Satechi uCharger Review


Have you ever encountered a situation where your phone or tablet were in desperate need of a recharge but you only have 30 minutes between meetings to plug into a laptop or desktop USB port to do so? If you know that drill, you also know that recharging via a USB port is a slow process. Satechi offers their uCharger Hi-Speed USB Charging Adapter that advertises a charging rate two to four times faster than the standard USB cable connection. Does the adapter deliver on that promise? Read on to find out.
Satechi's adapter is a small white connector not much larger than a USB plug, yet it allows for higher milliAmp passthrough on the USB port it is plugged into. This in turn delivers a greater flow of electrons into your iOS device for faster charging. In fact, the adapter can boost charging rates from 700 to a whopping energy slurping 2,100 milliAmps, having a noticeable effect even on power charge-hungry iPads.
Operating the adapter is a simple matter of plugging in the male end into an available laptop or desktop USB port, and then plugging in the iOS USB charging cable (USB to Lightening adapter cables work just fine as well), and then clicking the center button on the adapter to deliver the increased charge.
Satechi uCharger
There are also three modes of operation that illuminates the adapter's center button when clicked. Blue supports all iOS devices while red lacks support for the iPad. The third option is no illumination which effectively disables charging and only allows for data transfer connectivity to take place. More on that last setting later in the review.
So how well did it work? In my non-scientific tests, my iOS devices did indeed recharge faster. My typical ritual is to leave my phone plugged in mid-day during lunch, hoping that the battery will be at least above 90% charged upon my return. I was pleasantly surprised to discover each day I used Satechi's adapter that my phone was topped off at 100%. While I could just as easily have achieved these results by lugging around an Apple-certified wall wart and charging cable, Satechi's adapter and a USB charging cable are far more portable.
There are a few caveats to note about the uCharger. First, don't use with USB Hubs since there's not enough milliAmps to pull from these devices to be as effective as a dedicated laptop or desktop USB port. Satachi also recommends not to run resource-intensive apps like games or number-crunching graphic rendering programs while charging, since doing so will consume more energy than the battery is attempting to recharge with. Last and most crucial, you can't transfer data while using the blue or red illumination settings. However, that's not too critical an issue considering that the primary objective of the uCharger is faster battery recharging, not data transfer.
Overall, if you lead a busy day with little time to worry about the time required to recharge your phone or tablet, Satachi's uCharger might help to ease your time-pressured device recharing burdens. It's also great for travelers who want to pack light and not have to worry about bringing bulky power bricks on their trips just to speed up recharging. 
Manufacturer: Satechi
Price: $15.99
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Mike Riley is a frequent contributor to several technical publications and specializes in emerging technologies and new development trends. Mike was previously employed by RR Donnelley as the company’s Chief Scientist, responsible for determining innovative technical approaches to improve the company’s internal and external content services. Mike also co-hosted Computer Connection, a technology enthusiast show broadcast on Tribune Media's CLTV.