The Duracell Powermat 24-Hour Charging System (*Est. $110) is a leader in the up and coming technology of inductive charging. USB chargers operate like an electric toothbrush charger. Current travels from the charger into a connector built-in to the toothbrush charger. Chiefly because inductive charging mats have some serious drawbacks, many experts say inductive charging remains more a novelty than a practical tool. This is partly because the technology doesn't completely eliminate wires, as PocketNow.com's Joe Levi discusses in an article about inductive charging.
In spite of their quibbles, experts like the Powermat. They praise the sleek, futuristic design, and they value how simple it is to use the device. Operating while directly connected to a power source, the Powermat itself doesn't store the charge. Instead, an included portable battery stores up to 1850mA and comes with two attached cables. One of them is a USB, the other an Apple 30-pin connection. The Powermat's strongest competitor is the Energizer Qi Charging Pad (*Est. 70) . Though they are different, they have a lot in common. Both can charge multiple devices at once, have a nice, futuristic design, are simple to operate and do what they advertise.
There are important differences, however. For starters, the Powermat does not have a built-in USB port where the Qi does. The Powermat includes a portable USB battery equipped with built-in cables for dual charging, and when it comes to looks, the Powermat definitely has the Qi beat. Both devices also share the worst problem with inductive charging mats. To charge a device on the mat, it must have a connector designed to receive the mat's power. Smartphones require specialized cases, and thus far, there are only two for the Powermat. The Powermat 24-Hour Charging System ships with a case for the iPhone 4/4S, but a Galaxy S III costs extra. The Qi supports only two phones as well. Both manufacturers point out that their devices have a means to charge using USB, but that defeats the purpose of purchasing a charging mat. Nevertheless, the Powermat emerges as the narrow winner within the inductive charging mat category.