Review: Just Mobile AluCharge multi-port USB charger
The struggle is real. Call it a first-world problem, call it an unfortunate inevitability of modern living, but the fight for charging ports is never-ending. There was a time in my house when the two USB ports built into a wall outlet in my kitchen were enough to keep us powered, but now that we have three family members using iPhones, one with an iPod touch solely for gaming purposes, and a fifth who’s currently addicted to watching the one true Spider-Man on the iPad mini, those two charging cables in the kitchen are no longer enough.
This is where a device such as Just Mobile’s AluCharge becomes essential. Via a single wall outlet, it provides simultaneous charging for up to four USB devices—provided you’ve got your cables ready; Just Mobile trusts that you’ll be bringing your own.
This is fine, since your device surely came with one anyway, but also in that the different length cables you likely have will allow room for the the four devices to rest comfortably around the AluCharge.
The block itself is only 0.72 inches thick and weighs just shy of six ounces. This is great for portability, other than that the included power cord is as unwieldy as you’d expect a five foot power cord to be. At least Just Mobile is kind enough to provide a Velcro wrap to keep it nice and tidy. The light weight also hurts functionality a bit in that the lack of grippy padding means it will slide around the desktop as you’re inserting and removing cables.
And while I’m making minor gripes, I wish there was some sort of LED to indicate which devices are drawing power and which ones aren’t. Without them, you just have to check your device to see if it’s done charging.
But that’s it for my complaints, as everything else about the AluCharge is fantastic. The sturdy aluminum construction is a perfect match for the current Apple design aesthetic. The 100V-240V input is ready for wherever your travels may take you, provided you’ve got the right converter.
Best of all, however, is the “intelligent” charging it provides. As Just Mobile explains it on their site:
AluCharge’s unique smart IC auto-detects device’s charging requirement and allocate optimal current for each device’s charging state. The overall goal is to provide optimal current so all devices can be charged up as quickly as possible.
In other words, if our iPhones are around 80% and the iPad mini is at 12%, the AluCharge will direct more power to the iPad mini to speed up its charge. We can all get back to Candy Crush Saga, Madden Mobile, and Fire Emblem Heroes at a fair pace.
So Here It Is
If you’ve got many devices that need a USB charge, you’ve likely also got many ways to charge them. But if you’d like to keep everything in one handy place and not have to turn on your Mac to provide a charge, the Just Mobile AluCharge is a convenient, intelligent, attractive way to make sure that everyone is powered up on equal footing. We fully recommend the AluCharge for active, connected families.