If you love gadgets as much as we do, there's a good chance you have a room at home that serves as your designated charging station. And if you're like us, your charging station is a tangled mess of power strips and wires that's not only a bit unsightly but also a minor fire hazard. Fortunately, Callpod has a way to declutter your life while still delivering juice to six of your shiny toys at once. The Chargepod isn't revolutionary for what it does, but rather for how it does it. It works like a charm, and it supports a broad range of devices. In fact, the only drawback that we can see is the sky-high $49.95 price.
The central component of the Chargepod is a compact (2.7 inches tall by 2.7 inches wide by 2.7 inches deep; 1.12 ounces) silver disc with seven outlets on the outer edge. One is a mini-USB port that's used to connect an AC or car adapter to deliver the power, while the remaining six are used for the device adapters. Setup couldn't be easier. Just plug in the various adapters and you're all set. Tiny blue lights above each used port show that they're active.
The AC and car adapters are sufficiently long, while the device adapters range in length from 3 to 5 inches. While that might sound too short, the Chargepod's circular design means the device adapters fan out with enough room to plug in the full component of six gadgets. With that feature alone, the Chargepod beats your standard power strip hands down. By eliminating the often clunky power cords that come with many cell phones, handhelds, MP3 players, and portable gaming systems, you won't have to struggle to make everything fit.
Fortunately, Callpod has produced a wide variety of device adapters. Supported gadgets include cell phones from BlackBerry, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Sanyo, Sidekick, Samsung, Audiovox, Pantech, Palm, Nokia, LG, and Kyocera. And don't worry about multiple plug types under each manufacturer, as Callpod offers several options for most companies. You can also charge Nintendo Game Boys; Sony PSPs; Jabra and Plantronics Bluetooth headsets; Acer and Compaq handhelds; and Apple iPods. Yet, just like the Chargepod itself, the adapters don't come cheap. You can get one free with the purchase, but additional adapters are $9.95 each. Ouch.
We used the Chargepod to charge six devices at once: a LG CU500v, a Nokia 5700 Xpress Music, a Motorola Razr V3x, an Apple iPod, a RIM BlackBerry Pearl, and a Sony PSP. Even with all six devices plugged in, the Chargepod zapped them to life without any issues. It didn't take longer than usual to perform a full charge, and the devices seem to last just as long.
If you can get over the price, the Chargepod does its job well and frees up counter space at the same time. And the included carrying bag makes it very portable.