Duracell MyGrid cable-free gadget charger
Review Cable-free charging is nothing new, the notion having been pioneered by Powermat, but the big names in consumer power have now taken note of the technology and have introduced their big-brand alternatives.
Duracell's MyGrid Charge Pad: handy if you've several devices you need to charge at once
Take Duracell. It's offering, MyGrid, follows the pattern exactly. Offer a multi-device charging pad and sell connection accessories separately for whatever gadgets the punter wants to charge up.
MyGrid is less sophisticated than the Powermat, but that hasn't made it any cheaper. And it covers a supports a much smaller range of devices, too. Duracell has cases for the iPhone 3G and 3GS, but not the iPhone 4, for example.
There are compatible cases for a range of BlackBerry Pearl and Curve handsets, and for more basic mobile phones it sells "Power Clips" - pick-ups that clip magnetically onto the back your phone and connect to a wee doohickey that plugs into the phone's power socket: Nokia jacks, for example, or mini or micro USB.
There's no dock or USB pass-through on the iPhone case. Doh!
The Power Clips stay attached magnetically, which means you'll almost certainly have to bond the bundled steel disk to the back of your handset. With its strong self-adhesive pad, the disk holds the Clip in place when you're charging your phone, but Duracell hasn't designed the Clip to remain attached at other times.
What are they thinking?. 90 quid to replace the charger that came free with my phone? I dont suppose they'll sell many.
Got to use a minging case
Got to take it off to sync
Got to stick some hideous metal disc on the back
Might save one wall socket if I charge 2 devices. That will cost another 20 quid though.
Will have spare charger for putting under a realy, really short table leg
Will finally have something to occupy that bit of spare space on the sideboard.
Seriously, Id be surprised if they sell any. Their customer list will be a veritable whos-who of utter morons.
If wall sockets really are an issue, there are plenty of better ways to address your problems without parting company with 110 quid. Give me £50 and ill give you a 79p solution.
Totally agree with the sentiments here - why would you pay £xxx for any extra charger and need to use a special case (that looks terrible and adds bulk).
But let's move on (and back slightly) - last year the phone makers (except Apple) approved the adoption of a single connector for charging. A great move forward that solves the multiple charger single socket problem and saves the planet.
Now all we need is for all the manufacturers to build wireless charging into the device and these mats suddenly look very useful indeed.
OK, so we're a long way off, and there are still drawbacks and costs, but in 5-10 years time this will be the norm. You're next kitchen will probably come with a charging pad "bay" as an option.
Some genius idea
I saw recently someone came up with the idea of a USB socket in a power outlet plate, underneath the regular plug socket. Now that's genius - just plug your phone's USB straight in!
Better idea: wirelessly rechargeable AA batteries
Would make recharging wiimotes less of a hassle.
What I'd really like to see...
So a product only of use to those to lazy to plug a connector into the bottom of a phone?
I also see a problem. There surely can't be many people who haven't quickly had to locate their charger as they are warned of a low battery level during a call in order to continue it. It's not going to be very easy to do that with a device like this one.
I'd echo all those that just want a standard connector. In fact I'd go further - I'd like a general purpose multi-outlet DC "brick" whith a single connector type that can negotiate with the devices it's powering. That way I could replace a dozen or more DC adapters with one or two. I could have a single device for powering a laptop, a router, charge a phone, the camcorder, a USB drive, battery charger, printer, speakers...