When your life is filled with gadgets, much the way mine is, you have a huge trail of power cords that follow those devices. What this means is that you have to consider where to store those cords, which cords go to what and keep track of all of them. I have thought about actually labeling ever power cord that I have received so that I know what goes to what. I may still do thatâ€¦however I now have a different, better and more modern solution.
The people at Powermat have come up with a device that anyone who has any number of gadgets, cell phones, handheld gaming devices or other consumer electronics must seriously think about getting. They currently have two offerings, the Home & Office mat and the Portable mat. Both mats work the same way with the same features, the only difference being that the Portable mat is truly made for portability and travel.
The Portable Mat
The Home & Office Mat
Before I go into the details, I thought it would make sense to show how I was previously handling all of my charging cables:
While the basket works, it isnâ€™t very â€œhigh-techâ€ so now with the addition of the Powermat solutions, I am able to stash away many of those cords. The video below showcases many of the features and functions of the Powermat:
As you can see, once you have connected your various gadgets or cell phones, either using the included connectors or using one of the optional accessories â€“ called â€œreceiversâ€ – (e.g., for Nintendo DS Lite, iPhone 3G/S, Blackberry and others), charging simply becomes an act of placing the device on the mat and walking away.
The tone that emits when you place a receiver on the mat tells you that the magnets within the mat and the charging pad (receiver) are aligned. The magnet also helps to position the chargers at the correct area on the mat. Also, a light is displayed when the charging starts and turns off when the device is fully charged. You do have the ability to adjust the volume of the tone (and turn it off completely) and you can toggle the light intensity as well.
For older devices or devices that donâ€™t have a power adapter, there is a USB connector that you can plug your USB-charging cord in. So, you could potentially charge 4 devices at once, all using just one plug on your wall.
Powermat packs in a series of â€œinnovationsâ€ which you can see in greater detail here, including:
- Magnetic Alignment â€“ as mentioned, the magnets between the receiver and the mat pull the two together to ensure they are properly lined up.
- RFID Handshake â€“ built into each receiver is an RFID chip that ensures that the proper amount of power and charge length is sent to the device.
- Auto Shut Off â€“ when a device is charged, the power is cut off from that device. This is great so that you donâ€™t waste energy.
As I mentioned, the Powermat has two models: the Home & Office mat and the Portable mat. The Home & Office mat is extremely elegant in its oval design. Itâ€™s black with a silver band around it. Personally, I think it looks great. However, while the Portable mat doesnâ€™t look as nice, I think it provides better overall functionality.
The Portable mat is clearly divided into three hinged sections which fold up into a square. It also comes with a travel case that can hold the mat and the power cord which too has portability built into it as the power cord wraps around the plug for easy storage.
Both the Home & Office mat and the Portable mat come with the Powercube Universal Receiver, 8 tips and a tip holder that contain 3 frequently used tips.
The tips that they include work with:
- Mini USB
- Micro USB
- Apple iPods/iPhones
- Nintendo DS Lite
- Nintendo DSi
- LG phones
- Samsung phones
- Sony PSP
The MSRP for the Home & Office mat is $99.99 and the Portable mat is $99.99 as well. The receivers vary depending on the device but typically range between $30-40. Tips can be purchased separately as well for anywhere between $6-10.
As with any review that I do, I really look for things that donâ€™t work right or that I would have changed. Honestly, Iâ€™m struggling to find something negative about this. The packaging is great, the features work as advertised, and they include more than I would expect (e.g., the 8 tips and the Universal Receiver). While I did receive the Powermat and accessories for free, it is always my intention to provide balanced reviews of positives and negatives of any product that I receive. This review may be one of the few exceptions because I canâ€™t find a negative. I guess the only slight negative or actually feature request is that I wish that the tip holder was able to hold ALL of the tips and that the Portable mat holder could also hold all of the tips. That would make it fully portable.
HTD says: The Powermat solves many gadget power issues: eliminates piles of charging cables, turns off when devices are fully charged (saving energy) and allows you to put your charging solution out in the open.