The Genki Covert Dock doesn’t look like a dock. It looks more like a brick wall that replicates the functionality of Nintendo’s much larger Switch Dock, but is small enough to fit in a pocket. It’s a great Switch accessory to have if you travel a lot and want to connect your console to the TV wherever you go.
This is part of what makes it exceptional. Another reason is that, unlike the series of third-party dock alternatives sold on Amazon, the Covert Dock was designed to use the same power specifications used by the Nintendo dock. So you won’t run the risk of damaging your Switch in the long run, or worse, removing it. This extracts the right amount of energy from the outlet with its retractable poles. It also comes with three international adapters, which is a nice perk when you have the chance to travel again.
The build quality is also excellent, with matte translucent black plastic enclosing the GaN-based innards, similar to what is found on the Nintendo Switch Pro controller. It’s also a bit smaller than the 65 W Aukey Omnia USB-C charger I have at home. Considering that this dock replacement is much more capable than the average power brick, it’s an impressive feat.
These perks are priced high at $ 74.99, which is only slightly lower than the $ 89.99 that Nintendo charges in the U.S. for its standalone dock. The latter also includes an HDMI cable and a power adapter. No HDMI cable with Covert Dock is included, which is difficult to understand given the price. But what makes the cost more attractive is that it can double as a laptop dock, which the standard dock can’t do.
In fact, this dock may eliminate the need to carry multiple chargers on the go. It has a single 30W USB-C PD port that you can use to keep your phone or laptop charged when you’re not using it to power the Switch. Having a single USB-C port isn’t great if you have multiple devices to charge simultaneously – or a laptop that requires more power than the 30W USB-C port can provide. So there are cases where it may not eliminate the need to bring another adapter.
In addition to charging devices, the USB-C port can be used in conjunction with the HDMI input to mirror or extend the device’s screen to a TV. It is worth noting that it outputs a maximum signal of 1080p 60Hz, regardless of the fidelity of your content.
Covert Dock also has a single USB-A port, which can charge a device. Alternatively, the port can be used to connect accessories to the Switch, such as a wired gaming headset, a compatible wireless headset receiver or, if you have a laptop connected, a flash drive or a USB to Ethernet adapter. It would be nice to have multiple doors, but if it were to keep the size small or have multiple doors, I would choose the former over the latter.
Using the hidden dock isn’t as elegant as the standard dock experience. Instead of sliding the switch into place, simply plug the included USB-C cable (which has an L-shaped side for better cable management) into the console. As a result, if the entertainment center you are installing the console on is small, you may need to place the switch on the floor or in another precarious position since there is no cradle here. Having to point out if someone, or a pet, could take the switch off the shelf is a concern in my apartment when I am using this portable dock. If there’s one thing that’s good about Nintendo’s design, it’s that it keeps things out of sight and possible danger.
Despite its high price, the Covert Dock does a simple job and does it well. It allows me to play the Switch using my TV exactly like the official dock, and when I’m ready for portable transportation, the console is charged for my trip. Plus, it acts as a laptop dock in a pinch. If you travel frequently or just want a handy pocket dock to carry when away from home, this is a great option.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge