Powermat Wireless Charger

The Powermat looks great and works as advertised, but it's a bit too expensive to appeal to more than the super rich or those with a morbid fear of wires.


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Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon


Design and features

Skating enthusiasts will be most enthusiastic about the Powermat charging panel, thanks to its undeniable resemblance to a skateboard without wheels. Its matte-finished black plastic surface is surrounded by silver plastic trim and the rounded ends look like something a toddler could kickflip on, assuming said toddler has the skills to pay the bills.

The skateboard deck features three charging panels and is capable of charging three devices simultaneously. Under each panel along the edge of the mat, you find cool-blue LEDs for confirming a connection, and on the back side you find the power input plus two buttons for adjusting the volume of sounds produced by the mat and the brightness of the LEDs (a nice touch for those who intend to place the Powermat on a bedside table).

You may have read our recent review of the Uniden Wireless Power Starter Kit and heard us groaning about the fact that the "wireless" charger does indeed have a wire, the one that connects the charger to the wall. The Powermat is no different, as it also features a single cable wall charger. The wireless part, of course, is the connection from the mat to your electronics device, although this isn't strictly true for charging most devices.

The Powermat charges phones, cameras and gaming consoles using a conductive charger process, which requires a wireless receiver to be attached to your device somehow. For most devices, this means a wired connection to a portable, detached receiver known as a Powercube. The cube is fitted with a wired mini USB connector, but it comes with attachments to fit most phone models and a micro USB connector to fit just about everything else. (Photography lovers, however, should note that the Powermat will only work with devices where the battery is charged inside the device and not on an external charger).

iPhone and BlackBerry Bold 9000 owners can use a specifically designed solution to draw power from the mat, in the form of a protective sleeve for the iPhone and a battery cover replacement for the Bold. iPod owners can use a Powermat iPod dock (as can iPod Touch and iPhone users) and Nintendo DS aficionados have the option to cover the base of their console with a special DS glove.

Performance

Once you've installed the appropriate receiver, the rest is pleasingly simple; just place the device on the mat. When the receiver and mat make a connection you'll feel a gentle magnetic pull and the LED on the edge of the mat lights up. That's it. Just leave the phone or DS sitting on the mat until its charged, which occurs at a surprisingly fast rate. During our tests, we found we could charge an iPhone from completely drained to 100 per cent in approximately one-and-a-half hours.

While charging occurs, the mat is completely safe to touch, doesn't heat up too much (though it does get a little warm under the phone) and the charging connection will not be interrupted by anything you do short of removing the electronics device you are charging. When the device is fully charged, the Powermat will put itself in a zero-consumption standby mode.

Pricing

The Powermat charger plus one connection accessory (either a Powercube or one device-specific attachment) will retail for AU$199.95, but of course to make full use of the three charging pads available you'll need to fork out for at least two more accessories, each of which retail for AU$49.95. That's AU$300 to replace the clutter of three power packs that come free with your phone or MP3 player. While the Powermat is an undeniably cool bit of consumer tech, the premium should be enough to put more than a few gadget geeks off the charms of this wireless charger.

Overall

It's sexier than the Uniden, but no cheaper unfortunately. The Powermat behaves as advertised and can free you from a certain amount of wired clutter, but AU$300 is a lot to pay for a charger in anyone's books. Early adopters will pay the price, but hopefully we'll see a significant drop in price for this excellent device sooner rather than later, so that the Powermat can find its way onto more kitchen benchtops than just those of the ridiculously wealthy.

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Johnny B
1
Rating
 

Johnny B posted a review   

The Good:I got it as a present and didn't pay for it

The Bad:It doesn't charge devices wirelessly

I asked for this as a Christmas present after seeing advertisements in print media that showed it charging a Blackberry, a Nintendo DSI and an iphone.

I doesn't actually charge any of these devices wirelessly. Each of these devices requires a "Powercube", which really makes this a very expensive powerboard.

If I had sufficient time to waste, I would run a "misleading and deceptive conduct" action against Powermat.

