In this day and age, we all have our fair share of electronic devices–with more variations and categories introduced into our lives every year. We use our devices for an increasing number of our personal as well as recreational tasks. These tasks range across various topics including maintaining a depository for ideas and future plans, navigating to appointments, keeping track of our schedules, and maybe even some relaxing media time. Electronics aren’t just for adults anymore either, with our children making up the fastest growing population utilizing the benefits of these devices. From phones and tablets, to cameras to laptops–there exists a never-ending train of accessories that all have one thing in common–they all need to be charged on a regular basis. This is a necessary evil that often creates a predicament for households where there are a plethora of devices that all need to be charged at the same time–not to mention the need to have outlets available for stationary items. This is the obstacle that the thingCHARGER was created to overcome.
What is the thingCHARGER?
So what is the thingCHARGER anyway, and how can it solve the dilemma of an inadequate number of available outlets to power/charge multiple devices at once?
The concept behind the thingCHARGER is simple–create a well-designed solution that expands on an existing technology/form and improves this interaction in a safe and efficient manner. The thingCHARGER does just that by introducing an affordable, well designed replacement for your typical wall outlet.
What makes the thingCHARGER unique?
At first glance, when looking at the thingCHARGER head-on it looks like a typical electrical outlet–but better. The clean form-factor design and solid build make adding one to any room an easy decision. The two sets of outlet prongs on the back make it very easy to plug into an existing outlet, while also making it extremely stable. However, the second set isn’t needed for electricity. It exists only for stability, even though both plugs are still free to be used as regular outlets. In addition to the regular outlets, there are two USB connections on the bottom of the thingCHARGER available to power your tablets and phones.
That’s all great, but the real hero is the connector on top of the thingCHARGER that makes it unique. Each thingCHARGER comes with both a micro-USB and a lightning connector, making it accessible by most devices on the market today. In addition, when you register your device online, you have the opportunity to add other connector tips, including a 30-pin connector for those older Apple devices, and only pay $3 for shipping costs. Future plans include the option of a USBC connector, as the demand for this new standard becomes more mainstream.
What about those connectors, and how do you change and adjust them?
Unplug the thingCHARGER and turn it over, and you will see two recessed areas that can hold additional charging connectors. To change or adjust the height of an installed tip, simply push on the smiley button. The ability to adjust the height of the connector allows you to leave most cases installed on your tablets and phones while charging. The grooves on the connector tips allow for precise adjustment, making it even easier to set just the way you want.
Parting thoughts and Conclusion
The thingCHARGER first caught my eye in an add I come across while browsing the internet one evening. I thought it was a solid looking, well designed device that had great potential. After using it for the last 2+ weeks, my opinion hasn’t changed in that regard. Could it be better? Sure. Are the drawbacks enough to keep me from recommending you purchase one or two for yourself? No. Having said that, I’ve always felt that an informed buyer is always a smarter buyer. Here are a few thoughts from my time with the thingCHARGER–both good and bad.
- Simple, easy to use
- Can “stack” up to three thingCHARGERS together
- No electrical experience needed to install
- Sturdy, well-designed
- Adds only a small load on any outlet. (Maximum 1/2 amp on your 110v outlet)
- Removable, not a permanent installation
- No need to have charging cord handy
- When devices are plugged into connector tip, still allows some front-to-back movement.
- Have to unplug thingCHARGER to change connector tips
- Is not compatible with GFI outlets
- Tablets need to be placed in thingCHARGER closest to the wall. Recommend using USB plug instead
- Horizontal outlets render connector tips useless
- Cheaper replacements available
- No color options
- Only replaces one cord.
How can you buy your own thingCHARGER?
To get your hands on a thingCHARGER visit their website and order 1, 2 or even 5. The more you buy, the more you save. If you buy 3, you get one free. If you buy 5, you get 2 free!
The thingCHARGER was provided for review on iPad Insight. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.