Having announced the Gear4 Procontrol last month, we were given one of our very own, to turn our own lowly iPod into "a complete solution for the home". But don’t get over-excited over the complete solution – you can’t get your iPod to do your dishes, make your bed or even do a bit of light dusting. What it will do for you is synch it, charge it and link it with your home AV system.
Most of these things can be done straight out of the box – the AV components are included (SCART connector and RCA cable) making it easy to show photo slideshows on your TV as well as connect it to your home stereo. The IR remote also means you can control your iPod without having to leave your sofa. Phew.
Not included in the box is a USB cable that would allow you to synch it with your computer. And be warned, the USB connector on the dock is USB B – the smaller, fatter one, so you might not have this kind of thing lying around.
The other problem with the Procontrol is the design. It’s made of lightweight plastic, making it a bit, well, plasticky. The lack of weight makes it easy to transport, but means when you dock your iPod you spend a few tense moments wondering if it’s going to all be too much and it will topple. It doesn’t by the way.
For £49.99 it’s £20 cheaper that Apple’s AV kit, which doesn’t include charging and synching cables. So, if you can deal with the tense docking moment, and the trip out to buy the USB cable, it’s a pretty good deal.