 

stewart posted a comment   

this device smashed my universe. the day i bought this was like the day i was reborn into a new world from ya sister. the divice takes only seconds to recharge a car batter. did you know that they use these at nuclear power reactors as wall socket.

 

liquid carbon posted a comment   

The Good:good idea

The Bad:not portable

Great idea, good if your battery can "last" untill you get home!! where ever that maybe.
All you I-phone gamers can drain your batt just on your bus or train ride. then what do you do when your power mat is at home?
Imagine carring the power mat around to the office or when your a backpacker going through places like Vietnam.
OEM charger still wins for now!

TomM
8
Rating
 

TomM posted a review   

The Good:Absolutly love it

The Bad:Expensive

First off i need to address what has already been expressed above, namely what techtor wrote. You do not have to solder or alter the insides of your device at all.... for the more popular products such as iPhone, blackberry and Nintendo DSi. They have dedicated "enablers" that attach to them (In the case of the Iphone, its a case. In the case of the black burry it's a battry cover replacement.) So all in all ..... you do NOT need to solder or alter anything in your devices. For all the other items out there there is a universal adpater which has different plugs to suit a wide varity of devices.

This device works really well with my Iphone and blackburry... Besides the price i highly recomend it.

Scared-of-fire-going-broke-and-cancer
5
Rating
 

Scared-of-fire-going-broke-and-cancer posted a review   

The Good:idea

The Bad:expensive, is it safe?

way too expensive

Techtor
2
Rating
 

Techtor posted a review   

If you are going to buy one of these Powermats you should be aware that to properly enable your device for recharging, your device will need to be modified and you are going to have to be a microsurgeon with a soldering iron to modify the device without damaging it.

Also be aware that any modifications made to your device will automatically void the warranty and will be a breach of any contracts. When devices are returned to the manufacturer under warranty the first thing they do is check to see if any seals are broken, most manufacturers are very thorough testing to see if a device has been tampered with, all you need to do is loosen a screw and the warranty is void! If they can get out of having to fix or replace it they will!

If your device is under contract then you do not own it, therefore if the device is modified and something happens to go wrong with it or you decided to terminate your contract early, the company you are under contract with, can make you pay for the device a second time on top of the contract, if they want. If the device is under contract it is not yours until the end of the contract. You do not have the right to modify the device or have the device modified by another party.

So bear all of this in mind when thinking about paying out big bucks for something that replaces a simple plug worth two dollars, it may end up costing you even bigger bucks!

 

TomM posted a reply   

Do some real research before posting the first thing that pops into your head. What you wrote is completly wrong. You do not need to be a micro surgeon as you do not even open your device up to "enable" it. Read about the product and it will tell you how to do it and all it requires is for you to clip something onto your device

 

Riffs posted a comment   

Product No good. Really bad Product.

Over charge or something destroyed my Ipod and voided the warranty. Powermat won't do nothing about it either. now I have nothing, thinks Powermat thanks for nothing.

slongeight
1
Rating
 

slongeight posted a review   

what a waiste of money

 

Rock-on posted a comment   

DON'T BUY IT ! ! ! !

I would not buy one because they stole the invention from a inverter that was struggling to get his inventions of the ground and knowing this they hindered and interfered to stop the original inverter from obtaining a patent. The original inverter was betrayed by his trusted fends who sold the idea and cut him right out of the deal!!!


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User Reviews / Comments  Powermat Wireless Charger

  • Johnny B

    Johnny B

    Rating1

    "I asked for this as a Christmas present after seeing advertisements in print media that showed it charging a Blackberry, a Nintendo DSI and an iphone.

    I doesn't actually charge any o..."

  • stewart

    stewart

    "this device smashed my universe. the day i bought this was like the day i was reborn into a new world from ya sister. the divice takes only seconds to recharge a car batter. did you know that they ..."

  • liquid carbon

    liquid carbon

    "Great idea, good if your battery can "last" untill you get home!! where ever that maybe.
    All you I-phone gamers can drain your batt just on your bus or train ride. then what do you do when y..."

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