The more devices I collect, the more I have to be creative about how I go about charging them without taking up precious desk space and additional ports on power strips. With that in mind, I try to go with docks that can manage to charge several devices at the same time. It cuts down on cable clutter and saves desk space for me. For example, right now, I have a small rechargeable fan, Apple Watch, Apple AirPods, fitness band, and an iPhone 7 sitting on my desk charging from a desktop charging station. Cables are strewn all over the place, which, to be quite honest, makes it hard for me to concentrate on work. I constantly want to reorganize so that everything is neat and clean. Fortunately, I have come across a charging dock that can provide a wireless charger for all your Apple devices.
The Plux Charging Dock from Vinpok is a creative option for recharging your most precious Apple mobile devices. It has charging spots for the Apple Watch, AirPods, and of course, the iPhone. It is designed as a ‘wireless’ charging dock even if the device isn’t wireless. For example, Vinpok engineers have included a wireless receiver for the AirPods so that they can also receive a charge from the inductive charging base. Sadly, they did not include the same thing for older models of iPhones and only iPhone models compatible with wireless charging can be used with this stand. With the charging stand, you have the ability to simultaneously charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods by just laying them on the charging base. The stand uses Qi wireless charging technology and with an 18W power adapter (not included) you can enjoy quick-charging speeds up to 10W of power. The stand comes in two colors — white and black — and some assembly is required.
- Input: 5V/3A 9V/2A
- iPhone Output: 5V/1.5A
- Apple Watch Output: 5V/500mA
- AirPods Output: 5V/1A
- Maximum Output: 10W
- Charging Interface: 10W
- Wireless Charging Standard: Qi (WPC)
- Dimension: 190mm x 82mm x 12mm
- Stand Size: 90mm x 76mm
- Compatibility: iPhone X/8Plus/8 and other Qi-enabled devices
My first impressions of the Vinpok charging stand were positive overall. The box it is sold in is simple in design (white with minimal writing on it) and reminds me of something Apple would come up with themselves. There is a clear image of the stand on the front of the box with just a few features listed on the front (fast charge support, multi-device wireless charging pad, and Qi wireless technology) along the bottom. When you open the box, you are greeted by the parts that make up the stand, its user manual, and a slew of inserts that don’t really seem to have a purpose — except for the diagram for wrapping the Apple Watch charging cable.
As mentioned above, there is some assembly required. The charging stand is built with the wireless charging capacitors in the charging base, but there is some work the user has to do in order for the stand to be able to charge all three aforementioned devices. One of the first things I noticed when I took everything out of the box was that you have to supply your own Apple Watch charging cable. Vinpok is very clear that a charging cable for the watch is included. In fact, on the product page for the charging stand, it specifically calls out that an Apple Watch Charger is excluded from the package. That said, I feel as though charging stands should include all the necessary materials for the user to be able to charge their devices appropriately. I don’t mind having to assemble stands, but I’m not a huge fan of having to sacrifice my spare charging cable for exclusive use in the stand.
When I sat down to put the stand together, I hit a couple of obstacles along the way. First, the cover of the base didn’t want to come off. It is held in place by plastic clips. I had to push them inward while lifting the cover-up. This was a difficult task because I ended up having to use the end of a knife to pry it open and with it being plastic, I didn’t want to take the chance that the clip would snap. Fortunately, I got the cover off without causing any damage, but it’s something to be cautious of if you invest in this stand. The second thing that tripped me up a little was the routing of the Apple Watch charging cable. Vinpok made it possible for you to wrap the entire 2m (or 1m if that’s the length you have) of the charging cable inside the case of the charging stand. It’s a little frustrating, but the diagram they provide is very helpful. I found myself having extra cable after attempting to wrap it twice. Finally, I found the instructions for wrapping a 2m cable. Once you get the cable wrapped, you snap the cover back on and mount the base to the stand — if you want to use it as a vertical stand. You can always use it as a flat tabletop charger if you so choose. I decided to mount it to the stand for more convenient use on my desk.
When it comes to the AirPods wireless conversion factor — Vinpok includes a wireless receiver that you insert into their special silicone case (included). The downside to this is that you are bound to use their case and you can’t use one of your own for your AirPods. The receiver seems to work well to charge the AirPods. According to the product specs, the AirPods will receive up to 5V/1A power delivery from the wireless charging pad. When it came to testing the charging capabilities of the stand, I opted to charge the case autonomously of the AirPods. As luck would have it, my case was sitting at 4% when I connected the wireless receiver and started charging it. Over the course of 80 minutes, the AirPod case gained 88% battery charge for a 0.9% gain per minute.
I did a similar test with both the iPhone X and the Apple Watch. The iPhone X is supposed to charge using a 5V/1.5A output charge and the Apple Watch should be getting 5V/500mA. The iPhone X received 0.17% charge per minute and the Apple Watch gained 64% after 100 minutes. Each Apple device charged well on the Plux Charging Stand, but at varying rates. The Apple Watch gained 1.56% per minute, the iPhone X gained 0.17% per minute, and the AirPods gained 0.9% per minute. I would have loved this unit more if they all charged at the same or close to the same rate. That way when one was fully charged, they would all be fully charged.
I didn’t notice much of a problem with heat collection on the charging stand with the exception of the AirPods. After charging for 27 minutes, I pulled the AirPods case from the stand to examine it. The back where the wireless receiver was located was warm to the touch. I did a quick temperature reading with my Infrared Thermometer and found that the surface was 100.4º F. After another 30 minutes, I checked it again and this time, I also used the FLIR thermal camera to detect the hottest spots on the case. At this point in time, I saw the temperature raised to 108º, but the FLIR only registered 102..7º at it’s hottest point.
The Vinpok Plux Wireless Charging Stand is a nifty device, but I think it has some kinks in it as far as design goes. It could be better engineered for more even power distribution and the design could lend itself to being more flexible with assembly. That said, it is a capable, multi-device charging stand that is affordable and made with sturdy materials.
Originally published at macsources.com on September 11, 2018.