Charge your gadgets wirelessly
The Powermat can recharge your mobile phone, music player or Nintendo DS if you place them on its surface.
This may not sound likely, but it works because on the principle of induction, a technique similar to the way electric toothbrushes are charged. The same effect allows the Powermat to charge three gadgets at a time, which reduces the number of wires and chargers you will need in your house.
On its own the Powermat cannot charge anything, though, unless you use the single built-in USB port. You will also need a receiver, sold separately. We tested the mat with the Universal Receiver that supports plenty of different gadgets, unless they are made by Apple. To charge an iPod or iPhone, a different receiver is required.
Powermat’s website will recommend the combination of receiver and mat you will need when you enter your device’s make and model. To charge a device you connect it to the receiver using a small cable and one of the supplied ‘power tips’, then place the receiver on the mat. When charging starts, a white light comes on and the Powermat makes a noise. This cannot be turned off and quickly became annoying.
It worked well in our tests. A HP Ipaq handheld computer battery took roughly two hours to charge from empty to full power, about the same time it would take to charge with a USB cable.
The product and packaging are very well designed. The mat folds up neatly and comes with a carry case with a magnetic fastener (a separate ‘Home and Office Mat’ costs the same but does not fold up). The receiver also includes a small box in which to keep all the tips.
The Powermat is impressive, but it’s very expensive. The mat alone costs £70 and each receiver is around £30. One receiver is required for each electronic item you want to charge, so to charge three gadgets at the same time, the bill comes to around £160.
That is a lot of money for something that does the same job as the standard power adapters that come with all electronic goods, albeit much more conveniently.
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A great demonstration of innovative technology, but it's too expensive Good Points An innovative way to charge gadgets; stylish design; reduces cabling Bad Points High cost; makes annoying noises
£70 (receivers around £30)
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