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Idapt i3 Universal Desktop Charger review:

Idapt i3 Universal Desktop Charger

Removing and replacing tips is a snap. Two release buttons flank each charging port and when pressed together, the tip pops up, allowing you to remove the attachment. You can move any tip to any location on the dock, but unfortunately you cannot change the front/back orientation of any of the tips. Though this may not sound like a major issue, it was a bit awkward having our HTC Evo 4G facing forward, and our iPod Touch with its back to us. It's certainly not a deal-breaker, but a notable inconvenience.

During our time with the Idapt i3, we had to test out a few different tip locations to satisfy all of our gadgets. Since charging ports vary by device, there's a certain interweaving harmony that needs to be achieved. Of course a larger surface area would have solved this issue, but we'd rather have a more compact charger instead.

We also wish each tip adapter had some sort of cushiony or padded bottom so that our devices didn't rub up against hard plastic. It's a minor peeve, but it would certainly give us peace of mind when attaching those gadgets that have fragile finishes. That said, it's tough to ask for some sort of cradle, as each device varies in shape and size.

Out from the base of the i3 protrudes a standard 3-foot power cord. Next to that port is the i3's on/off switch. We noticed a bit of buzzing coming from the charger when certain items were plugged in, but everything seemed to be in working order. Also, when using our PSP tip, it took a bit of trial and error to get the gaming system to lay flat enough to begin charging, so we recommend doing so with all your devices, especially if you plan on leaving them alone for an extended period of time.

The power switch on the i3 helps prevent phantom power drain.

Priced around $50 online, the Idapt i3 should be the only charger you'll need for some time. Idapt will continue to produce tips for newer products, and the swappable ports ensure that future items can be supported. Idapt just announced the i4 ($60), which adds a built-in USB port at the base of the unit. We like the Idapt i3's range of charging abilities, but if it's just USB charging you're in need of, there are much cheaper alternatives.

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