At a Glance
Charging/syncing dock base (with audio output) for the iPod nano.
The iPod nano includes Apple’s USB-to-dock-connector cable for syncing and charging, but, like all recent iPods, doesn’t include Apple’s Dock. Why would you want this Dock? One reason is convenience: Instead of having to find your dock connector cable and then plug it into the iPod’s dock port — which means your iPod is left to slide around your desk — you simply plop your iPod in the Dock. It stands upright and safe while charging and (if connected to your computer) syncing; the dock connector cable is “permanently” connected to the Dock itself.
Another reason is that the Dock provides access to the iPod’s line-level audio output, available only via the dock connector port but not accessible via the iPod’s dock connector cable. This is the preferred way to connect an iPod to a home stereo if you’re concerned with audio quality.
Overall, we like the functionality of Apple’s Dock, but is it worth $29? In the case of full-size and mini iPods, we’ve found less expensive third-party alternatives, but right now Apple has the only nano-specific dock base on the market. If you’ll use the Dock’s line-level audio output, it’s likely worth the cost. If not, you may find that it’s a lot to pay for convenience.–Dan Frakes