Powermat iPhone 4 wireless charging kit
Cutting the cord
Review Powermat, the best-known purveyor of wireless charging systems, missed a chance by not getting its iPhone 4 inductive charging pack out sooner than it has. Antennagate highlighted the benefits of wrapping the newest iPhone in a case, and Powermate might have sold a fair few units on the back of it.
Powermat's iPhone 4 bundle: wireless charging out of the box
Fortunately, it has newly stoked fears concerning the resilience of the handset's glass face and rear to call upon when the kit goes on sale early next month.
In addition to a case designed to link the iPhone 4 to one of Powermat's charging pads is a single-device charging tray. Unlike the regular pads, this one has raised edges. The tray gets its mains power from an AC adaptor smartly designed to make it easy to wrap the cord around it.
I should explain how Powermat's technology works. It uses magnetic induction to transmit power between two coils of wire - one in the charger, the other in the case - when both are sitting within the same magnetic field.
Fits together neatly
It works, too. Good alignment is essential, but the design of the pad ensures that even though, as with Powermat's multi-device charging pads, it gives a wee bleep when device and pad are ready to exchange power.
Next page: Case in point
A really expensive way of charging batteries
It still needs to be plugged into the wall, why is it worth spending £50 on a thingymabobber that is no quicker or easier than plugging a charger in?
It's not only Mr Jobs who pumps the fanbois for their hard earned cash
It's not Wireless
It's a connectionless connector!
The pad still needs a cord. It's as wireless as my cordless kettle. The fact is a 30 year old "holster" as used on Mobile hand-held radios works better and cheaper than these "mats".
Hmm, any boffins out there care to see how much emag radition this thing is spewing about? Or how much power the induction connection wastes?
Seems like plugging a cord in is a lot easier. And for multiple devices, just get a USB hub and cables. I have a 7-port charging station on my desk. Woo! :)
Re: A really expensive way of charging batteries
In fairness to Harry the snot gobbler, he didn't say specifically Apple types, he said fanbouy, and I would say that anyone who spends £50 on a mat instead of a charging cable, that also stops you using the device in your car, or using the video out on your telly, is indeed a fanbouy with more money than sense.
The only time inductive charging makes sense is in an environment where you don't want bare connectors, for example on electric toothbrushes; but then your iPod would fail the moisure markers test and be out of warrantee.
Wireless within the limits of the dock.... wow what freedom!
If it was a "place anywhere on the desk" solution, I'd give it a thumbs up
...but this is essentially a dock, with all the limitations of a regular dock!!
The only benefit (wireless "freedom" notwithstanding) is that it doesn't wear the power connection socket out...isn't even an issue given the upgrade cycles on these products. Oh, and you can put it in upside-down!
A USB charger is £4 off ebay, only draws current when something is plugged into it, and *doesn't* block off the headphone socket. I trust you to analysis products based on their utility, rather than with the wide eyed enthusiasm of a tv presenter who awards points to "gadge" based on the presence of blue LEDs...