RAVPower USB Charging Station Hardware Review

RAVPower USB Charging Station Hardware Review

Dec 9, 2014

It isn’t me. Really.

I know we’ve been harping on being organized… with good reason, too. With all the devices and accessories, it gets busy. Toss in a kid or two (with their own electronics and such) and a company-issued device, and one begins to approach wired purgatory.

So, it makes sense that accessories that help us to more effectively manage these devices will be if a high premium. Thankfully, proprietary cables are not the norm on Android, because solutions like the RAVPower USB Charging Station use cable standardization as a means to being order to chaos. In essence, this series of products looks to a central port for multiple USB cables, theoretically eliminating the need for several plugs and outlets.

RAVPower sent us two iterations of the product to check out: the four (4) port version (pictured) and the six (6) port one as well. Outside the obvious difference in ports, both units are physically similar, but the 4-Port unit is actually slightly smaller than the “6” at 3.6 x 1.2 x 3.5 inches and 6.1 ounces. Both review units are black, but there is also the option of white. Physically, they both have a polished feel, with a non-slip rubber rectangle on the underside. The port reside on one end, and the power input is on the opposite end. Each unit also comes with a detachable power cord and documentation.

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The “6” all but begged to be put through the paces. On paper, it certainly sounds interesting, with three ports rated at a max of 2.4A, and the rest are 1A. Setup is intuitively easy; the unit is plugged into a power source, and then individual electronics can be charged by it via USB cable inserted into onto one of the ports. And yes, the unit charges as advertised. The stated iSmart technology (which adjust charging output as needed) is a simple helper that makes sense.

Where it really shines is the portability. It’s easily slipped in a Go-bag, and while putting it in my pocket isn’t something I would prefer, it can work.

I might be asking too much, but for my needs, even though the unit helps with an organized front, the user will need those USB cables. I am weary about retractable solutions, but maybe, just maybe that could make it perfect. Still, as-is, it is an excellent solution worth trying, and one that lends itself to the notion of being indispensable.

RAVPower Qi-Enabled Wireless Charging Pad Hardware Review

RAVPower Qi-Enabled Wireless Charging Pad Hardware Review

Jun 3, 2014

It’s all about mobility these days, and frankly, that’s exactly how I want it. When it comes to smart devices and accessories, there is always room in my hear for tools or combinations that lessen the need for other tools, and especially for those that remove the need for wired and tethering.

Wireless charging is not exactly news anymore; the concept of inductive powering and gradual industry acceptance of the Qi standard is something all techies and enjoy. For those already on the train, accessories like the RAVPower Wireless Charging Pad will be great additions to one’s personal mobile ecosystem.

We got a white unit to review (the item also comes in black). It is not too big, but a bit removed from being diminutive; the exterior parts are made of hard plastic, and is a rectangle barely bigger than the HTC One M8, and feels lighter too. Officially, it is 5.7 x 3.11 x 0.31 inches, and under 5 ounces in weight. The review box also contains a micro-USB cable, plug and instructions.

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The continuity of the frame is only delicately interrupted by a micro-USB charging port at the “top” of the unit and a tiny LED at the bottom; at the front, there is a the company logo that serves as the charging sweet spot and slip guard, along with the written version of the logo.

Setting it up is as simple as it gets: wall plug cable to unit, and it’s on. The unit promises an output of 5V 1A max. I used it with an HTC One M8 and N5, and it worked well. With the former (which uses a third-party Qi element), the charging is slower than a wall socket.

The ease of placement makes it great for everyday use, though I admit I would have liked a physical guard in addition to the ant-slip mechanism.

It’s a fun gadget, and perfect for times when a device might be asleep for an extended period, like overnight.