Look, the Nintendo Switch is great. I can play my games on the TV and when somebody else needs the TV, or when couch gaming isn’t just feasible, I can pull it out of the dock, run on over to my bed, and continue dying over and over in Ashen. But sometimes, I wanna take the Switch someplace else and play ARMS with my friends on a TV. And trust me, going to the TV, dismantling my set up, figuring out which cable goes where, and making sure the flimsy-as-heck dock doesn’t get crushed in my bag is a hassle. This is why the Genki Covert Dock for the Nintendo Switch is great for anyone who wants a more portable way to play docked mode.
What is the Genki Covert Dock?
There’s a slew of unofficial Nintendo Switch docks that try to replicate its function in a more portable manner, but they end up still being a place where you slide your console in, plug a charger in, and it’ll output your signal to the TV. Some docks come with a charger, and some do not. If you don’t have a spare official Nintendo charger, you’re gonna have to constantly move your charger between different docks or you’ll have to use a third-party one that might end up bricking your Switch.
The Genki Covert Dock bypasses the first problem by bypassing an actual physical dock altogether. By using the newfangled gallium nitrate technology, it managed to shrink down a Power Delivery-compliant charger that runs via USB-C 3.1, an HDMI out, and a USB-A port that also transmits data into one tiny shell that’s a little larger than an iPhone power wart.
By putting everything in one tiny wall wart, everything – the USB-C cable and the HDMI out just plugs into the actual charger. The Switch doesn’t have a stand provided by the official dock anymore, but it means it’s more compact.
I can easily take it anywhere I go – pandemic notwithstanding – and plug it into a friend’s TV for game night. It’s also incredibly easy to set up and stow away whenever I stream.
Is the Genki Covert Dock any Good?
I got my Founder’s Edition dock towards the end of June and I’ve been using it for my streams, and it’s a great experience so far. I have limited desk space, so I would like to keep my official dock someplace else.
It looks great, too. The translucent plastic covering the entire thing is reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
However, since it’s not an official Nintendo accessory, there are a few differences between the Genki and the first-party option:
- Switching from handheld to TV mode takes a touch longer. It takes a little longer for my monitor to receive a video signal, via the Genki. The difference isn’t that big – probably a few milliseconds longer. It doesn’t break the experience, but it’s also noticeable.
- Kevin Kenson, in his review, noticed that the video signal pushed by the Genki is less saturated than the official option when placed side-by-side with the same video using the same monitor.
- On a whim, I plugged my Samsung Galaxy S10e into the Covert Dock, and I was pleasantly surprised to confirm that it works with Samsung DeX. While DeX is far from ready from being a 100% desktop alternative, it’s nice to have this option if I have tasks that require a screen larger than a phone’s and I don’t have a laptop/tablet with me.
It also comes with an absolutely weird/horrifying sticker that reviewers don’t mention enough.
I love it.
Will the Genki Covert Dock Brick the Nintendo Switch?
So far, so good. The Switch is working, and I don’t feel any weirdness when using it with and without the Genki dock. They claim that they have received zero reports of bricked Switches yet, but I shall be keeping an eye out on that number and will update this post – and my recommendations – if anything comes out.
Even though Genki swears by the reliability of their Covert Dock – one of their engineers even publicized their findings on why other docks brick Nintendo Switches – using ANY unofficial dock runs the risk of bricking your console, even if you use the Nintendo charger to power it.
Do You Recommend This, Ade? Do You?
I got the special discounted price of a little over $60 because I went for the crowdsourcing option. At that price, I think it’s totally worth it.
However, now that the Genki Covert Dock is now being sold at full price, $74.99 is too expensive. For an additional $15, you can get the official Nintendo option complete with a charger. You can even get a refurbished first-party dock for $40.
If you’re desperate for an official portable option that doesn’t brick the Switch, you have the option of transferring the Nintendo dock’s internals into a smaller casing. You’ll end up doing a little more work and carry more items with you – a dock and a larger charger – but if it’s peace of mind you’re after, this is the way to go.
There’s also the Skull & Co Jumpgate Dock, which is a modular dock that can turn into a dongle. Like the Genki, it can also work with Samsung DeX, and you have the added option of using it as a USB-C dongle for, say, Macbooks. It doesn’t come with its own power brick, so you can either continue using the original charger or buy their own branded charger. The Jumpgate is also reportedly safe, and I know people who swear by it, even using it as their main dock.
Another option that I have personal anecdotal knowledge of is the Gulikit Portable Dock. It’s similar to the Jumpgate, albeit less functional as you cannot turn it into a USB-C dongle. It also doesn’t come with a charger, and I highly encourage you to use the official charging brick whenever you use a third-party option.
But if you’re looking for the most portable all-in-one option for your Nintendo Switch, and you’re willing to pay the full $74.99 despite the risk, go ahead and get the Genki Covert Dock. It’s the most convenient and versatile option, and putting everything in one small brick means you won’t have to bring multiple things if you’re taking your Switch with you everywhere.
The Genki Covert Dock is a convenient all-in-one portable solution for your Nintendo Switch, if you’re willing to pay the high price tag, accept the risk that comes with third-party docking options, and you’re okay with a slightly desaturated image.