PowerMat was one of the first wireless charging pads to hit the market, and we finally got our hands on one! Alas, we can eliminate all of our cords, get rid of the clutter, and free up some slots on our power strip. The PowerMat Home and Office Mat with Powercube has positions to charge up to three devices simultaneously. So is PowerMat the solution we have all been waiting for to eliminate cords for good? Read on to find out.
What’s in the Box
- PowerMat Home and Office 3X Mat
- Power Supply with Built-In Cord Management (High Efficiency 100-240VAC)
- Powercube Universal Receiver
- Tip Storage Travel Case
- Tips: Mini USB(attached to powercube), Micro USB, Samsung, LG, Apple, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DS Lite, Sony.
The PowerMat Home and Office Mat is shaped like a surfboard. It’s all black with a chrome perimeter. It has a neutral, but professional, look to it–so it will look good in most any setting. On the surface of the mat are three magnetic charging ‘dots’ to charge each of your three devices. There are three status lights on the front of the mat that correspond to each charging position. When a device is placed on top of one of these dots (with the appropriate PowerMat receiver) a neat sound will play and one of the three lights will turn on. On the back there is a USB port to charge one extra device. Next to this USB port is an input for PowerMat’s power adapter and two buttons. One button adjusts the brightness of the light, and the other adjusts the volume of the alert.
Every device needs a PowerMat receiver in order to wirelessly charge on top of the PowerMat. PowerMat receivers are available in a few different varieties depending on the device. iPhones use receiver cases; a protective jacket for iPhone that plugs into its 30-pin charger. BlackBerry and Android phones use receiver doors; this is a battery cover that you replace the existing cover with. In most cases it’s slightly thicker then the stock battery cover. For Nintendo DS there is a back panel cover that snaps right on to the back of the device. All of these PowerMat receivers are sold separately. The Powercube is a PowerMat receiver that comes with PowerMat Home and Office Mat. The Powercube receiver is thin and square, and has a retractable mini-USB cable. There are 7 tips included for Powercube’s charging cable, they will charge a wide variety of portable device. Powercube comes with a travel storage container, which will fit about four of the tips. For convenience, the travel storage container magnetically attaches to the top of the receiver.
Devices cannot just be placed anywhere on PowerMat, they need to line up with one of the three magnetic dots. All PowerMat receivers have a magnetic contact point on their underside that lines up with the PowerMat dots. The contact point is either an outlined dot, or a PowerMat logo. The magnets help you line up the contacts without too much difficulty. The PowerMat plays a sound when a device is properly positioned and charging begins; it plays another sound when it’s disconnected. The three lights also play a convenient role in keeping you alerted to whether or not your device is charging. A device connected to the PowerCube can sit anywhere on PowerMat as long as the PowerCube itself is lined up with a charging dot.
PowerMat will charge all of your devices just as fast as they would normally charge, the included documentation claims that it may even charge faster then normal. PowerMat is efficient with energy management: it only uses one plug outlet, it ensures the right amount of power is being delivered, and charging stops when it detects a fully charged device. It abides by Energy Star 5.0 power standards. PowerMat devices are very safe to use and are compliant with all international safety regulations. Nothing will happen if you touch the charging dots or place non-enabled devices on it. PowerMat will not adversely affect the battery life of your devices any more then the regular charging cable would.
PowerMat is an elegant solution to ridding your desk of cord clutter and eliminating the hassle of plugging and unplugging your devices. Using PowerMat, Your devices will charge just as quick, if not quicker, then they normally would. With that said, it does have its drawbacks. The largest drawback of PowerMat, and all other wireless charging pads too, is that you need a compatible receiver for all of the devices you want to charge. Also, aside from the Powercube, all the receivers are sold separately and add bulkiness to the cellphones and devices. The other big drawback is that you cannot place the device anywhere on PowerMat, as you can with the Duracell MyGrid charging pad. The devices need to be carefully aligned with the magnetic dots. An accidental knock could potentially misalign all of your devices, though you would hear an audio alert and the charging light(s) will shut off.
PowerMat Home and Office 3X mat sells (with a “special price”) for $79.99 on PowerMat.com with free shipping. This includes the Powercube, which will charge most every popular portable device. There are also different size PowerMats available and even travel versions that fold up. The PowerMat receivers range from $9.99 to $39.99. Once you start investing in the cases/receivers, PowerMat can become a pretty pricey method of ridding a few cables from your desk.
The Good: Elegant form of charging, reduces cords and clutter, charges 3 devices wirelessly, USB port to charge one extra device, audio alerts, status lights
The Bad: Devices need to be properly aligned to charge, devices need receivers that cost extra, receivers add bulkiness to phones and devices