Although Valve’s Steam Deck and the Asus ROG Ally are potent portable powerhouses in their own right, sometimes I just want to kick back and be able to use my handheld gaming PC with my larger displays at home. We’ll see if the call has been answered with the Syntech 6-in-1 docking station review, a curvier and cheaper alternative to the official Valve Steam Deck Docking Station station.
The Syntech 6-in-1 docking station is compatible with the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally. It offers up most of the features of the official Valve dock at half the price. As a great value option, this leaves some extra budget for the best Steam Deck accessories or Asus ROG Ally accessories to get the most out of your handheld system of choice.
The competition is tough, as many docking stations have appeared from competitors such as Jsaux, Ivoler, and Ugreen. To see how Syntech’s offering stacks up when compared to the best Steam Deck docks, I’ve I spent several weeks with the Mini Dock, taking a look at the value on offer, the features, and the construction to determine if it’s worth your cash.
Here are the Syntech 6-in-1 docking station specs:
|USB ports||3 x USB-A 3.0, 1 x USB-C 3.0|
|HDMI Ports||1 x HDMI 2.0|
- Inexpensive option
- Plenty of ports for connectivity
- Curved design gives easy access
- Jsaux 6-in-1 dock is the same price in US
- Partially obstructs Steam Deck fan intake
The Syntech 6-in-1 docking station features a unique curved design that has all of its ports wrapped around the curved edge. This has the benefit of making the dock more compact than rectangular designs, so it’s also more travel-friendly. It does make cable management a little harder as the ports are facing in different directions. On the flipside, some of the ports are easier to reach and if you use peripherals such as a wireless mouse or wireless keyboard then it’s a non-issue.
The docking station is built from a recyclable ABS+PC material, which does feel a little cheap, however, also feels very portable. The curved design prevents the dock from falling over, as it’s extremely light owing to the plastic construction as opposed to the sleeker and studier design of the aluminum JSAUX M.2 Docking Station.
This curved design also prevents it from fitting in some Steam Deck cases and Asus ROG Ally cases so ensure you have one that fits. Another letdown is that when properly centered, two of the five Steam Deck’s fan intakes are partially blocked – though this is less so than by many of its competitors.
At around $39.99 (£36.99), the Syntech 6-in-1 docking station offers good value for money, and it’s priced in a similar region to the Jsaux 6-in-1 docking station. For the number of ports on offer, it is easy to forgive some of the shortfalls of the cheap-feeling construction. Competing docks at around the same price point (that feel nicer) have less functionality, which will be the deciding factor for many buyers.
The Syntech 6-in-1 docking station offers a plethora of ports at its price bracket. Along the curve, you can find an HDMI 2.0 port that supports 4K@60Hz, 2K@120hz, and 1080P@120Hz video output, a Gigabit Ethernet input, and 3 X USB-A 3.0 ports for full-speed charging.
Being USB 3.0, there’s no DisplayPort-Alt mode, so you can’t plug it into a monitor for a clean and slick single-cable setup.
I’ve been using the Syntech 6-in-1 docking station for a couple of weeks now and my time with it has been excellent. The third USB port keeps coming in clutch for me, as I quite regularly use my USB stick to transfer over (legally souced) ROMs from my main machine to my Steam Deck.
It’s a small thing, but not having to unplug either my wireless mouse or wireless keyboard and change it to Bluetooth really is handy. I also have a DualShock 3 controller which has a long-dead battery so it is frequently connected via USB when I’m emulating some of my favorite classics.
Speaking of classics, I have a fairly niche use case in that I play a lot of games on my new-yet-old CRT monitor (A Philips 109B for those interested) and with a cheap little HMDI to VGA adaptor my Steam Deck is transformed into a great and efficient little retro machine perfectly suited to the low resolution of 1280×960.
The Syntech 6-in-1 docking station is a harder sell in the US when compared to Jsaux’s more premium feeling 6-in-1 Steam Deck dock that is constructed of aluminum. It’s an easier recommendation to UK shoppers where it is much better value than the competition.
With frequent discounts such as a 20% coupon, I would highly recommend the Syntech 6-in-1 docking station to the budget-conscious gamer when it’s on sale.
Syntech’s 6-in-1 docking station is a great budget option for your handheld gaming PC with plenty of ports and features, but the competition is tough and only truly becomes worth it when it’s on sale.