cheap compared to the rest. We'd have preferred something other than plastic for a more seamless design. If not metal, a silicone pad would have sufficed, similar to the Native Union puck we picked up a bit ago.
Otherwise, the puck is a rounded-off square with a USB-C connector protruding out of one of the sides. That USB-C connector plugs into the female side of a short USB-C extension cable. That cable is roughly six inches in length with a flat cable situated between two aluminum over-molds.
Charging up our Apple Watch
If you are truly minimalistic, you can ditch the cable and connect the puck right into the USB-C ports of your existing gear.
We used ours with our MacBook Pro, and it is a perfect desk accessory to dock our Apple Watch while we are working to give us charge through the day, as well as through the night.
The main issue we ran into is that, due to its size, it can take up two ports. If you are using a MacBook Air, the only two ports are situated right next to one another, and using this dock prevents the use of the adjacent port. Fortunately, that is why Satechi included that jumper cable. You can still connect the dock and use the port nearby.
The jumper cable is also useful for multi-chargers, such as the Satechi 75W dual USB-C travel charger.
We also liked using the Apple Watch dock with our iPad Pro. We propped up our iPad Pro with the folding Smart Keyboard Folio and connected the dock to its sole USB-C port. The Apple Watch doesn't draw much power, so we didn't notice a huge drop in iPad battery life while we continuously topped off our wearable throughout the day.
Should you buy one
If you don't travel much and are content charging your watch each night on its bundled USB-A charging puck, don't bother with the Satechi USB-C Apple Watch Dock.
However, if you find yourself traveling or charging during the day, a second charger is necessary. Among the available third-party options, we gravitate heavily towards the simple design and portability of this model. Not only is it compact, but it allows us to charge off of whatever we have with us — our Mac, our iPad Pro, or our USB-C multi-charger that is used to power up the first two devices.
It is a unique design that is well implemented that casual users, power users, and travelers will appreciate.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Where to buy
Pick up the Satechi USB-C Apple Watch Dock from Satechi for $44.99.