Reviewed: December 2, 2009
Type: Mobile Charger
What's in the Box
It used to be that guys judged their technological worth by the number of remote controls on the coffee table, but more recently it seems that the number of power cables and AC adapters dictates that esteemed value. And much like how universal remotes cleaned up the coffee table, Callpod’s new Chargepod is going to tidy things up around the AC outlet.
Of course the biggest hurdle to overcome when creating any universal charging solution is the wide range of adapters. Why the industry cannot all agree on a mini-USB standard is beyond me – it has to be corporate greed and post-product accessory sales that drive all these crazy plug shapes and sizes, so if you have multiple devices and aren’t prepared to dedicated an AC plug strip to all of them, then the Chargepod is the device you have been waiting for.
Callpod’s approach to the problem is simple. Create a sleek compact device that is cable non-specific then let you purchase the adapter cables you need for a somewhat affordable price, and by “somewhat” I mean $10 a pop. That might sound expensive, especially if you have a wide variety of devices, but keep in mind that even budget third-party replacement adapters start at $15. And Callpod has adapters for everything – 3,000 products ranging from cell phones to handheld video games systems.
The only downside I could find with the Chargepod, other than the rather steep cost investment, was the fact that I don’t really charge all my devices in the same place or at the same time. I have a dedicated wall outlet in the dining room where I swap out my Nintendo DS or PSP as needed or my iPhone or Dragon V2 Bluetooth headset or my Xbox Live wireless headset. I’ve never had them all require charging at the same time.
The Chargepod did allow me to clean up an impressive tangled web of cables and replace them with a much more compact and less cluttered solution. As for the cost issues, the $40 Value Pack comes with a mini-USB adapter (something everyone can use) and a coupon for a free adapter of your choice, so there is $20 worth of adapters taken care of right there, and if you and your collection of devices travel, there is even a handy carrying pouch to take this gadget on the road.
On a purely aesthetic level, the Chargepod is pretty cool with a sleek silvery finish and green and blue LED’s so you know what is charging. This is definitely the perfect device for the family with a large assortment of cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, headsets, or anything in the 5-6V range that needs periodic charging, and it is a must-have accessory for the businessman on the go who travels with his toys, and a fantastic holiday gift idea.