Charging cables are a given in a world of portable electronics. However, with some recent advancements in the field of magnetic induction, charging cables my be a thing of the past. Powermat is a company that is bringing wireless charging to the masses. With their wireless charging pads and adapters Powermat is hoping to make cables a thing of the past.
- Perfect Alignment
- The Powermat Sound
- Indication Lights
- Perfect Charge for Every Device
- Auto Shut Off
- Full Charge Check
Perfect alignment is achieved by a magnet in each adapter and charging pad. That attraction between the magnets assures that alignment is precise and the most efficient charging will occur. This is one of the keys to the Powermat system’s ability to charge your devices as fast or faster than the original power adapter.
Each time a device is placed on a Powermat a unique sound indicates that a solid connection has been made and the device is charging. A second, similar sound is heard when the device is removed. The level of these sounds can be changed or they can be turned off.
Each access point has a corresponding light indicator that informs you that your device is charging wirelessly. The intensity of these lights can be changed or they can be turned off.
A Perfect Charge for Every Device is possible because the Mat and the Receiver communicate via RFID. This communication allows the mat to deliver an exact amount of power for the proper length of time so that the transfer of power is safe and efficient and no energy is wasted.
The auto shut off works with the above communication so that when a device reaches full charge, power is shut off to that device to save energy, and to also prevent over charging the battery.
Once full power is achieved and the Auto Shut Off has occurred, the system will monitor the status of the battery in your device. If the battery is used, the system will again start charging until the battery has a full charge.
Powermat makes two different charging pads, Home & Office, and Portable. The main difference between the two is that the portable mat folds up and comes with a carrying case so that it is easy to carry around. The one I am looking at today is the Portable Powermat.
Because of the simplicity of the Powermat, the design is also very simple. The entire device consists primarily of three charging pads that are connected via hinges, which allows the Powermat to be folded. The only real interface is in the back where there are two buttons, a power plug, and a USB port. The buttons are for turning off the charging sound, and lights, the USB port is for charging a USB device, and the power plug is for providing power to the Powermat.
Each of the charging areas allows for only one Powermat-enabled device to be charged at a time. So in all, the Portable Powermat supports charging 3 Powermat-enabled devices and one USB device at the same time.
The Powermat also come with a Powercube, a set of adapters, and a storage case for the adapters. There are 7 adapters included with the Powercube, but the storage case only has space for about 4 adapters. It would be nice if the storage case was bigger so all the tips could fit; however, the chances of needing them all is fairly slim. There are also magnets in both the storage case and the Powercube so they can be attached to each other. This makes them much easier to carry around and there is no fear of them getting lost.
The Portable Powermat comes with a travel case that stores the Powermat, and the AC adapter. Unfortunately, the Powercube does not fit inside the case, this means you have to find somewhere else to store it while traveling. It would be really nice if everything could be kept together, this would reduce the chance of something getting misplaced.
Powermat in Case
Powermat also gave me an adapter for my Nintendo DS Lite so I could test the capabilities. The adapter wraps around the bottom of the DS and has a plug that goes into the back. The big square at the bottom is the receiver which then sends the power to the plug that goes into the back.
DS Lite Adapter Box
DS Lite Adapter Front
So the process of testing the Powermat performs we are checking to make sure that it charges the device properly. I am going to use my Nintendo DS Lite for this test since I have an adapter for it.
Installing the DS Lite adapter was very easy. It snaps onto the bottom and the plug fits nicely into the power slot.
To charge the DS Lite all I had to do is place it on the Powermat. As I place it down I could feel the force of the magnetic field pulling the DS onto the mat. As I mentioned above the magnetic force also helps get the DS lined up correctly. If the adapter and charger are not lined up correctly then the charge will not work.
Once the DS Lite was on the Powermat and aligned correctly it immediately started charging. To let me know that the charging had started the Powermat turned on a light under the pad and emitted a unique sound. I did not notice any difference in charging time while using the Powermat. The only negative is that I could not use the DS while it was charging. Not because it wouldn’t power up, but because it would be impossible to hold it in my hands.
I also tried it out using the Powercube. Using the Powercube offers a bit more flexibility because it does not require the charging device to be in direct contact with the Powermat. So big items like the DS Lite, which might not fit nicely, can be placed off to the side so they don’t get in the way. I did not notice any difference when charging with the Powercube.
Support and Warranty
The Powermat Portable comes with a limited one year warranty. I find this warranty to be less than I expected. With no moving parts I would expect at least a 5 year warranty. I even found a clause in the warranty that says it is not covered if it is taken out of the country. I don’t think I have ever seen that before with other devices. Can you imagine if your laptop warranty was voided just because you took it on a trip to another country?
As I said above their are two versions of the Powermat, Home & Office and Portable. Since they cost the same I recommend you get the Powermat Portable because if you ever need to take it on a trip it will be much easier. At a cost of just $99 it is reasonably priced and very easy to use. Most adapters are price between $20 and $30, and I could not find anywhere that they were less expensive, however the Powermats can be found on Amazon for about $10 off the retail price. The snap on adapters do provide more convenience because they integrate better, but they do cost a bit more. It is also very nice that it includes the PowerCube, this alone will cover most of devices and because no additional adapters are needed it saves money.
If your looking for a convenient way to charge multiple portable devices then I recommend you take a look at the Powermat.
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