By Daniel Rasmus on Mon, 03/24/2014
Griffin Charging Station + Storage for 5 iPad devices ($99)
4 out of 5 stars
Since I am a hardware reviewer, you might imagine that my office has charging cables all over it. You would be right. But there is an island of sanity among all the mini, micro, and Lightning connectors, not to mention various full-on PC and Mac charging cables. That island of sanity is called the Griffin Charging Station + Storage for 5 iPad devices. That’s right, five devices, one power source.
Griffin’s moniker for this multi-USB endowed desktop dandy is a bit misleading. It really should say it charges “up to 5 iPad devices.” Because as much as it charges iPads, it also charges iPhones, iPods, and even Android tablets and phones and Kindles and Nooks. Some of the latest Samsung devices can also be charged, but they exceed the iOS optimized power output of 5 volts DC @ 2.1 amps, so they charge more slowly.
The charging station consolidates input: a single power in with five USB ports out. Clear plastic uprights separate wide aisles. This means that you don’t need to take your device out of its case; although depending on the device, you may need to put it in upside down (you won’t be using it while in the charger anyway).
The charging station will work on 110 and 240, so if you are running a conference or some other event and need a bunch of devices charged, this may also make a good travel companion, even in Europe or Asia.
I’ve used the station for several weeks with a few different devices. I found them all fully charged and ready to work when I was ready to work. If you stagger them from small to large, you also get a sort of modern-technology-as-art sculpture on your desk. A couple of leather cases with tooling or stitching or big prints and patterns can make your art avant-garde.
How would I improve the station? Higher amperage output and perhaps something in cherry wood or other wood tones to match the charging station's surroundings rather than its charges (see what I did there?).
In a cluttered universe, I’ve found the Griffin Charging Station helps de-clutter a small portion of one desk in one room of my personal cosmos. That’s something.