Here’s how you know you’re a nerd: a charging station gets you excited. Yeah, I’ll say it: the IDAPT i4+ Universal Charger ($60) excites me. And yes, I’ve known the touch of a woman.
Before you judge me any further, let me explain how the i4+ works; you might start getting a tingly sensation too.
IDAPT makes chargers unlike most you’re familiar with. Each charger can be fit with a “charging tip,” and these tips are interchangeable in their various charging models. The idea is, you buy the charger you need, then you use it with the tips you need. That means you could use the tips in your charging station, then take them with with you on the road with an IDAPT travel charger as a compact and tidy way to charge all your devices.
Make sense? Good, let’s move on.
The i4+ fits three tips and comes with six: one for iPhone/iPad, one for Samsung phones, one for Sony Ericsson, a Nokia tip, then you get one micro and one mini USB tip. You can mix and match these tips in the three i4+ slots. And along with the USB port on the side of i4+ (meant for tablets), that’s four devices you can charge all at once.
First things first, the i4+ is a super clean way to charge multiple devices sans wire clutter. Forget your OEM adapters. With the i4+, you can charge four devices upon one handsome platform. And it’s not just for cell phones. IDAPT makes charging tips for phones, headsets, tablets, Wii controllers — IDAPT makes charger tips for everything. They’re always creating new charging tips too, so if a new device comes out, you can buy the tip you need for just $10.
What I like most about the i4+, though, is how convenient it makes charging my devices. I can charge the two iPhones in my house, my iPad, and my headset all at once, all without having to get out then put away different adapters. That’s a big plus for a guy who hates putting things away. Need to charge something? Just turn the i4+ on and it’s ready to go.
And lastly, I want to mention the obvious effort IDAPT put into the industrial design of the i4+. The platform upon which your devices recharge is made from scratch-resistant plastic, and the unit itself looks good just sitting out. Small details, true, but if you’re into Apple products, I know you’re into those.
There isn’t a lot I don’t like about the i4+, but there is one glaring issue I found.
As you’ll notice from the photos below, the i4+ has LEDs that turn from green to red when your devices are charging, then back to green once your device is charged. It’s a nice touch. The problem is, even when your iPhone is fully charged, its LED light will always stay red.
This surprised me so much that I emailed IDAPT asking if my review unit was broken. It’s not. They explained that because my iPhone draws so much current even after it’s charged, the i4+ still thinks it’s charging. But let’s be clear: it’s not an iPhone problem, it’s an i4+ issue. IDAPT knows that and is working on fixing the problem in future versions of the i4+, but with the current version, the only way to know if your iPhone is charged is to get up, walk over to your iPhone, tap its home button, and check the battery with your eyeballs. First-world problems? Yes. Still annoying? Yes.
The IDAPT i4+ Universal Charger is great. It’s become my default charger for my bluetooth headsets, iPad, and often, my iPhone. But the never-turns-green LED light issue is one I need to drop a star for. I should be able tell when my iPhone is charged without having to walk over and check.