Wireless chargers have a dark secret that’s never addressed in the brochures and other promotional materials: You still have to deal with wires. But with Humanscale’s new NeatCharge wireless charger, at least those cords are hidden away out of sight underneath a desk or table.
Is a wireless charger more convenient than having to plug a tiny cable into the bottom of your smartphone? Yes, of course it is, especially at 2 a.m. when it’s dark and you’re exhausted from doom-scrolling for hours. Setting your phone down on a charging pad is definitely easier, but that pad still needs to be plugged into a power outlet, leaving you with another wire snaking across a desk, table, or nightstand.
Humanscale’s solution is a simple one: Instead of the wireless charging pad sitting on top of a surface, it instead mounts to the underside using some included double-sided 3M tape, or a set of screws if you want to make absolutely sure it never comes lose. The power cable can then be run down a table leg where it’s out of sight and out of mind. And because wireless charging can be finicky if the pad and device aren’t properly aligned, an included sticker can be adhered to the top of the table or desk providing a target of where to play your phone, or you can come up with your own solution, as long as it’s large enough to ensure proper placement.
At $149, this is far from being the cheapest wireless charging solution, but it’s definitely the most aesthetically pleasing, and at 10 watts it’s among the most powerful. There’s a catch, however. Wireless charging only works at very minimal distances, and the NeatCharge only works on desk and tabletop surfaces no thicker than 1.18 inches. That should be fine for most desks and tables made from hardwoods (and glass, although that seems counterintuitive for a device you’re trying to hide) but many of Ikea’s desks are made from thicker sandwiched materials for added strength, and might not be compatible.