IDAPT i4 universal charger: Lose the cables (review)

IDAPT i4 universal charger: Lose the cables (review)

Summary: This universal charger handles four mobile devices without any cables or power adapters. It is a solid addition to the geek's mobile arsenal, even though it doesn't go anywhere.


IDAPT i4 ready for business

The price I pay for being a gadget nut is dealing with a huge pile of charging cables and power adapters. Every gadget has a never-ending thirst for power, and that means a cable and adapter for each one. My home office has long had far too many cables snaking in all directions, with power adapters plugged into the multiple surge protectors needed to supply the outlets required.

I don't take photos of the cables in this office, partly out of embarrassment and partly to avoid attracting the attention of those government agencies tasked with shutting down unsafe work sites. A new gadget I picked up is the first start to help me tackle this unruly situation by eliminating both the wires and the adapters.

The IDAPT i4 is a modular charging system that is configurable to meet the user's needs. The base station is a small plastic unit about the same size as a VHS cassette (remember those?), with three charging bays plus a USB port on the side. The charging bays each accept one module that snaps in place, consisting of a single charging connector of different types to fit specific gadgets.

The unit ships with six commonly used charging tips: iPhone/iPad, microUSB (2), miniUSB, Samsung tip, and a Nokia tip. The unit charges three gadgets by plugging the tip module into the bay, and then plugging the gadget onto the tip. The USB port on the side of the IDAPT i4 allows charging a fourth device by plugging the gadget into the USB port with the appropriate device cable. It will handle most small gadgets, including the iPad and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet I have tried.

Charging 4 gadgets

Charging 4 gadgets

The ability to charge four devices simultaneously using only the one power cord of the IDAPT i4 is a great benefit. Each charging bay on the dock has an LED indicator that glows red when a device is being actively charged, and turns green when the gadget reaches a full charge. This is a handy indicator as it doesn't require firing up the device to check the charging level.

3 gadgets loaded (note LED charging indicators)

3 gadgets loaded (note LED charging indicators)

It is rare such a small device offers so much utility as the IDAPT I4. It has eliminated three charging cables and freed up the power outlets the gadgets normally require. It is small enough I can place it on my desktop with all of the gadgets conveniently at hand. I am currently using the IDAPT i4 to charge my Galaxy Nexus S 4G phone, iPhone 4S, Samsung 4G LTE hotspot, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. I can tell at a glance if the phones or hotspot are fully charged.

The IDAPT i4 is $60 and well worth that price for the utility it provides. Most folks will find the 6 included charging tips to be sufficient, but the company has a long list of special tips that can be ordered separately for use with any of the iDapt charging solutions. While the i4 has earned a coveted place on my desktop, I would consider traveling with it to avoid carrying so many cables and adapters on trips.

Of interest:

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Networking, Telcos

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  • RE: IDAPT i4 universal charger: Lose the cables (review)

    Mike Marquis
  • Charging port disaster?

    Sorry for the test post.

    I think that this is a potential charging port disaster. All of the devices are held vertically and there is no obvious means of support. With a careless hand gesture any of these devices could be knocked over tearing out the microUSB or whatever port the were attached with
    Mike Marquis
  • RE: IDAPT i4 universal charger: Lose the cables (review)

    1. Learning to do some tidy cable management would save you that $60.
    2. A mobile battery pack that charges multiple mobile gadgets when you're on-the-go is a better investment.
    3. The AC adapter for that mobile battery pack will also power and charge multiple devices at the same time.

    Doing a quick inventory around my desk I've counted 14 devices that feed off AC, some of which I have plugged into a UPS. Even with a pair of power strips on hand, I still need splitters and 2-3 short extension cables to handle those wide wall warts.

    Even more Frankenstein was a task I had a few years ago of deploying 106 Nextel handsets for next-day use. I ended up charging the batteries overnight by plugging in all 106 AC adapters for each phone. That was after my trip to the local Staples that afternoon where I took possession of their entire inventory of power strips and extension cables. I wish I had a photo of my office after plugging in all the adapters and power strips... I'm pretty sure had the fire marshal visited he wold have shut us down.
  • Great Device

    I actually own this charger and think it delivers what it promises. I happen to own a lot of gadgets due to my obsession with technology. With the i4, I am able to charge four of them simultaneously which saves me a lot of time. The base is sturdy enough to support heavier phones and for really bulky devices, like my iPad, I just charge them through the USB cable. I can see how some people would be worried about stressing the charging port on their devices. The i4 has a shock-resistant feature for each charging dock which reduces this stress and protects the device if it's bumped into or the base is knocked down. Overall, I found the i4 to be a great device.