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It charges. It syncs. It reads memory cards. It remembers your anniversary (not really).
If you’re anything like us, your desk is probably overflowing with cords, cables, and adapters for all of your stuff. You need a cable for syncing your iPhone, a dock for charging, a USB hub, and probably a card reader or two for all the memory cards in your house—from your Wii, your digital camera, and maybe your cell phone. Griffin’s Simplifi aims to eliminate all of that desktop clutter with one sleek desktop device—and it looks great next to your late-model Mac to boot.
At its core, Simplifi—kudos to Griffin for not calling it iSimplifi—is a charging dock for your iPod or iPhone. Helpfully, the Simplifi will plug into a USB port for power, perfect for that extra port on your keyboard. Unlike a lot of other third-party charging docks we’ve seen, the Simplifi also does double duty and can be used to sync your iPod or iPhone with your computer by attaching the included USB cable to your Mac (or PC, if you must). In our tests, the Simplifi worked perfectly with a variety of iPods and iPhones—and it eliminated the need for an extra sync cable in addition to our desktop charger.
But wait, there’s more! The dock also features memory card slots on the front that will accommodate Sony’s Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro, and standard SD, xD, and CompactFlash cards. If you’re constantly swapping memory cards and juggling all those tiny little USB adapters, the Simplifi makes for a handy and versatile card reader. The unit also features two USB ports, which are always in short supply. Use them to connect additional drives or to juice up anything that charges via USB. If your device requires more power, connect the optional AC adapter and turn the Simplifi into a powered USB hub.
We tested the Simplifi with a variety of memory cards, USB devices, iPods, and iPhones, and it performed as expected. It replaced several different cords and adapters on our cluttered desk, making it an instant hit. We were also impressed by the solid construction. The Simplifi looks and feels a lot sturdier than most of the cheapo plastic docks and card readers on the market. We just wish one of the two USB ports were on the top or front of the device. Having them on the back makes sense for cable management of things that will stay connected, but limits their usefulness as “extra” ports for temporarily adding a new USB device.Clever multipurpose design—and iPod syncing—makes the Simplifi a desktop Swiss Army Knife for nerds.