Running your Xbox One wireless controllers off standard AA batteries is great but it becomes expensive in the long run, especially if you’re running two pads….and that’s exactly where the Venom Twin Docking Station for Xbox One comes into play.
Venom run with the tagline ‘Serious about gaming. Serious about accessories’ and this is highly apparent as soon as you take delivery of the Twin Docking Station. I could sit here and run you through an unboxing but let’s be honest, boxes are a bit boring really and all we’re interested in is the stuff inside.
And with that in mind, the stuff inside this particular box is pretty damn good.
The very first thing that strikes you is the weight of the docking station. Coming is at 135 grams, it weighs next to nothing so would be great if you ever wished to take it on your backpacking travels around the world….what do you mean you can’t fit that huge Xbox One in there too?
A USB to Mini USB cable comes included in the box and is the only source of power needed. It’s a bit strange to not see the Xbox One (and pretty much now industry standard) Micro USB end used by Venom but it is what it is and shouldn’t be any great concern. Plugged directly into your console USB port, you’ll find the Venom docking station will throw power into your controllers consistently, whether the console is on or not! Whilst this is a good touch and means you don’t need to go scrabbling round for an extra power socket, the exclusion of an on/off switch on the station means the only way to actually stop the controllers being charged is to unplug the connection to the console. Depending on your gaming setup this could be slightly awkward in the long run.
Obviously, you aren’t going to be attempting to recharge any old batteries and Venom have included two NiMH batteries and battery covers that fit brilliantly onto the bottom of your wireless Xbox One controllers. With the Venom logo emblazoned across them and straddled by the charging pins, both the batteries and the battery covers ooze class and if you’re that way inclined, will be something you’ll happily show off to all and sundry who pop round for a gaming session.
And a session is exactly what you’re going to be getting by running these Venom batteries. Venom themselves state ‘up to 18 hours of gameplay’ on the docking station box and they really aren’t far away from the truth. I’ve managed to nab a good 8 hours out of one battery (double that up for near on the 18 hours) before any form of charging is needed and whilst I fully expect this to lessen over the coming months, the ease in which the charging is done, and the fact one controller can always be charging whilst you play with the other, means you should never run out of that crucial power when you want it most.
To get that all important power into your pads couldn’t be simpler. Whether you want to charge just the one controller or fire up two at a time, the pad sits neatly on the docking station with no sign of slipping or sliding. Once situated, a light on the front of the station will run red (for charging) or green (fully charged) so you know exactly which controller has the most juice for that session ahead. Full charge takes a few hours to complete but as long as you don’t ever run both batteries down to absolutely nothing at the same time then I see no issues with charging time. Venom themselves advise that for optimum lifespan you remove the batteries from charging once they are fully powered. Another reason the on/off switch exclusion I mentioned earlier is a strange omission.
I also have an issue that the charging lights on the front of the Docking Station are just far too big and far too bright for my liking, with any dark evening sessions dominated by what is now known in these parts as the ‘Venom glow’. If you’re able to place the station in a position where you don’t have it anywhere near your line of gaming sight then all’s good….just don’t expect to be comfortable placing this Venom product anywhere near your TV unless you fancy a bit of a DIY light cover up job.
Aside from the lighting issue (and my personal switch preference), the Twin Docking Station is a superb piece of charging kit that looks much more expensive than it actually is. If you’re fed up with plugging a Play and Charge kit in every few hours, want to do away with the wires (nearly!) and aren’t rich enough to run AA batteries for your gaming needs then you could definitely do worse than take a look at this offering from Venom.
You can buy the Venom Twin Docking Station for Xbox One from Amazon for £21.05.
Check out the Twin Docking Station direct on the Venom website.