Callpod Chargepod

Callpod Chargepod

Star power.


The gadget guru’s dilemma: Charging your iPod, iPhone, Bluetooth headset, GPS device, digital camera, and other gadgets when you have only so many power outlets available. With the Chargepod, you can recharge six devices at once.


The Chargepod's star-shaped base charger has six ports, and each port has an output rating of 500 milliamps. Callpod says it uses voltage regulators to safely charge your devices. Each port has a blue LED indicator. Chargepod can’t recharge your Mac notebook; it’s made to charge devices that run in the 5 to 6 volt range.


To connect to the base charger, you must buy an adapter that fits the charging port of your device. Callpod has a vast list of compatible adapters, including the 30-pin iPod port. While there’s a good chance you’ll find the adapter for your device, be prepared for some serious sticker shock - a single adapter costs $10! If you have six devices, you need an adapter for each ($60), and then add $50 for the base charger, and you’ll spend $110 for a gadget recharger. Even if you have only 2 devices, that’s $70.


Pop your adapters into the base charger, plug in the Chargepod into a single power plug, and then connect your rechargeable devices. That’s it. The Chargepod looks cool with all your devices connected, though with all your devices splayed out, the Chargepod takes up a good amount of desk space. The star design isn’t very efficient.


We had no serious problems when using the Chargepod with two iPhones, an iPod classic, a 3G iPod nano, a 5G iPod, and an iPod touch - all the devices charged without a hitch. We were also able to charge Callpod’s Dragon Bluetooth headset, and a Kensington Portable PowerPack.


We did run into one odd instance involving a six-loaded Chargepod. Our devices would go to sleep, but would eventually wake on their own at varied intervals. It’s a curious sight to witness 2 iPhones and 4 iPods wake at the same time, sleep, and then suddenly wake again. The devices did eventually charge. Curiously, we weren’t able to replicate this problem when we removed all the devices, drained them and then plugged them back in.


Inside the Chargepod are fuses that will blow in case of a power surge, providing a bit or surge protection to connected devices. The blue LED indicators turn red when this happens. Callpod will replace a blown Chargepod if it’s still under warranty.


The bottom line. Road warriors and supergeeks whose lives depend on gadgets will find the Chargepod handy (a car charger is available for a reasonable $20). The price tag will make everyone else think twice.


COMPANY: Callpod


PRICE: $49.95 for base charger, $9.95 for each adapter; $99.95 for bundle pack

REQUIREMENTS: gadgets that have connectors compatible with Chargepod adapters

Charges multiple devices at once. Frees up power outlets.

Expensive. Can occupy a lot of space. No surge protection.





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