By Nate Adcock on Sat, 08/07/2010
The most flexible powerhouse of an adapter base I have used to date, the award-winning IDAPT i4 universal desktop charger will keep your gadgets powered up, and looks good doing it. This is one gadget that even my wife likes so much, it currently gets to reside on the kitchen counter! Nuff said...but you still might want to read the rest of the review.
The i4 comes in a cracker box sized container that has a plastic window in one side, so you can see the included adapters. You might wonder why many of my hardware reviews start out by describing the box. For many geeks (like myself), savoring the product's packaging is about as important as getting to the device itself. This also gives potential buyers a size point of reference, and the unboxing part (the next section) tells you exactly what comes with the product.
The IDAPT charger models are named by how many charging points they feature. The i4 offering the most at 4 (there are smaller i3/i2 models). The unit comes with 6 different charging tips with up to 25 different tips available, featuring a compatibility of over 4000 electronic devices. The kit also includes the base unit, a power cable and a foldout user's guide. To start using the unit, you simply select the tips you wish to use, snap them into place on the base unit--they will only insert one way: with the tip desription facing the front of the unit--and plug the base unit to a wall source.
Supported device examples:
- Mobile phones (Nokia, Samsung, Blackberry, LG, Sony-Ericsson....)
- Smartphones (iPhone, HTC, LG, Motorola, Palm...)
- Headphones, Bluetooth (Motorola, Nokia, Jabra, Samsung...)
- GPS (Tomtom, Garmin, Magellan, Navigon, Mio, Navman...)
- Games consoles (Nintendo DS-L and DS-i, Sony PSP...)
- Camaras (Kodak, Casio...)
- AA/AAAA rechargeable batteries (cualquier marca, Energizer, Panasonic, Duracell...)
- Tablets (iPad...)
The base unit is made of an attractive glossy-black, high-grade plastic (silver and white also available). On the right side is an additional USB charging port, which is a smart addition to this already capable base. I selected the 3 charging tips most common to my household (and I suspect in many of our readers): iPhone/iPod, miniUSB, and microUSB; My blackberry, and my wife's HP Glisten use microUSB; and of course our iPhones/iPods all use the Apple 30-pin type; most of my remaining electronics (even my little keychain GPS), and most of my portable add-on batteries use miniUSB. My son and daughter both have iPhones, and we have no less than 4 iPods floating around the family. The unit has a plastic tab button to turn on and off the IDAPT, which is a little clunky and seems cheap. I would have preferred a normal power button instead, which is so far my only major gripe.
To charge with the i4, you carefully plug in your devices and go find something to do until they are done. The unit will indicate a red light for each that are drawing power. When they are completed, a green light will appear. A very minor gripe I have, is that my iPod touch would not connect to the base in a very snug manner (due to my external iSkin case). This is of course not the fault of the IDAPT design, but it is a small annoyance to have to remove the case to get a stable connection.
I did not do any formal testing with the i4, but according to the documentation, the IDAPT can safely and effectively charge all your devices as if they were independently connected. Like I said in my opening, if it stands up to spouse scrutiny, it must work pretty well. She has been slamming all her gadgets onto it for days now, and I have heard nothing but praise so far. It certainly looks better and requires less space and wires than my old Sharper Image gadget caddy (shown above). You can get more info on the IDAPT i4 (or buy one) at the link here. I certainly give it my stamp of approval. It retails for around $59.99 direct from the vendor.