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Performance Design Products, which is simply known as PDP, recently licensed the Energizer brand to slap on its line of Power and Play Charging systems for the Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. Indeed, the Energizer brand should give these chargers some added visibility in the marketplace.
The idea behind the model reviewed here, the PS3 Charger, is to make up for the PS3's inability to charge its controllers while the system is powered off, which is certainly an annoyance.
The Energizer Power & Play Charging System for the PlayStation 3 is basically a plastic stand with two built-in mini-USB nubs for charging two controllers. At the base of the unit, there are two USB ports that allow you to charge two additional USB devices (including PS3 controllers)--but you have to supply the USB cables. (Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to juice up iPods, but it worked fine for our cell phone.)
The charging stand comes with a compact AC adapter that plugs into any wall outlet. Plug a controller into one of the USB docks and it begins to charge. The plastic piece that holds the controller in place glows red to indicate your controller is charging, then turns green when it's fully charged. It takes about 2.5 hours to charge either single or multiple controllers.
The Energizer Power & Play Charging System isn't particularly fancy or well-built (by that, we mean it has a budget made-in-China feel to it). In fact, it's so light that you'll need to brace the system with one hand by docking and undocking controllers with the other. As such, it would've been nice if the base was weighted, to give the whole thing a bit more substance. But it looks all right and wouldn't seem too gaudy, say, sitting behind your TV, partially hidden from view. We also appreciated that it doesn't take up too much space because it has more of a vertical orientation.
By contrast, the Nyko Charge Base 2 has a horizontally oriented design, and requires small dongles to be affixed to the controllers while charging. Likewise, the Power & Play's ability to charge more controllers (or gadgets) at once is a nice plus in its favor.
At $29.99, the Energizer Power & Play Charging System for the PlayStation 3 is a little bit expensive (it should be closer to $20), but that's really our only major gripe.