5-Port USB Wall Charger (EasyAcc)

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Having accumulated several devices that charge via USB, sometimes I don’t have enough USB block plugs on hand (and other times I’m just tired of digging around to find the adapters) to charge everything up at once. Last week I purchased a couple of 5-port USB wall chargers (EasyAcc) from Amazon for less than $20 each, which have helped make this minor inconvenience less of an issue.

This particular model isn’t something I plan to move around frequently. Instead I have located them in key spots where they’ll remain most of the time. One is at my office and the other is in our guest room.

So far they seem to work well and they’re about as simple as expected (and needed). There is one thing of note that interested purchasers may need to be aware of. The USB ports do not all provide the same level of output, though it’s clearly marked on the device how much power each port provides and it’s unlikely to be an issue for most people.

  • USB1 5V/2.1A (iPad)
  • USB2 5V/1.3A (Samsung Tab)
  • USB3 5V/2.1A (iPad)
  • USB4 5V/1A (iPhone)
  • USB5 5V/1A (Android)

Will Apple Become an Innovator Again?

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It’s a question that runs through my mind every time that I consider purchasing a new Apple device. That’s also a mode that I find myself in much less often these days. I’m certainly not stating that I won’t buy any more Apple products or that I even dislike the ones that we already have in our house. It’s my interest in Apple as an innovative company that is waning.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t even bother commenting on whether or not a company is innovative. It’s a very competitive business that struggles to compete with the expectations of consumers, technological advancement, and the simple goal of making a profit.

In the case of Apple I think this question is deserved. They’re good at building hype and now they’re having to deal with a failing interest in the hype. As many have often said, Apple has settled for being evolutionary rather than revolutionary of late. In some cases, they even seem to have simply “jumped the shark” (for example, the new Mac Pro design).

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Powermat 2X (Powermat Wireless Charging Kit)

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One of the items I received for Christmas was another Powermat. The first kit I purchased can only charge my iPhone but this kit can charge two devices at the same time. It also includes a wireless charging adapter that can be used with nearly any USB device with the included adapter tips.

The kit is great and so far seems to work without any issues. Placement of the iPhone is a little different. The other charging kit is practically form-fitted so the case fits in easily. On the larger charging mat it takes slightly more work to place the iPhone properly but it doesn’t take long to get used to figuring out the proper alignment to charge.

It does suffer from the same issues the other Powermat has – annoyingly bright LEDs (to indicate charging) and the sounds that it makes when the mat begins to charge a device. Those issues aside it’s excellent. I like the convenience of not having to plug and unplug every time I want to charge – this should help prolong the life of the connectors for when I do need to charge with a cable.

Overall, I’m really enjoying this gift. One of the reasons I wanted it was so I could also charge my first-generation iPod nano, which it does. It’s also capable of charging my 3DS with the extended battery.

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Using a 4th Generation iPod touch with a 2006 Scion

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The Short Version: The Scosche passPORT Charging Adapter for iPod & iPhone can restore full iPod/iPhone integration with a 2006 Scion but the connections may not hold up over time.

This information may be useful for more than just 2006 Scion owners. It might work for anyone using newer iPods or iPhones with older accessories that were once fully compatible with previous editions of those devices.

In this case, I bought my wife a 4th gen iPod touch for Christmas. On a short road-trip we were happy to learn that her car’s iPod integration worked with the new 4th gen… mostly. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t charge the newer iPod touch (everything worked great with her older 1st gen iPod Touch).

I wasn’t sure there was a solution available, short of buying a new cable or head unit, but I surfed over to Google and started browsing forums. It didn’t take more than a minute before I found several references from other Scion owners to the Scosche passPORT Charging Adapter for iPod & iPhone.

The adapter arrived today so we took it along with us for a short drive we already had planned. Sure enough, it worked great. Note that it does make it so the iPod/iPhone won’t fit as elegantly into the center console as it did, but integration for the new iPod touch is working as it did with the older iPod touch.

Updated 04/16/2012: While the adapter does function properly we’ve found that it doesn’t fit tightly on the iPod touch any more. As a result, it often comes slightly loose – just enough to lose connection. I think this product would work better if it was a cable rather than a short adapter. The added flexibility would reduce stress on the connectors and make it easier to set the iPod touch down in a better position.