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Appletell reviews the IDAPT I4 Digital Device Charger

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod Accessories, iPod Docks and Speakers, iPod touch, Reviews

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IDAPT I4 Digital Device ChargerProvides: Interchangeable simultaneous charging of up three devices
Developer: IDAPT
Minimum Requirements: 110v wall outlet, compatible digital devices
Price: $59.99
Availability: Out now

Back in April, I reviewed the IDAPT I3 digital device charger. It was a good system; a convenient way to charge up to three devices at once. And with the interchangeable tips, you get to determine the devices. A couple of things about it bugged me, though. With the IDAPT I4, IDAPT has addressed enough of these to make the $10 price hike worth it. First, let’s talk about what’s the same.

[Editor's Note: I'm going to steal from I3 review where appropriate, since the majority of the devices' features are the same.]

The IDAPT system looks to solve cable confusion and clean up your countertops by providing a single unit that conveniently and cleanly charges most of the popular devices you use on a daily basis. It measures about 5-1/4″ deep by 6-3/4″ wide by 1-3/8″ high, and sits snugly on a countertop or desk with four wide, rubber feet to hold it in place.

Unlike with the I3, the power switch is now on top, not behind the device. This allows for easier access, but has a much more important benefit as well; you know when it’s on. When powered up, an LED light turns on in front of each tip. If green, a device isn’t plugged or that device is fully charged. If red, the device is charging. So, you not only know the status of your charge, but you’re also reminded to turn the I4 off to conserve electricity.

IDAPT I4 Digital Device Charger

My problem with the power cord’s extensive length remains, although this is clearly a preference issue. In my use, the I4 sits less than a foot under its outlet, so I’m still stuck with wrapped up cables lying on the counter. Either including a shorter cable or providing a tuck-away area in the unit would solve this issue. If you’re not near an outlet, however, you’ll be pleased with the cord length.

It’s the interchangeable tips, however, that make the IDAPT models so useful, so let’s shift focus to that. The unit ships with six tips: Nokia2, SonyEricsson2, Samsung4, iPod/iPhone, miniUSB and microUSB. This is an odd mix that I imagine few families will make full use of. IDAPT allows you to customize the mix, selecting four tips of your choosing for the same price as the pre-packaged six. The number of tips you can add to this is pretty impressive (visit idaptweb.com for currently available tips). This is only available online, but I think it’s worth it to make the purchase this way instead of buying the six and then adding ($9.99 each plus shipping).

To use the tips, you simply push them into their socket until they latch in place. To release them, push the buttons on each side until they pop out. They sit securely, although the whole unit itself feels a bit flimsy. The plastic (available in black, metallic blue, lime green, orange, red, silver and white) isn’t quite as nice or heavy as it looks in the photos, making the unit seem cheap, but it does the job nonetheless. Also, the new glossy sheen does a better job of showcasing dust if you get a darker color.

One concern that remains from the I3 is that the iPhone stands up in the device with only the dock connector for support. Because of the interchangeable nature of the device, I get that IDAPT couldn’t put any support behind the tips, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it…I’ll just have to place it where it’s unlikely anyone will bump into it. You can certainly forget about plugging in an iPad.

Also, although IDAPT provides plenty of room between tips, that doesn’t mean they’ll always sit well on the device. As you can see in my photo below, the DSi XL tends to weigh down a bit on one side (although not as much as it did on the I3), and would either hang off the edge or bump into the other tip in the back row.

IDAPT I4 Digital Device Charger

But I’m a fan of the IDAPT I4 despite these complaints. Fact of the matter is that surpasses the I3 to become the most robust and convenient method of charging multiple devices I’ve ever tried. It cleans up clutter, and it’s easy to use. More importantly, it’s likely to grow with you. As you get new devices, you can simply add new tips…provided IDAPT supports them. Until then, I’m sure there’s another outlet I can use somewhere in this house.

Appletell Rating:

Buy the IDAPT I4

Also see Gamertell’s IDAPT I4 review.

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