As our beloved gadgets evolve, so must our accessories. And that doesn’t mean that newer versions of older technology, like larger power strips with outlets, are properly spaced to accommodate a gaggle of larger adapters. Today’s best chargers are reimagined on the basis of function, efficiency and space.
With this in mind, RapidX sent me their my charging station To check for yourself—and with your family’s myriad mobile devices. What makes it special isn’t just that it charges multiple (in fact, up to seven) gadgets at once. Other docks can do more or less. But it does it in a way that’s designed for today’s devices, without the need for bulky adapters or occupying a square centimeter of counter space.
The first step was finding the proper outlet. It had to be a vertical setup with a grounded prong on the bottom (to make sure gravity doesn’t fight against the devices while charging). And ideally it would be no more than 6 inches off the ground so charging devices would be easily visible and accessible, cats wouldn’t be tempted to mess with them and I wouldn’t have to bend over to retrieve them after charging. It took a few minutes to set up and was the longest part of the installation. The rest was simply shutting off power through the breaker to the selected outlet, removing its faceplate, screwing in the unit flush against the wall and popping on the small screw-hole cover.
According to the user manual, the unit—when screwed in properly—can support devices up to 10 pounds. For the particular outlet I chose, only one of the two anchoring screws lined up, but the charging station held up fine the entire time we charged our various phones and watches. I briefly carried a tablet and a lightweight laptop (weighing only a few pounds), and the whole thing remained secure.
7. power of
So far, I’ve used most, but not all available outlets at once. It’s nice that it passes through the two AC outlets needed to work, so theoretically I could plug in a more power-hungry laptop. But since the Power Delivery USB-C outlet on the left delivers a substantial 45 watts, it takes care of all the phones and tablets with some smaller laptops. That aside, it also sports three USB outlets: two max out at 12 watts, and the QC 3.0 tops out at 18 watts. And the seventh charging area is the Qi-enabled wireless charging stand, which can put out 5, 7.5 or 10 watts depending on the device’s needs. As promised, it worked every time for both my wife’s iPhone and my Android phone, each in their everyday phone case.
Although the primary mission of this instrument is powering the other instruments, its secondary mission is arranging them. The kit comes with three 9-inch cables (just the right length): Lightning, USB-C, and Micro USB. If and when you need to use the longer cables that came with your device, the unit sports some handy hooks and channels to get those cords out of the way, including the bottom of the device tray for notoriously long cables. A spool is also included. Apple Watches. The box also had a Velcro strap to wrap around the beefier (laptop) cord for which a twist tie might not work.
The device tray folds up as shown in the figure below. It’s a nice feature if, instead of being suspended out of the way, on a counter or on a far wall, the station is affixed to the side of a high-traffic area such as a kitchen island. Even though each device emits its own brightness while charging, I like that the unit has a built-in nightlight that’s dim with a single button in the evening and that turns off automatically during the day. And finally, it’s cool that the Apple Watch holder—which I can confirm works with other smartwatches, as well—is removable, to make room for a second phone.
Should you buy RapidX My Charging Station?
I love how this product thoughtfully and efficiently provides a centralized place to power our mobile devices. For overnight charging, that means those of us who use our phones as alarm clocks need to adjust. But either charging our phones earlier in the day or getting a real alarm clock is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that gadgets have sustainably powered and organized.
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