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The era of that ubiquitous rat’s nest of power strips and AC adapters is over. Universal chargers are all the rage these days, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. A universal charger means fewer wires snaking across your desk, and as our devices get sleeker and more numerous, we’re always looking for ways to keep everything at the ready.
The Idapt i4 utilizes a series of interchangeable connectors (or “tips”) to charge up to four devices at once. Customizability really is the name of the game with this terrific charger. All of your major devices will draw power from the i4, and changing out the tips is a complete cinch. Just press the two buttons on the side, and the tip will unlock from the base, ready to be swapped.
If you buy the $60 retail version, half of the six included tips are designed for Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung phones, so they’ll probably just collect dust. That’s why we’re glad that Idapt’s online store offers an option to select four tips that suit your particular collection of gear for the same price. Naturally, you can add even more tips as needed--Idapt makes 20 total, and they’ll set you back 10 bucks a pop. We especially like the hugely useful AA/AAA battery charger.
Since the iPad is too big and heavy to be safely positioned on the iPhone/iPod tip, using the USB port is a necessity. Even with that cable mucking things up, the i4 still looks slick, especially in black. But it’s a tad bulky, and when a device is fully juiced, its indicator light goes from red to green. Every once in a while, we noticed a subtle but irritating flicker, which might keep light sleepers from putting the i4 on their nightstand.
It’s less expensive than other similar multichargers, and with additional tips just a few clicks and dollars away, the i4 will charge practically any device you own.
PRICE: $59.99 with six preselected tips or a custom set of four. Additional tips are $10.
REQUIREMENTS: Devices that need charging
Choosing custom tips online is a great option. Looks cool. Not as expensive as other similar chargers. Comes in black, silver, white, or hot pink.
Base is just a tad too bulky. Should come with the battery charger.