ReviewsReview of the Powermat Wireless Charging System

Review of the Powermat Wireless Charging System

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Earlier this week I went along to the UK press launch of the Powermat wireless charging system. Now I saw this at CES in Las Vegas back in January of this year, but now it is finally coming out.

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Using wireless energy transfer, Powermat pairs an ultra-thin mat with a receiver that connects to your device. All you then have to do is place your device on the Powermat and it will begin charging. You can charge up to three devices at the same time on the Powermat and the same amount of power is used for three devices as is for one device. And even better is that the devices are charged at the same speed they would have been with their own charges, and in fact sometimes even faster! So for those of us with multiple devices that always seem to be needing a charge both quickly and at the same time this is a great feature.

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As you can see from the third picture above, the iPhone receiver when attached to the iPhone really doesn’t make it much bigger, and it also acts as a protective case, and it only adds a little bit of extra weight. Although you don’t have to leave it on the iPhone all the time if you don’t want to!

You can add a fourth device for charging via a USB cable as well.

There are two different versions of the Powermat – the Powermat Home and Office and the Powermat Portable. The Powermat Portable folds up to be less than 10cm by 10cm by 3.5cm making it very small and easy to carry around with you – and it even comes with a cool carry case that is magnetically sealed! The case also contains three different plug ends for the power cable which means you can use it in other countries without the need of buying another adaptor – so well done Powermat!

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As I mentioned earlier, you use a receiver for the device you want to charge. Currently there are receivers for the iPhone, iPods, Blackberry and Nintendo DS Lite and DSi devices. There is also something called the Powermat Powercube which comes with 8 different tips including mini USB connectors that connect to devices such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson mobile phones and even the PSP!

So How Does it Work?

For those of you who might want to know exactly how the Powermat works carry on reading.

Inductive coupling transfers energy via a magnetic field from a charging circuit inside the mat to another charge circuit in the receiver which is embedded in, or attached to, the device. The uniqueness of the Powermat technology lies in its intelligent power management features.

When the mat and the device are in immediate proximity, an RFID “handshake process” evokes to identify:

  1. if there is a valid connection between the mat and the device
  2. the amount of power required, and its existing level of stored batter power
  3. which component in the mat should be activated to transfer the required power.

Then and only then does the transfer of electricity begin.

The connection is monitored at all times and the power transmission will cease once the connection is broken.

Final Thoughts

I love the Powermat, it works very well, is small and is very easy to use.

I like the reassuring sound you get when you place a device on the mat, plus that slight pull as the magnets kick in!

A nice feature of the mat is the charging lights. When you place a device on the mat, a light comes on to show it is connected and charging, when the charging is complete the light goes off. Nothing revolutionary here but its a nice feature that shows you quickly and easily the charging status of any of the devices on the mat.

Price wise the charging receivers are on par with that of a charger for the device in question.

If you travel a lot, and carry a few devices around with you then this is certainly a must for you. Mine is going to go with me from now on.

Pricing an Availability

Here in the UK the range of Powermat products will be launched next week on the 30th October and will be available from The Carphone Warehouse, Amazon and John Lewis, with more retailers expected later on.

Pricing is as follows:

Home and Office Powermat £69.99
Portable Powermat £79.99
Powercube including 8 tips (micro USB, Nokia 2mm, SE, Samsung, LG, Nintendo DS Lite, Nintendo DSi, Sony PSP) £29.99
Apple iPhone £34.99
Apple iPod Touch £34.99
Apple Dock £34.99
Blackberry Bold £29.99
Blackberry Curve 8900, 8300, 8310, 8320, 8330, 8350i £29.99
Blackberry Pearl 8110, 8120, 8130 £29.99
Nintendo DS and DSi £29.99

You can also buy this in the US – both the Home and Office Powermat and the Portable Powermat retail for $99.99 from Amazon.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edneyhttps://moviesgamesandtechcom.wpcomstaging.com
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Quote, "You can charge up to three devices at the same time on the Powermat and the same amount of power is used for three devices as is for one device. And even better is that the devices are charged at the same speed they would have been with their own charges",

    Isn't this against the basic law of Nature?

    Getting more Energy than the Invested Energy.

    • Jack

      I cant tell you exactly how it works, only that it does work and those are the exact words that were told to me by Powermat at the launch last week.

      Personally I have no way to verify the claim, but they were pretty adement that it was the case.

      Andrew

  2. I would imagine that the mat just outputs "X" amount of power when it is actively charging. If you only have one device on the pad, it just doesn't utilize the full output. 3 devices would. With one device, the extra power is simply wasted.

  3. this is the coolest thing i have ever seen it carges three device at one time using the same amoun of energy

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