Charging your devices is something just about everyone has to deal with. We all have phones, cameras, tablets, and more that all seem to constantly need to be replenished. When it comes to chargers, there always seems to be an endless array of options, that all seem to be variations on similar designs. thingCHARGER, is a new product that builds a multi-device charging dock right into your outlet.
thingCHARGER is small rectangular box, the same size as a traditional US wall outlet. It allows you to charge 2 USB devices as well as dock a phone or tablet right on your wall. It plugs in snuggly to any non-GFI outlet, and extrudes maybe an inch or so from the wall. On the bottom of the box are two USB outlets, and on the top is a protruding adapter where you can dock your phone or tablet. The adapter even has variable heights so it can work whether or not you are sporting a case. Conveniently, you can also store 2 additional tips around the back if you have to alternate between lightning and micro USB.
When you first open your thingCHARGER you are greeted by the smiling logo and a paper advocating for you to activate your warranty. If you head to their website, you register your device to extend your warranty from 6 months, to a lifetime, get a free adapter tip (that you still must pay shipping on), and a chance to win a MacBook or ChromeBook. Unfortunately this process went a little slow for me, but I did make it through.
To setup your thingCHARGER, it is as simple as choosing the correct adapter for your device, and inserting it into the top. Then you can plug it into any standard outlet. What I thought was really unique was the ability to stack the thingCHARGER. As long as it feels sturdy, you can stack up to 3. Allowing you to charge 3 docked devices at once. In an effort to keep everything stable, it is best to dock any large devices, like an iPad, towards the wall.
As far as adapters go, they have Lightning, micro USB, and even 30 pin for older Apple devices. Each adapter has a series of ridges on the front and back. These ridges control how high the adapter sits, so that you can use the thingCHARGER while having a case on your phone. This was a great feature that will open this up to many more people.
On the downside, I did find that the grip wasn’t super strong at keeping the adapter at its preferred height. When I removed my phone it would often dislodge and go up to the maximum height, then back down again when I reaffixed my phone. This isn’t a major problem, but was a bit annoying and made a clicking noise when it happened.
The biggest problem I ran into with thingCHARGER was something I didn’t expect. Turns out, I don’t have many outlets to use this on. Most outlets are behind a bedside table, or under the kitchen cabinets. That didnt really give me the option to dock my device. I thought maybe this would be perfect for the bathroom! Next to my sink I have my razor and electric toothbrush. How nice would it be to add an iPhone dock there. Well, all my bathroom outlets are GFI outlets which means the two sockets are just too far apart to use with thingCHARGER.
- Swappable tips
- USB ports
- Built-in adapter storage
- The tips had a tendency to move up and down easily
- Must buy additional tips if they get lost
Many other companies have developed outlets with USB ports. Whether in the center, or on the top/bottom. This is the first I’ve found that has 2 USB ports as well as a dock integrated into an outlet. While I wish it would maybe work with GFI switches, I really enjoy having a dock always available. I don’t need to fret about where my charging cable is.
If you have an outlet or two where the thingCHARGER would work, this could be a necessary addition to your home or office. At $43 on Amazon, it isn’t one of the cheapest docks, but it is one of the most original.