Those switches basically distribute the power to either the quick-charge dock or standard-charge dock. There are instructions on the bottom of the unit for setting the switches based on the types of devices you're charging, and it takes some thinking to sort it all out.
Along with the two A/B switches on the bottom of the unit, there's also a switch on the top that enables computer syncing. In other words, when you connect to your PC with yet another USB cable, you can have your iPad or iPhone sync with iTunes by flipping the syncing switch to the on position.
The final thing worth noting is that the unit can expand or collapse to provide a little more room to lay your devices down. When the charging station is collapsed into its more compact mode, it's a little wider than a BlackBerry. Expand the bed and it's more like the width of a Kindle or Nook.
All in all, though it does have its quirks, this is a pretty versatile charging unit for people who have several devices they want to keep juiced up and like the idea of a less cluttered charging environment (the unit does offer some cable management features). We can't say it's a steal at $49.99, but it's not outrageously priced.
For those who don't need to charge an iPad, you can step down to the $29.99 iHome iB967, which looks very similar but doesn't offer the iPad-charging capabilities. However, we recommend spending the extra $10 in case you do opt for an iPad or other form of tablet that requires a higher wattage for charging.