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Dongle doubles up for USB-C and wireless iPhone charging

The HyperDrive device lets you perch a newer iPhone on a stand alongside your laptop and get back useful ports like HDMI, SD Card and old-style USB-A.

Sanho's HyperDrive USB-C wireless charger includes eight ports for HDMI, USB, SD cards and offers wireless charging for iPhones and other Qi-compatible wireless charging devices.
Sanho's HyperDrive USB-C wireless charger includes ports for HDMI, USB and SD cards and offers wireless charging for iPhones and other Qi-compatible devices.

Sanho has a made something of a name for itself with its Hyper line of dongles that restore useful ports that USB-C can displace from laptops. Now it has a new trick: wireless charging.

The newest HyperDrive adapter, which debuted Monday at CES, combines eight ports with the Qi wireless charging standard that will let you plop on an Apple iPhone 8 or iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8 or Note 8, or other phone that works with Qi. As an added bonus, the charger has a flip-up stand that holds your phone upright so you can see what notifications just arrived on its screen.

It'll be crowdfunded on Kickstarter -- an approach Sanho has used before -- and should ship in March. Early backers will pay $69, but the regular price will be $149, Sanho said.

The device paves over several rough patches that come with modern computing. USB-C is fast and versatile, but sleek laptops like new MacBook Pro models can't directly handle the millions  of devices with older cables. And wireless charging is convenient only when you have enough wireless charging stations in your life.

The round-cornered device plugs into a laptop USB-C port and offers eight ports: 4K HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, microSD and SD memory cards, three USB 3.1 and one USB-C Power Delivery. For wireless charging, it offers the 7.5-watt version that newer iPhones use, as well as 5W, 10W and 15W options other devices use. An iPhone will fully charge in just under 3 hours. It's got three charging coils to handle a variety of phone charging orientations.

The device competes with other wireless chargers from companies like Belkin and Mophie, but Apple soon will join the fray later this year with its own AirPower wireless charger. That won't include all the other ports on the HyperDrive, though.

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