If you wanted a quality Nintendo Switch dock that you could slip into a pocket, the $70 Genki Covert Dock was your best bet — 30W of USB-C power delivery, 1080p60 HDMI output, and a USB 3.1 port for peripherals, all stored in a tiny collapsible pin charger using GaN power.
But now its manufacturers are making the choice a little more difficult – with a new Genki Covert Dock Mini for $49 (Going through Gizmodo) it is way smaller, adds 4K30 output, and unfortunately makes a few sacrifices along the way.
At 1.7 x 1.3 x 1.3 inches, the Covert Dock Mini is only slightly bigger than the tiny 5W chargers that Apple used to ship with iPhones (which, admittedly, had no folding pins or GaN), and it’s only half the length of the original Covert Dock and just over a third the size.
And, it now supports 4K 30Hz output, which, while obviously not as useful as 4K 60Hz output, seems like a nice perk considering you’re paying $20 less. As Genki points out, this could be useful for the Steam Deck or similar handhelds, which may not have the power to play all games at 4K60 anyway. Or for movies and TV, which typically aren’t shot at 60 frames per second and therefore don’t require a higher frame rate.
Unfortunately, it also only outputs 20W of USB-C power – not 30W anymore – and while that’s fine for today’s Switch, I highly doubt you’ll be gaming and charging a Steam Deck at the same time. with any intensive ranged game that way. I used a 20W USB-C PD battery in my own Deck tests and found that it didn’t charge particularly well unless the Deck was turned off. There’s a reason Valve ships it with a 45W PD power adapter.
Also, the Mini unfortunately doesn’t come with a USB-A port, which means you’re not going to plug in a GameCube controller adapter for your Smash Bros. sessions. on Switch, or an Ethernet adapter, or a wireless headset dongle, or external storage for the Deck, or… you get the picture.
But if this sounds like exactly the docking station you need, Genki currently taking “limited” pre-orders on this Kickstarter page with an estimated delivery of August 2022.