IDAPT i4 Universal Charger Juices Multiple Smartphones at Once
The IDAPT i4 Universal Charger is a dedicated charging station capable of charging up to four mobile devices simultaneously, including an iPad tablet. It offers compelling value despite some shortcomings.
By Paul Mah, CIO
The IDAPT i4 Universal Charger, a dedicated charging station that simultaneously charges up to four mobile devices, is touted to be compatible with over 4,500 mobile electronic devices.
Its versatility revolves around the use of a unique interchangeable tip system that makes it possible to quickly install the appropriate charging tip into proprietary “sockets” on the IDAPT i4. Once in place, smartphones and gadgets can be plugged directly onto the tips for charging, eliminating the need to contend with messy cords.
The IDAPT i4 comes with three sockets that support the interchangeable tips, and are located in a triangular formation for what I presume is maximum flexibility. The default IDAPT i4 package arrives with a good assortment of six tips, which in my case consists of 2x micro-USB, 1x iPod/iPhone, 1x, mini-USB, as well as two other tips labeled as “Samsung 4” and “1x Nokia 2.”
The charging station also has an USB port on its side, into which you can plug a standard USB cable (not included) to charge a fourth device.
Setting up the system involves plugging the IDAPT i4 into the wall socket with the attached power cord, which is offered with Australian, U.K. or U.S. power cables at the point of purchase. The second and final step entails selecting and plugging the appropriate charging tip into the desired sockets on the IDAPT i4.
Installing the interchangeable tip proved to be a pretty intuitive experience as they slide into place before internal catches locks them firmly. To remove the interchangeable charging tip, simply press on the release levers on both sides of the socket simultaneously.
A power on/off toggle on the top panel allows the IDAPT i4 to be completely switched off when not in use, while individual charging lights switch from green to red when a smartphone is charging, and changes back to green once a device is fully charged.
For my needs, I chose two of the micro-USB adapter tips and the sole iPod/iPhone tip, which I used to charge a BlackBerry 9790, an HTC One X and an iPhone 4S. I’m not sure if it’s something peculiar to these devices, but none of the smartphones ever stopped charging – the LED was always red.
The IDAPT i4 basically worked as advertised to eliminate cable clutter as well as to greatly reduce the number of power outlets commandeered by chargers. It was also able to charge my first-generation iPad, though I couldn’t get my BlackBerry PlayBook (OS v2) to charge. It is unclear what the problem may be, so I would urge that you check first if you intend to use it for charging tablets.
I did find the IDAPT i4 somewhat cumbersome when plugging my smartphones into place for charging, which was doubtlessly caused by the rigid 90 degree angle of the interchangeable tips. I don’t see any way around this, except to hope that things to get easier with practice.
Finally, I really wish there was a way for all my smartphones to be orientated in the right direction for all devices (See photo below). Perhaps the company can release interchangeable tips that have charging tips that are positioned in the reverse direction – so that the appropriate tips can be chosen.
Priced at $59.99, the IDAPT i4 offers compelling value for the convenience offered, despite some of the aforementioned shortcomings. The company has also made a commitment to continuously develop new tips to ensure compatibility. Additional tips are being sold for an average price of $9.99 from the IDAPT website here.