Bottom line: With its compact size and ability to play games in both tabletop or TV mode, this docking station is a helpful accessory for trips or replacing an existing dock.
Compact and easy to transport
Supports tabletop and TV mode
Includes two USB ports and a LAN port
Rubber pads keep it from slipping
No cables included
Only one kickstand position
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Perhaps the biggest thing I don't like about the official Nintendo Switch and Switch OLED docks is that they are somewhat fragile due to that front plastic flap and are easy to break in transit. Not something you want to do with such an expensive accessory. So if you want to bring your Switch with you on a trip, it's better to leave the official dock at home and get a smaller replacement.
Enter the Unitek Switch Docking Station. I had the opportunity to test this compact dock for a couple of weeks. During that time, it worked beautifully and proved that it's the perfect travel accessory and dock replacement, especially since it offers a LAN port and two USB ports.
Unitek Switch Docking Station for Switch and Switch OLED: Price and availability
The Unitek Switch Docking Station for Switch and Switch OLED sells for $33.99 on Amazon. However, it can also be found selling for less than that. At the time of this review, a 15% off coupon was available to Prime members. Since it offers the LAN port and the extra USB port, this is a reasonable price.
Unitek Switch Docking Station for Switch and Switch OLED: What's good
This device is about the size of my palm, and the kickstand that holds the Switch folds flat and clicks into position to keep it safe while in transit. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with its carrying case, but it's so tiny that I can easily slip it into a backpack, pocket, or purse and travel with it.
|Category||Unitek Switch Docking Station for Switch and Switch OLED|
|Platforms||Nintendo Switch, Switch OLED, Switch Lite|
|Ports||USB-C, LAN, 4K HDMI, USB 3.0 x 2|
|Dimensions||2.83 x 3.15 x 0.79 inches|
I was happy to find that it works just as well with the Switch or the Switch OLED in both tabletop and TV mode. To make it work, I installed the Switch on the dock's USB-C port and then tapped the big black button to alternate between these two modes. When in docked mode, the system goes blank and only shows the game on your TV. Meanwhile, tapping the button again for tabletop mode allows the system to charge while displaying visuals on its screen. The dock charged my Switch well in tabletop mode, and I saw the battery increase as I played.
You can also use this with the Switch Lite. However, since the smaller gaming system doesn't have the internal hardware needed for TV mode, you'll only be able to use it in tabletop mode.
The bottom side of the Unitek Switch Docking Station has four rubber footpads that prevent the device from sliding around all over the place. But this dock stands out from others because it offers a LAN port like the Switch OLED dock. So you can get a more stable internet connection for online gaming rather than Wi-Fi. There are also two USB ports on either side of the unit so that you can plug in Switch accessories. For example, you could use these ports to charge your phone or other devices if traveling.
Unitek Switch Docking Station for Switch and Switch OLED: What's not good
While I love this dock's simple design, I was disappointed to find that the kickstand can only hold my Switch and Switch OLED in one position. It would be nicer if it had at least a couple of angles options. While on this subject, I doubt the kickstand could break on its own, but it could easily get snapped if handled by children or someone who isn't paying attention.
On another note, this dock does not come with any cables, which means that consumers will need to supply their power, HDMI, and LAN cables. So make sure you have these things handy if you want to use this as another dock somewhere in your house rather than replacing the one you already own.
Unitek Switch Docking Station for Switch and Switch OLED: Competition
Third-party Switch docks can be found all over the internet, but you need to be careful since some have been known to brick the Switch in the past. Here are a couple of options we recommend.
First, Unitek also sells the Alxum Switch Docking Station, which is very similar to this one but costs a bit less since it doesn't include a LAN port and has one less USB port. Still, it will meet your needs if you don't need those other connections.
If you simply want something that lets you connect to your TV without fancy cradling, the Genki Covert Dock is a great option. You will need to supply your own cables.
Unitek Switch Docking Station for Switch and Switch OLED: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a portable dock
- You're looking for something that can charge your Switch in tabletop mode
- You often plan online multiplayers and want a LAN connection
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You want something with more kickstand angles
- You don't need a LAN port
- You'd prefer something that comes with cables
Unitek Switch Docking Station of Switch and Switch OLED is an excellent accessory for any owner. It's easy to bring with you wherever you go, and it offers that LAN port for a stronger internet connection. Also, thanks to those two USB ports, you can quickly charge up an accessory or two while using it.
However, the kickstand isn't the sturdiest thing in the world, and it would be nicer if it could prop up your Switch in more than one angle while in tabletop mode. You'll also need to supply cables, which are not included in the box.
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.