Gadget Dad has had a little help with our latest review from one of our teen testers, who has tried out a Dualie 500gb IPod/IPhone dock from Buffalo.
IPod and its phone version, the IPhone are possibly the most popular gadget of the last ten years. I love the idea of music on the go, but, obviously, when at home you may just want to play those tracks that little bit louder.
There's also the added problem of storing your music- which means plugging in your hard drive every time you want to change your track list. Personally, I've always been put off by the worry of losing my tracks, ad still prefer the security of a CD!
The Dualie, by Buffalo, is hailed as not just the perfect, compact dock for your pod or phone, but also charges the device too. It syncs to your PC, and better still, it comes with 500GB of storage for your music, all in the one stylishly built place.
Its very lightweight, and doesn't take up much space in the room. It's also small enough to be portable, so you can move it from room to room without having to buy several of them.
The Dualie is easy to set up, and comes with not only a mains power cable, but both a USB lead and Firewire cable, so whichever way you prefer to connect it to a computer is covered. It also has special Pod and Phone connectors, which some docks will require and have to be bought from the Apple store included, which saves time, money and effort.
To set up, its basically a 5 minute job- plug it in, connect to your PC to place your tracks on the hard drive, and then place your device in the dock. It does come with an instruction sheet, but really its hardly needed. You do have to load a software disc the first time its used, but again, that's really easy to use and guides you through the set up itself. It's Mac formatted, but can be re-formatted for use with Windows.
Once its all loaded and ready to go, the stylish base has a blue arc-shaped light to the front, which flashes when its transferring data, and just glows when its charging or switched on, which makes a novice with a borrowed IPod like myself know when I'm doing the right thing!
Due to the USB connector, you can play your music from your device through the media player on your PC or laptop, so if you find the IPod isn't loud enough for you, and you don't want to wear the headphones, you can crank up the music through the PC instead and share your tracks.
The hard drive itself is small and fits into a pocket easily- so if you wanted to get tracks from another PC, say at work, its light enough not to be a hassle.
The dock is reassuringly good quality and weighs a little more than the hard drive, holds the device securely without a wobble, and has a non-slip base, so can be placed on any surface without the worry of it falling off. It also automatically "syncs" the device to the base unit and charges immediately, recognising whats been placed in it without you having to make any selections.
The 500GB of storage is obviously a bonus feature, and larger than some similar dock/ hard drive combinations. It means whatever amount of storage your device has, this can hold around 100,000 tracks in one place. (Worked out for single tracks at 5MB each).
The great thing about the Dualie is its stylish enough to fit into most homes or offices, and was liked by our teen and myself, so it has universal appeal.
Price wise at £89.93 (Amazon) its quite expensive. However, for what it does and its ease of use, for the die hard who loves music and worries about losing their music if kept on their PC, its a safe bet for keeping your pricey music tracks safe from PC nasties whilst allowing the owner to charge their device in one place.