Review: GuliKit Dock (Hardware)
GuliKit isn’t a stranger when it comes to innovation in the Switch hardware department. Its detachable power bank for the console is one of the sleekest I’ve seen. The company has expanded its library of Switch peripherals and with its Dock, it seems like GuliKit’s innovation streak hasn’t swayed a bit.
Cuboidal in shape with a matte black finish and adorning the GuliKit logo on top, the GuliKit Dock is an inconspicuous device which packs more than what meets the eye. The front part features a magnetic lid which protects the USB-C plug from damage and dust, while the underside packs an anti-slip mat to safely rest the device on your gaming desk. Flipping the lid up reveals the USB-C port as well as vents allowing free flow of air from the console's fan so that it does not heat up during your gaming sessions. The back of the dock holds a Dock Mode button switch and three ports; namely an HDMI out, a USB 3.0 and a USB-C to accommodate the original Switch charger. For more technical details, the device boasts the following:
When it comes to build quality, the GuliKit Dock looks and feels sturdy with its tough plastic casing. The addition of an anti-slip mat gives gamers an additional layer of security preventing the device from falling and subsequent damage.
GuliKit’s dock for the Switch functions like the official one, with less USB 3.0 ports, yet having the advantage of being really compact (85 x 85 x 24 mm). The existing USB 3.0 port can accommodate other peripherals like headsets and controllers, but having just one might be inconvenient as you'll have to compromise between devices. Better charge your wireless controller beforehand so that you can plug in your best headphones! There is a Dock Mode button that allows users to toggle between TV mode and dock mode--I have to admit that this button isn’t the most ergonomic, and requires quite an effort to reach and activate. On top of docking your Switch, the GuliKit dock can even double as a charging dock for some phones (see list below). While it would be way more convenient to have it accommodate all phones charging through USB-C other than the few listed, you'll likely get this device for your Switch rather than for your phone. Additionally, plugging in those compatible phones will launch their "desktop mode" like Samsung's Dex mode.
Now I know what your main concern is: "will this brick my Switch?" Nintendo’s latest console is, after all, notorious for not liking third-party docks, but GuliKit offers a “no-brick” guarantee and I haven’t come across any issues with using this dock myself. I have been seamlessly docking and undocking my console for weeks and it has been running flawlessly; I even tend to leave my GuliKit Dock on my gaming desk thanks to its compact size, as opposed to the original dock, which I would have to store after my gaming sessions. Nevertheless, if you want to play it safe(r), GuliKit also offers a cheaper DIY kit for you to connect the original Switch dock's innards to GuliKit’s compact dock.
At about $27 at the time of writing, the GuliKit Dock for the Nintendo Switch presents itself as an affordable alternative for the original dock should you need a replacement or a second one which is easier to carry and supports certain phones.
+ Compact and portable size
+ Compatible with some phones
- Dock Mode button switch is hard to access
- The Nintendo Switch is known to not like 3rd party docks
out of 10
All in all, the GuliKit Dock is a nice-to-have device which you should consider if you are looking for a secondary or a replacement dock for your Nintendo Switch with a discreet footprint.