As long as you want to use this 5-port USB charger somewhere where you can hide the power brick, it’s a neat solution to the charging problem. It doesn’t really work on a kitchen worktop where it just looks untidy. But on an office desk, it’s a very handy gadget indeed.
Everything charges via USB these days, even some laptops such as the HP Chromebook 11. It’s inconvenient to have several chargers plugged in when you need to recharge multiple smartphones at the same time, but this is where multi-port chargers such as the Inateck desktop charger come in.
It might look like a USB hub, but this diminutive box – which measures 100x55x20mm – provides enough power to charge two iPads and three iPhones at the same time.
The three USB ports on the left deliver 1A, which is enough for smartphones. The other two offer up to 2.1A, which should match the requirements of most tablets. You can, of course, charge five smartphones or five tablets at once, but the tablets plugged into the three 1A ports will charge more slowly.
Conversely, plugging a smartphone into either of the ‘Super Charger’ ports won’t make it charge any faster than if it were attached to the ‘Univeral’ ports, since it won’t draw any more current than it needs to charge at maximum speed.
Although Inateck makes a big deal of how portable the charger is, the power supply is bigger than the device itself. The brick measures 115x45x30mm, much like a laptop power supply, so while it isn’t going to be a burden to carry around, this is the kind of gadget you’ll leave plugged in at home or in the office.
We tested out the charger by connecting an iPad Air, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5, Nexus 5 and Asus Memo Pad 7 and all five devices charged up as quickly as we’d expect. Neither the charger nor power supply became particularly hot. In fact, the only criticism we have of the charger is the lack of rubber feet or any way to stop it moving around. It weighs almost nothing, so you have to hold it firmly when plugging in a device to charge it.
As long as you want to use the 5-port charger somewhere where you can hide the power brick, it’s a neat solution to the charging problem. It doesn’t really work on a kitchen worktop where it just looks untidy. But on an office desk, it’s a very handy gadget indeed.
See also: The best travel gadgets for holidays and festivals
Inateck 5-port USB charger: Specs
- 3x USB ports rated at 5V/1A, 2x USB ports rated at 5V/2.1A