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iHome iB969: A multifaceted charging station

Despite some quirks, the iHome iB969 charging station is a decent option for those looking to charge multiple USB-powered devices at once with minimal cord clutter.

The $49.99 iHome iB969 charges multiple devices at once and reduces cord clutter.

We have to admit, we're suckers for a good charging accessory, and the iHome iB969 fits the bill as a multifaceted charging station for iPods, iPads, iPhones, and other devices you charge via USB.

Though the mostly plastic iB969 doesn't exactly ooze sleekness or high-end build quality (pick it up and it feels pretty light), it looks attractive enough and has dual docks for the iPhone or iPod as well as an integrated stand for iPads. To demonstrate its capabilities, iHome on the package depicts an iPad with an iPhone, iPod Nano, and Sony Reader. A look under the unit reveals three USB ports, though only two are for charging; the other is for connecting the charging station to a computer so you can sync the device with your PC (in most cases, with iTunes).

The unit comes with three standard USB cables, but you'll have to bring your own for devices that have Mini-USB or Micro-USB connectors, and a separate Apple cable for charging your iPad (there is no iPad dock, just a stand that props up your iPad while charging).

To charge the iPad, you need a stronger power source than you'd typically use to charge a cell phone or MP3 player, and the iB969 ships with a 5-volt, 4AMP AC adapter. What's nice is that you can apply that power to your iPhone or iPod in a special quick-charge setting, which basically charges the device at double speed. The only issue is that the charging station has a couple of switches on it marked A/B that are a little confusing to deal with.

Read the full review of the iHome iB969.