Bottom line: With its small size and ability to both charge and play Switch games in either tabletop or TV mode, the Alxum Switch Docking Station is the perfect travel accessory for any Switch owner.
Small and portable
Supports tabletop and TV mode
Easy to use
Doesn't come with cables
Should be handled carefully
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My Nintendo Switch is a constant companion since I take it with me everywhere in my house and on trips. Because I'm often playing multiplayer games with family and friends, it's usually important for me to take the dock as well so we can connect it to a TV. However, it's so bulky and expensive that I feel more comfortable taking a portable third-party option rather than risking breaking the official dock.
I've tested a few third-party Switch docks over the years and most recently I've been able to check out the Alxum Switch Docking Station. It's very small and folds up into a square making it very easy to travel with without worrying about it breaking in transit. Plus, it allows me to play my Switch both in tabletop mode or TV mode while charging my console.
Alxum Switch Docking Station: Price and availability
The Alxum Switch Docking Station has an MSRP of $25, but you can often find it selling for less than that on Amazon. It's roughly the size of my palm and is incredibly easy to bring with me if I go on a trip. This price is warranted, considering that this device charges my Switch while being able to toggle between tabletop and TV mode.
Alxum Switch Docking Station: What's good
Switch owners have every right to be cautious when it comes to third-party Switch docks considering that before the 5.0 update a few years ago, using an unofficial dock could brick your system. I'm happy to report that I've tested both my Switch V2 and my Switch OLED and both were able to work with the Alxum Switch Docking Station without causing permenant problems. However, it is important to note that this could change with a future Nintendo update.
|Category||Alxum Switch Docking Station|
|Ports||USB-C, 4K HDMI, USB 3.0|
|Dimensions||2.83 x 3.15 x 0.79 inches|
This dock can also work with the handheld-only Switch Lite as a charger in tabletop mode, but cannot display games on TV due to the gaming system missing internal hardware necessary to do so.
I simply flip around the kickstand, plug the necessary cables into the back of the device, and place my Switch on the USB-C nub. The Switch charges up while I play, allowing me to enjoy my favorite games for hours. There's a button on the top of the device that, when pressed, toggles between TV mode and tabletop mode. In TV mode, the Switch screen will go dark, but your game will appear on a connected TV. Whereas tabletop mode allows the Switch to display your game while charging on the dock.
The Alxum is incredibly small, making it easy for me to toss in my backpack or slip into my pocket if I'm going on a trip. The kickstand part that helps hold up the console while charging folds in to protect the USB-C connection and makes the device become relatively flat. That way, you don't have to worry about fragile parts breaking off in transit. This is a great alternative to traveling with the official Switch dock, since the front bit of plastic that covers the Switch screen when docked could easily break if too much pressure is placed on it.
However, this docking station is not really the best option for replacing your official dock at home unless you already have the adapter and HDMI cables handy. That's because it does not come with its own cables and the instructions recommend using the official ones that come with the Switch.
Alxum Switch Docking Station: What's not good
This first thing isn't huge, but it is something to be aware of. My Switch OLED dock features a Ethernet port, which my original Switch dock does not. Similarly, the Alxum Switch Docking Station also does not have that Ethernet port. If that's important to you, you can purchase a compatible USB to Ethernet adapter and plug it into the USB 3.0 port.
On another note, you need to be careful when placing and removing your Switch from the Alxum. The plastic kickstand feels like it could break with just a little pressure and it's easy to wriggle the Switch from side to side while it's in place. It would be terrible if the USB-C port snapped off and got stuck in the Switch port.
Alxum Switch Docking Station: Competition
There are plenty of third-party Switch docks out there for people to choose from. One of our favorite options is the Binbok Switch Dock. It offers plenty of ports for any accessories, has more secure placement, and can toggle between TV and tabletop mode.
If you don't want the tabletop mode charging and just want the TV mode abilities, the Genki Covert Dock is a great choice. It supplies its own charging adapter cable, is small enough for convenient travel, and doesn't have the breakable kickstand area found in the Alxum. However, it does cost significantly more.
Alxum Switch Docking Station: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want to easily charge your Switch in tabletop mode
- You'd like a Switch dock that's easy to travel with
- You plan on switching between tabletop mode and TV mode
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want something sturdier
- You've lost the official HDMI cable and charging adapter
- You'd prefer to use official Nintendo accessories
Using the official docking station is by far the safer way to go, but if you'd like to have a portable option that's easy to use, then the Alxum Switch Docking Station is a great choice. It's capable of charge your Switch back up while you play in either TV or tabletop mode, so you can play in whatever way you prefer.
However, it doesn't provide its own cables and actually recommends you use the official ones that come with the dock, so you'll need to have those handy. Additionally, you'll want to make sure to be careful when placing or removing the Switch from the USB-C connection so as not to break the fragile kickstand.
Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.