First Hands-On: Powermat Portable 2X Induction Charger

Illustration for article titled First Hands-On: Powermat Portable 2X Induction Charger

Powermat already makes a portable, tri-fold version of their induction charger. But it's only a bit portable, as you have to plug the thing in. Their latest Powermat is loaded with a lithium ion battery so you can charge anywhere.

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Announced back at CES, it's admittedly silly.

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Illustration for article titled First Hands-On: Powermat Portable 2X Induction Charger


Because while I understand the basic Powermat premise—recharge many devices without needing to fiddle with plugs and cords—I don't know when I'd be in a situation where, not only would I bring my Powermat, but I'd be unable to also plug it in...maybe camping or something.

Still, the device, while as bulky as a stack of smartphones, manages to be quite light (adding what I'm sure would be unnoticed weight to your bag). It unfolds to recharge two devices, though I don't believe it can recharge, say, and iPhone more than once with some change. LEDs monitor battery levels on the Powermat's edge.

Illustration for article titled First Hands-On: Powermat Portable 2X Induction Charger
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I guess my point is this: unless you are really in love with mat-based charging, portable batteries by companies like Duracell seem a lot more versatile, and hardly as expensive. And if I were to invest into the Powermat platform, their updated versions coming later in 2010 are super thin and no more cumbersome than a coaster.

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If my memory serves me, the Powermat Portable 2X will run $90 in Q4 of this year. But to be frank, we talked about a lot of different Powermats over the course of about 5 minutes and that info could apply to their upcoming Powermat 3X (non-portable) model.

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DISCUSSION

These has two critical flaws in my mind:

1) Where am I going to use this where I can't just plug it in? Camping, as Mark mentioned, is a possibility but thats a once a year deal and the joy of camping is being unconnected to the outside world.

2) It's inefficient. Inductive charging loses some of the "juice" when being transfered. Even the most effective inductive chargers, found in cars, only function at 86% efficiency. I would rather plug it into a portable battery charger and make use of all the charge.