Behold, the Octofire 8-port USB charger

Behold, the Octofire 8-port USB charger

Summary: No more swapping out USB cables in crowded conference rooms. This monster charger on Kickstarter can juice up an entire squad of mobile devices.

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Here's a problem I know at least our own James Kendrick and Matt Miller share -- they own too many gadgets and don't have enough places on their power strips to charge them all.

Their problems aren't unique, however. Perhaps you're just receptacle challenged on a business trip, or you've walked into a crowded conference room at where everyone needs to juice up their device at the same time.

Enter the Skiva Power Flow Octofire Turbo, which reached its funding goal in only four days on Kickstarter. This 8-port, 16.8A / 84W USB charger is ideal for those people with device overload and only want to carry a single power brick, or for families or businesses that may need to charge a large number of devices simultaneously.

Because each USB port is capable of 2.1 amps at 5V, it can deliver at the full charging speed of the device's original OEM charger, as opposed to the slower charging rates that may occur with similar products using 1.1A ports or simply just charging the device from a spare USB port on a laptop computer, which are usually not rated high enough to charge a smartphone or a tablet at native charging speeds.

So you can have power-hungry devices like the iPad Air, the iPhone 5, the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and a Galaxy S4 all charging simultaneously and still have 4 ports avaliable to charge additional devices at full speed. 

The 100-240VAC power supply that comes with the Octofire is international, so it will work in all countries with the proper plug/pin adapter.

The Octofire Turbo is expected to retail at $100 or more when it ships in February of 2014, but if you get in on the action early on Kickstarter, you can pre-order it for half price. 

Topics: Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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Talkback

9 comments
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  • Wiring

    The circuit for high speed charging for Apple and Kindle products are different. Many 3rd party high speed chargers have two ports one for each type of device. How does this product handle the different methods?

    Note that if you do not use the proper circuit it will still charge at the lower 1A rate.
    MichaelInMA
    • Watched Video

      The video claims it has some kind of automatic detection. I have seen technical articles that claim this is not possible without some smarts to talk to the device first and then set the proper circuit. I could see why it would cost $100 or more.
      MichaelInMA
  • Anyone know the idle consumption?

    On their kick starter page it says about how energy efficient it is, but in the video it's transformer brick is external?

    Looks amazing for the office environment, just not sure about the home; we already have the 4 port belkin (a lot less powerful) station that uses no power at all when devices aren't connected, and to be honest it only really gets used when people need a top up - just in/before they go out - and it creates such a mess of cables; it's been moved to a table with a draw in it so you can shove all the cables in the draw (if you have children you will turn into the cable ogre as every time you pass it there's more cables around, yet nothing ever charging) also factor in that you end up buying more cables because carrying your night charging cable from the bedroom to the charging station is basically the same as taking the whole charger down stairs anyway.

    I really like this, but the cost for a family home? Our belkin cost £15 (it's half ports and not 2.1A) and you will end up buying a load more cables to keep by it.

    In general day to day stuff i find it more practical to have a charging point in each room rather than the hub, but where these are genius is if you are trying to get everyone iust the house and in the car- tell them all to charge everything up so they have enough power for the trip, and voila; all devices are by the door so none get forgotten, all have charge so there's less stress later and, best of all, no one is on their phone when you'e trying to get them out the house!
    MarknWill
  • Anker does it better and cheaper

    The 5 port charger from Anker:

    http://www.amazon.com/Family-Sized-Desktop-Charger-Smartphones-USB-Powered/dp/B00DVH62J2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388171037&sr=8-1&keywords=anker+5+port

    Works perfectly and has no external power brick. I've seen it discounted for as low as $15 and it works with international voltages too. Why re-invent the wheel when a great product already exists?
    bitbank
    • It does not charge all devices at full speed

      All of the ports on the Octofire are 2.1A. If you read the product information on the Anker:

      "5 ports designed to charge iPad (2 x 2.1A), iPhone (1A), Samsung Tab (1.3A), and Android devices (1A). Total combined output of 5A (Ports are specially designed for the labeled device but also charge many other devices at full speed)."

      Only TWO of the ports on the Anker are 2.1A.
      jperlow
    • Thanks for the link

      The Anker charger looks like a much better deal for me, as I only have a couple of devices that require 2.1A. I'd rather get 4 of those for $80 and have 12 more ports for lower-draw devices.

      Belkin makes a $40 device with 4 2.1A ports http://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F7C008/
      john-whorfin
  • "Apple" vs "Android" charging ports

    1) May I say it's RIDICULOUS for some of these dual USB devices to label some ports "APPLE" (or iPhone/iPad) and label others "ANDROID". It shows their total ignorance.

    The 2012 Nexus 7 I own NEEDS 2A, while the 2013 Nexus 7 uses 1.35A. Yet, both can charge quite well with a 2.1A charger (internal circuitry decides how much is used) -- while some of my Androids won't work with the lesser 1A "Android" port on some of these devices. For instance, the Nexus 5 needs AT LEAST 1.2A. With any less, the battery won't charge. Keeps draining to zero and still won't charge. Needs the higher amperage. So, it's misinformation to label these ports as "Android".

    I think most Androids that use lesser amperage (like the 2013 Nexus 7) can safely pass along what's needed even with 2.1A chargers, so why two different specs in the same device? Some Androids NEED at least 2A. Make ALL ports 2.1A. Problem solved.

    2) I actually ordered this device yesterday:

    Bolse® 4.2Amp 20W High Output Turbo Charge Dual USB Port Wall Charger

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DRLA5OU/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It's one of the few dual port chargers with FULL 2.1A charging capability to both ports.
    ChazzMatt
  • HELOOO

    KJGHGJH
    Laclough1942
  • HEY

    60 an hour! Seriously I don't know why more people haven't tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…And whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids. Here is what i did...>>>
    Laclough1942