Quick Look: ChargeTech’s Dual-USB Port 24W Charger for iPad

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  I wrote about the ChargeTech 24W charger a few months ago. It sounded really promising because of its double USB ports for charging an iPhone and iPad simultaneously, and the 24W output was surprising despite its diminutive size. The ChargeTech is not quite as small as Apple’s own 5W iPhone charger, but it’s definitely smaller than carrying around a 12W iPad charger (which only has a single USB port).

ChargeTech has been emailing me recently with some significant Holiday discounts, but this has only served to remind me how disappointed it has been to deal with them as a company. I ordered two chargers from their website on July 20, and two weeks went by without my receiving any shipping information. I contacted ChargeTech’s support on August 3 and received a reply the next day: Sorry, but we’ve had a delay in shipments and it will be another 3–4 weeks.

I decided to wait for the order instead of cancelling it, but I look up ChargeTech’s reviews on Amazon.com. I was concerned by the number of complaints about quality control. People were saying that their chargers were breaking off right at the prongs within days or weeks of receiving them, and some of them were just DOA. This was concerning, but I hoped that it was simply a vocal minority because 83% of the 280 Amazon reviews are 5-star ratings.

I finally received my chargers in late September, nearly two months after ordering them from ChargeTech’s website. The good news is that the device actually feels quite good in-hand. The sides are slightly matted, the prong flips away for easy storage, and the two USB ports have lights beside them to indicate charging. I can easily fit two Lightning cables side by side for charging both of my iOS devices at once, and the angled cutaway near the prongs makes it easy to use the ChargeTech at crowded AC sockets.

Unfortunately, only one of the two chargers I ordered is still in working condition. The second one, which my dad was using as a home charger, broke within 10 days or receiving it. The prongs came right off when he removed the ChargeTech from the wall socket. My dad is fairly careful with his tech to begin with, and the ChargeTech was really only transferred from socket to socket every few days, so it didn’t seem like wear and tear — we’ve literally never had any other charger from any company break this quickly. This really seemed like a quality control issue.

We contacted ChargeTech on September 27 and told them about the issue, and they offered us a coupon for a free order with free shipping. The coupon only offered free shipping to the US (and we’re in Canada), but that was understandable. The real issue is that ChargeTech gave more bad news about shipping delays and — as of December 17 — still has not sent any shipping notifications for our warranty replacement ordered on September 27.

I should mention that my other ChargeTech charger is still in working condition and I haven’t seen any signs of it starting to break. It is a useful little accessory, and there does seem to have been some good thought placed behind its design. But it’s hard for me to forget how awful the support around the product is. If you’re unlucky enough to get a ChargeTech that doesn’t work properly — or if you experience issues down the line — be prepared to wait a long time for a replacement.

As such, I really can’t recommend buying this charger. I’m happy that mine works for now, but I’ve really put an undue amount of effort into tracking and bugging the support team about a $20 dual-USB charger. I’d suggest sticking to an Apple charger or something from Anker.


Thomas

My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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