What does it do?
The Griffin AirDock for iPod ($69) provides an attractive, remote-controlled solution for integrating an iPod with your home stereo or television. It also cuts out the clutter associated with charging and syncing your iPod to your computer.
The AirDock has a striking, smooth aluminum design that looks a lot better than that messy iPod USB cable that's probably cluttering your desk. It includes adapters for all Click Wheel iPod models, including the iPod Mini and iPod Nano. Right out of the box you'll find the docking station, a high-quality AV cable (red, white, and yellow RCA to minijack), USB cable (standard to mini), USB power supply, and a remote control.
The AirDock's remote feels good in the hand, but offers only basic buttons such as Play/Pause, Skip/Scan, and volume control. The remote offers no control over menu navigation, so if you want to change albums or playlists you will need to use the controls on your iPod. Unlike the DLO HomeDock Deluxe (version 2), or Griffin's own TuneCenter, the AirDock does not use its video connection to display onscreen navigation, artist information, or album artwork on your television.
Who is this made for?
Aside from handsome looks and a remote control, the AirDock offers nothing that a fifth-generation iPod can't already do. The good news is that the remote works extremely well (rated at 60 feet). But if you can live without a remote, you could spend $30 less and get the Apple Universal Dock, which will work just as well.
If the AirDock suffers from anything, it's that the product looks so cool that it's a bit of a letdown to realize the AirDock's just a basic AV iPod dock. It's like watching a supermodel work a fast-food counter. Otherwise, the AirDock is one of the most elegant ways we've seen for charging and syncing your iPod with your computer while reducing cord clutter. When it comes to fully integrating your iPod into your home entertainment center, the DLO HomeDock Deluxe (version 2) does a much better job at $150, but at half the price, the AirDock makes a good-looking substitute.