If you are like me, who is a gadget freak with multiple portable devices lying around the room at home or office, you are bound to have cables and chargers floating around everywhere. For someone like me, who works from home and who isn’t organized by nature, it becomes even tougher. Moreover, my wife is a cable nazi of sorts, who is always trying to find ways to reduce the number of cables. Luckily Powermat Wireless charging system came to my rescue.
You must have guessed by its name on what it does. A mat to wirelessly charge devices? Well, you are partially right. It is a mat which reduces the wires required for charging devices, but doesn’t completely eliminates the cables; ironic, but true.
From their website:
Simple Steps to Hassle-Free Charging:
1. Plug in your Powermat Home & Office Mat (just once)
2. Place Powermat Receivers on your favorite gear
3. Set your gadget on the mat to charge
Powermat – First Thoughts
The packaging of Powermat is worth a praise by itself. It is thoughtfully and attractively designed and the contents are neatly arranged inside. For this review, I received the Home & Office Mat with Powercube which accommodates 3 devices at once and comes with a Universal Powercube Receiver. For the receivers I was sent the iPhone 3GS and the iPod Touch cases.
The Powermat is accompanied by a detailed manual/guide, but I didn’t need to go though that to set it up for the first time. The setup was simple and straightforward. Though it promises to do away with cables and chargers of devices, Powermat itself comes with a cable adapter which needs to be powered up before placing the devices on the mat, which is ironical and bit of a letdown.
The Universal Powercube Receiver comes with 7 tips that work with the Powercube’s built-in mini-USB cord. The tips that come with the Powermat are micro-USB , DS lite, DSi, Sony PSP, Samsung, LG, and Apple. The Powercube also comes with a storage box for the tips, which I assume, is to be used only when traveling with just a couple of required tips. Funny thing is that the storage box can’t hold all the tips at once!
You are required to purchase a receiver case/dock in addition to the Powermat, which for me is sort of a deal-breaker. Though the Powermat comes with an Universal Powercube receiver & 7 accompanying tips, it can only charge one device at a time. If you look to charge more than one, you are forced to purchase a receiver separately. The receivers for different devices costs anywhere between $20 & $40. Here is a list of all available receivers.
Powermat – Usage Review
Once I setup the Powermat on the table, I had to just place my iPhone & iPod Touch in their respective receiver cases and place it on the mat. Both the receiver cases were a nice 2 piece slip-on sleeve. A nice addition to the sleeve is that it converts the dock connector into a micro-USB port. Powermat was nice enough to provide a micro-USB cable along with this receiver. One rant here though – the cases were really bulky and I had to struggle a lot to remove the iPhone from its case.
The mat has a clear marking (circular dots) which indicates where to place the devices. I placed the iPhone & iPod Touch on the mat and had to slide them down a bit to start charging. Once placed properly, you will hear a nice sound indicating the start and the device sticks on nicely to the mat, thanks to the magnetic hold. Just when I was wondering how to charge my iPad, my wife pointed me to the Apple tip which comes with the Universal Powercube Receiver. Voila! All the three devices, which I use extensively everyday were charging at once!
The micro-USB tip which comes with the Powercube was really helpful, since many of the latest accessories, like the X-Mini capsule speakers come with micro-USB ports and can be charged with Powermat.
The concept of wirelessly charging multiple devices at once using the magnetic induction technology impressed me a lot. The packaging of the product was impressive, setup was really easy and usage was simple & effective. Charging times were similar to your regular charger that came with your devices. You can charge almost anything with the included tips and Powercube, and having the built-in USB cable means you can charge anything else you may need to as well.
- Fabulous design & a cool technology
- Easy to setup & use
- Ideal for office use
- It doesn’t support many devices, including Android.
- Receivers come at an extra cost
- Receiver cases are bulky & not easy to remove
It is very tough to recommend or not to recommend Powermat Charging System. It completely depends on how much you are ready to pay to enjoy a cool technology of wirelessly charging your devices, and if you find it worthy to invest $150+ to get rid of your cables and chargers. Moreover, it also depends on which all devices you like to charge with Powermat and if you do decide to buy one, then carefully choose the mat model & receivers to suit your requirements.
The latest buzz is that Powermat is partnering with various cellphone manufacturers in order to incorporate their wireless charging technology into such mobile devices. If that happens, then users need not worry about buying those extra receivers and bulky cases.
Powermats ranges from $40 to $100. Online shopping sites like Amazon will give better discounts.
Disclosure: The product was sent for Free for review purposes. However, the opinions stated above are completely mine & honest.