Name: myGrid (Duracell)
Type: Wireless charging station
Specs: (Click here for full specs)
Price: £62.55 for the starter kit from Amazon, Power Sleeves and Clips from £29.99
According to the Institute of Engineering and Technology, each average UK household now has around 25 individual electronic devices, many of which are rechargeable via power adapters. That inevitably leads to a tangled mess of wiring and a lack of power sockets, as your phones and gadgets burn through juice faster than a fat kid gobbles through a tub of ice cream. Following in the footsteps of the Powermat, Duracell offer a new charging solution in the shape of their myGrid kit.
A magnetic silver slab, the myGrid sits on your desktop and can charge up to four devices at once without the need for each gadget's individual, wired charger. Instead, you attach your device to one of Duracell's Power Sleeves or Power Clips, place it on the myGrid mat, and charge each item simultaneously using conductive charging technology. Of course, it's not completely wireless as the myGrid mat itself requires power from a wall socket, but it does save having to plug multiple devices into numerous power outlets.
With a maximum power output of 15VDC/1A, it's a very efficient device, charging all four gadgets in more or less the same amount of time as by using their bespoke power adapters, all the while saving around 15% on energy consumption. The myGrid also switches off once each device is fully charged, saving on unnecessary power use or overcharging your batteries. If you're concerned about having an exposed current on the magnetic slab you need not worry either; Duracell have implemented touch sensitive safety procedures that power off the device when it comes into contact with your fingers or inappropriate metallic objects.
Once you have the right attachment for each device it's all very simple, with the magnetised sleeves meaning that placing the gadgets at any angle on the mat will charge them without a hitch.
However, getting the appropriate sold-seperately sleeve for each gadget you want to charge wont come cheap, especially if you're looking to refill the maximum of four devices at once. There are Power Sleeves compatible with BlackBerry Curve 8350i and Pearl 8100 handsets, as well as Apple iPod Touch, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS devices, with sleeves for more handsets in the pipeline. Duracell Power Clips on the other hand will fit any device with Micro or Mini USB connections, as well as Nokia handsets. When you consider that each sleeve and clip costs around £30, with the myGrid mat starter kit itself retailing at roughly £70, you're looking at nearly £200 to get the most out of the gear.
Though it's expensive, there are few complaints to be levelled at the charging mat itself.The myGrid wireless charger works like a charm, is designed simply enough for even a complete technophobe to get to grips with, and looks fairly stylish to boot. Pricing will stand in the way for most people, and you're going to have to think long and hard over whether or not it's worth roughly £100 of your money for the starter kit and just the one appropriate sleeve, considering you're almost certainly already going to have a wired charger for each of your devices.