DLO TransDock Direct review: DLO TransDock Direct

  • 1
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The DLO TransDock Direct offers drivers a straightforward way to charge and play their iPod or iPhone in the car.

The Bad The DLO TransDock Direct is expensive, bulky, incompatible with non-iPod audio sources, and requires a car stereo with an aux input or an additional cassette adapter.

The Bottom Line The DLO TransDock Direct is an attractive and practical solution for some, but its premium price tag isn't reflected in its modest features.

6.0 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 6.0

DLO's Transdock Direct ($59) is an in-car charging accessory for the Apple iPod or iPhone that includes a line-output jack and a secondary power output. Make no mistake, however, the DLO Transdock Direct is not an FM transmitter. To get audio from the Transdock Direct, you'll need a car stereo with a line-input jack or a cassette adapter.

The Transdock Direct is essentially a glorified in-car iPod charger, since your iPod already offers a 3.5mm audio output, and the additional 12-volt power socket only serves to replace the outlet taken by the product. If power is all you seek, products such as the Griffin PowerJolt SE will get the job done at a fraction of the price.

The real value of the DLO Transdock Direct is its structure. Dumping your iPhone or iPod in your car's ashtray or cup holder is no way to treat such a dignified device, and loose audio cables perpetually flopping out from your car stereo won't impress your date. Using the Transdock Direct, you can have your iPod set up in your car just the way you want it, keep your cables connected and tucked out of sight, and ensure that your iPod will be juiced up by the time you reach your destination.

Design
The DLO TransDock Direct takes its design cues from the DLO TransDock III FM transmitter and includes three main features: a 12-volt power plug, a 6-inch adjustable gooseneck stand, and an iPod dock. On the front of the Transdock Direct's iPod dock you'll find three LEDs that indicate the charging status of your iPod or iPhone. A 3.5mm line-output jack is located on the bottom of the dock, a spring-loaded tension ring within the dock provides some extra security for your iPod, and a 3.5mm audio jack is tucked on the bottom.

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