Powermat Wireless Charger review: Powermat Wireless Charger

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Sleek design. Completely safe while in use. Charges three devices simultaneously.

The Bad Expensive alternative to free chargers. Wireless receivers make iPhone bulky.

The Bottom Line The Powermat looks great and works as advertised, but it's a bit too expensive to appeal to more than the super rich or those with a morbid fear of wires.

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Design and features

Skating enthusiasts will be most enthusiastic about the Powermat charging panel, thanks to its undeniable resemblance to a skateboard without wheels. Its matte-finished black plastic surface is surrounded by silver plastic trim and the rounded ends look like something a toddler could kickflip on, assuming said toddler has the skills to pay the bills.

The skateboard deck features three charging panels and is capable of charging three devices simultaneously. Under each panel along the edge of the mat, you find cool-blue LEDs for confirming a connection, and on the back side you find the power input plus two buttons for adjusting the volume of sounds produced by the mat and the brightness of the LEDs (a nice touch for those who intend to place the Powermat on a bedside table).

You may have read our recent review of the Uniden Wireless Power Starter Kit and heard us groaning about the fact that the "wireless" charger does indeed have a wire, the one that connects the charger to the wall. The Powermat is no different, as it also features a single cable wall charger. The wireless part, of course, is the connection from the mat to your electronics device, although this isn't strictly true for charging most devices.

The Powermat charges phones, cameras and gaming consoles using a conductive charger process, which requires a wireless receiver to be attached to your device somehow. For most devices, this means a wired connection to a portable, detached receiver known as a Powercube. The cube is fitted with a wired mini USB connector, but it comes with attachments to fit most phone models and a micro USB connector to fit just about everything else. (Photography lovers, however, should note that the Powermat will only work with devices where the battery is charged inside the device and not on an external charger).

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Where to Buy

Powermat Wireless Charger

Part Number: CNETPowermat Wireless Charger

Typical Price: $199.95

See manufacturer website for availability.