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Callpod Chargepod Review

Callpod Chargepod
MSRP $3,995.00
“It gives a centralized location for refueling all your portable devices and it dramatically cuts down on charging cable clutter.”
Pros
  • Eliminates cable clutter; saves space; charges up to 6 devices at once
Cons
  • Adapters are extra; a tad bit expensive

Summary

Callpod, a power-hungry technology company operating out of Chicago, recently released the Chargepod, a lightweight, portable, highly customizable charger that can charge upwards of six devices at one time. They’ve caught the attention of gadget lovers everywhere, and rightly so. The Chargepod is a simple little device that solves a common problem. Find out more about the Chargepod and why you may want one.

Features and Design

The Callpod Chargepod is a thin, circular charging hub that offers six charging ports for countless variations of devices like cell phones, PDAs, portable gaming devices, MP3 players, etc…The hub itself is no thicker than a Motorola RAZR phone (roughly 3/4" thick) and can easily fit in the palm of one’s hand. The Callpod Chargepod is made of shiny, silvery molded plastic and looks very fitting next to a MacBook Pro or one of the new Apple iMacs. It does not, however, connect to a PC, so anyone can use it no matter what OS they prefer.

The Callpod Chargepod’s power adapter – the one that plugs in to the electrical outlet – is about three to four times the mass of the hub itself. It’s a little larger than one would expect, but it’ll easily fit into laptop bags, purses, carry-on luggage, etc. Luckily, the thin charging cord is just over 6 feet long, so you can plug in the wall unit far away and forget about it.

As mentioned above, the hub has six outbound charging ports, each of which accepts a proprietary mini-USB-style cable. These cables/connectors, while proprietary on one side, have the most common charging heads for today’s devices on the opposite ends. You’ll find universal mini-USB, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola/blackberry, LG, standard USB, and plenty of other charging connectors available through the Chargepod section of Callpod’s website. All these charging adapters mean that you’ll rarely find a modern device that can’t be charged from the Callpod Chargepod.

Because I’m a gadget magnet, I have plenty of devices to keep charged all the time. I typically wind up with USB charging solutions, which I really like. The only downside to this is the fact that all my USB ports get taken up charging things instead of being available for external drives, printers, and more. The Callpod Chargepod frees my USB ports for actual computing use.

Included with the Callopd Chargepod are a base station (the charging hub itself), power cable, carrying pouch, and user manual. You’ll have to buy all the various charging adapters separately, which seems to be the only real drawback to the whole Callpod Chargepod system. The Callpod Chargepod is about $39.95 USD for the charging hub. The charging hub AND adapters start at a custom pricing of $49.95 USD. Adapters cost roughly $9.95 when purchased à la carte, though Callpod’s website has some promotional offerings that allow you to get one or more adapters for free. Because we all have different gadgets to charge, it’s really best for each person to custom-configure his or her Chargepod setup. In short, device and prices may vary.

Chargepod
The Callpod Chargepod in action

Setup & Use

The Callpod "Chargepod" is one of those devices that’s so easy to set up and use that it could nearly be guaranteed as idiot-proof. Unbox the Chargepod, plug the wall adapter into the wall, and plug the opposite end of the power adapter into the larger mini-USB port on the Chargepod. The Chargepod’s lights illuminate to let you know it’s on and ready to charge. Plug in any one of the numerous charging adapters into the Chargepod and connect your phone, PDA, or other device into the adapter. Your device will begin charging immediately.

That’s it — that’s the entire beautiful simplicity of using the Callpod Chargepod.

If you want to use the Callpod Chargepod in your car, Callpod sells a DC (cigarette lighter) adapter for $19.95 USD.

Conclusion

The Callpod Chargepod is a great little accessory for all your phones, PDAs, headsets, mp3 players, etc. It’s easy to carry when traveling, it gives a centralized location for refueling all your portable devices and it dramatically cuts down on charging cable clutter. It’ll free up USB ports on your computer and it’ll liberate AC plugs in your home or office. It’ll even work in your car.

While $49.95 USD may sound like a lot for the basic configuration of a simple charging device, the real value becomes evident when you are able to charge all your devices from one single location, using one single outlet.

Pros:

• Eliminates cable clutter
• Saves space and mess
• Charges up to 6 devices at once

Cons:

• All adapters sold separately
• A little expensive for a charger

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Tomczak
Former Digital Trends Contributor
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