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The $50 charging accessory I never leave home without (and how it works)

If you're looking for extra power outlets, but don't have space for a traditional strip, Baseus' 32W charging station has you covered.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Baseus 35W charging station.

This tiny tower offers plenty of power and ports to keep your devices charged.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Baseus 35W charging station is available on Amazon now for only $50.
  • It offers plenty of USB and AC ports, is a great size, and has plenty of surge and lightning protection for your devices. 
  • Be warned, the cable is a beast.

I always find myself short on outlets to plug in or charge my devices. I added a charging station to my desk, which solved the problem there. But in nearly every room of my house, there's often a shortage of outlets.

This lack of outlets can be frustrating, especially with the growing number of devices that require electricity or which have batteries that must be charged. Couple those power demands with the ever-changing weather that brings thunderstorms during every season of the year, and you'll also need surge protection.

Also: The best extreme weather tech: Top gear for power outages

When you go to look for options to fit that range of requirements, many of the available products are either bulky, don't have enough ports, or aren't cost-effective.

However, Baseus has a solution in the form of its 35W charging station, available on Amazon for $50. They also offer a 65W version for $80, and a 100W version for $100. I've been using the 35W version and I've found it's more than adequate for my needs.

View at Amazon

The specs

  • 6 AC ports
  • 2 USB-A ports
  • 2 USB-C ports
  • Digital display, which allows you to monitor charging information in real time
  • 1200J surge and lightning protection
  • Over-voltage, over-power, temperature, over-current, short-circuit, and anti-interference protection
  • Ground indicator
  • 0.1s overload shutdown
  • 35W ultra-fast charging, which can achieve 0-36% charge for an iPad in 30 minutes
  • Automatic output power regulations
  • Dimensions: 4.75 x 2 x 2 inches

One thing to keep in mind is that the device's automatic power regulations feature is a bit complicated. The number of devices you have plugged into the device's USB ports will determine the output wattage. Fortunately, Baseus has a handy diagram to illustrate how the feature works:

The Baseus 35W automatic power output diagram.

This diagram explains the automatic power output from the Baseus 35W charger.


My experience

Charging stations are straightforward devices -- plug them in and then plug things into them for a charge. It is that simple. But with the Baseus, I appreciate the size of the station, which allows me to use it in tight places that wouldn't otherwise accommodate a larger charging tower or long power strip. 

I also like the display, which indicates how much charge the station is outputting. And don't forget, there's also an on/off button at the top, which allows users to shut the device off when not in use.

Also: The best portable power stations: For camping and emergencies

Of course, this station isn't just an ordinary power strip. If I really want to get the most out of the device, I need to remember the automatic output power regulations. For example, if I need 5W charging with USB-C, I have to use the right port. If I need 10W charging with USB-C, I use the left port. But that's only the case when I'm using both ports. If I'm only plugging in a single USB-C device, I get 30W from either port. That kind of complexity is why it's important to check out the diagram above and to make sure you understand it.

The only caveat I can think of with this charging station is that the cable is thick and hard to manipulate. After you pull the cable out of the box, it takes some time for it to loosen up. I've been using the station for over a month and the cable still insists on returning to its coiled state. And because the cable is so thick, trying to force it into a different shape or route is a losing battle -- at first. Eventually, the cable will succumb to your will. But you should be aware that you'll have to use some brute force.

ZDNET's buying advice

What more is there to say? You plug the Baseus 35W Charging Station in and it charges things. However, if you're looking to add a charging station to your desk, and to do so without adding clutter or a bulky tower, this is the way to go. The station is inexpensive, will protect your devices, and does exactly what you need it to do.

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