If you've got a mess of tangled charging cords cluttering your desktop, experts say the best solution is the Idapt Universal Charger i3. It's a sleek rectangle (4.3 inches by 6.7 inches) that plugs into the wall and sits on your desk. On top are three places to dock your USB gadgets, with six interchangeable charging tips to fit various ports -- iPod/iPhone, micro USB, mini USB, Nokia 2, Samsung 4 and Sony Ericsson 2. You can buy additional tips for $10 each. If you buy through the Idapt website you can get an i3 with four custom tips for the same price, or an i3 with a 10-tip pack (*Est. $60) that adds Nokia 1, Samsung 2, Nintendo DS-L and DC jack tips. Testers say the Idapt feels solid and charges devices efficiently, with only one minor annoyance: The charging tips aren't reversible, so your gadgets might wind up facing backwards or upside down on the dock. Experts find the Idapt simpler and more affordable than charging mats like the Powermat 2X Portable Mat and Powercube (*Est. $130) , which can charge more than one gadget at a time but require you to stick special sleeves or receivers (*Est. $30 to $35) on your phone or other device. The Idapt is available with one, two or three docking ports on the top; the i4 model has three ports on top and a USB port on the side for charging a tablet or another gadget.
CNET and The-Gadgeteer.com both fully test the Idapt Universal Charger i3, explaining its pros and cons and giving clear buying advice. TrustedReviews.com, CNET (U.K.) and SlashGear.com all test the very similar Idapt i4.
Jeff Bakalar tests the Idapt i3 with a few different gadgets and finds it an efficient, mostly convenient way to charge several USB devices at once. But a few inconveniences -- such as his HTC Evo 4G facing backward on the dock -- "keep it from being a must-buy."
Review: Idapt i3 Universal Desktop Charger (Black), Jeff Bakalar, July 1, 2010
Andy Chen likes the way the Idapt i3 cuts charging clutter, and the interchangeable tips let you switch the types of devices you can charge. However, the tips aren't reversible, so the device you're charging might wind up facing backwards.
Review: Idapt Universal Multi-charger Review, Andy Chen, March 25, 2010
The Idapt i4 wins TrustedReviews.com's Recommended award. Its clean design, solid build and interchangeable tips make it the best choice in its class, although extra tips can drive up the price. This review covers the Idapt i4, which is just like the i3 but with an additional USB port on the side.
Review: Idapt i4 Multi-device Charging System Review, Gordon Kelly, Dec. 25, 2010
4. CNET (U.K.)
Compared to the other wireless chargers in this test, the Idapt dock is simple and less expensive -- but also ugly, Flora Graham says. Like others, she finds it irritating that some gadgets wind up facing upside-down, backwards or sideways on the dock.
Review: Wireless Charger Group Test: Gadget Power Unplugged, Flora Graham, March 31, 2010
The Idapt charging dock comes with six different tips -- one for iPhone, one mini USB, etc. -- but Chris Burns points out that if you need different tips, you'll have to pay $10 each for them.
Review: Idapt i4 Universal Charging Station Review, Chris Burns, May 28, 2011