Over the last year I have grown incredibly spoiled when I travel because I no longer need to pack a tangle of “spaghetti”; instead, I bring along a set of Gomadic Charging Cables. The same single cable charges my PDA, mobile phone and digital music player. It can charge Sarah’s phone and Sarah’s digital music player, too; all it takes is the proper tip for each particular device.
For those unfamiliar with Gomadic, I’ll state the premise in a nutshell: They sell cables with plugs on their ends which will accept their specially made tips; these tips fit many of today’s popular consumer mobile devices. Gomadic’s “Tip Exchange Technology” means that the same cable can be used for years – and as devices are added to the user’s collection, new tips can be purchased to swap out with the old.
At first glance swappable tips may not seem like that big of a deal, unless you have been buying mobile devices for a few years. If that’s the case, then you’ve noticed how even though some manufacturers have started using a standard mini USB, there are still many others using proprietary charging connections. Therefore different devices can’t share the same charging cables…which leads to multiple chargers needed when traveling, or multiple chargers lying on the desktop.
Recently, Gomadic announced a new twist to their already clever cable design, they are now offering double-headed chargers, which means twice the charging power from a single outlet. A good thing just got even better!
There are two versions available, one for wall charging and one for car (or airplane) charging. Let’s take a look…
Theis dual-voltage, so it works with both foreign and domestic outlets (100-240 Volts AC). According to Gomadic, “Advanced internal circuitry prevents [the] device from power surges, overcharging, and short-circuiting” which is good because they also say that while “most wall chargers are rated at 5 vdc @ 500 mA of power, Gomadic’s new Dual Chargers are rated at 5 vdc @ 2000 mAh delivering safe surge-free power to two devices in less than half the time.”
Two benefits immediately stand out about this particular charger. The first is that it plugs in vertically so it won’t take up more than its allotted? inch on a power strip – unlike those fat horizontal strip-hogs; the second is that the cables are a generous five feet long, so that there is plenty of length for running the cable from the floor up to a desktop.
According to the website, “the Dual Wall Charger was meant to be a permanent fixture in your home or workspace,” but I guarantee I’ll be bringing it along on trips. It’s rare that I travel anywhere with less than one device, and being able to charge them both at the same time will be awesome!
For car trips, the Double Car Charger will come in very handy. How often have you been on the road, needing to charge both yours and the spouse’s mobile phone? Well, now you can – with the same charger. I’ll also use this on long flights when I need to recharge both my PDA and mobile phone at the same time; I wish I had had it on my recent trip to Thailand!
Each of the car charger’s tightly coiled cables measures approximately 17″ when retracted and roughly double when stretched. It has a red LED located at the charger base base to indicate power. The car charger adapter fits the cigar lighter or power port in both foreign and domestic vehicles (12-24VDC), and according to the Gomadic site, “advanced internal circuitry prevents device from power surges overcharging and short-circuiting.”
The way to place an order is to select a tip that will fit the first device; which in my case would be the i-mate JasJar. Once the first device’s tip has been selected, a page comes up showing the choices for a second device. My Mobile phone is a Samsung A900 (Blade), so if I select that tip I’ll have my set. Sarah’s Phone is the LG Fusic and she still has an iPod, so I’ll need tips for those; once my Zune comes in, I’ll need yet another tip for that. But the same cables will work with every one of our electronic items.
Now here’s where it gets even better: they also offer USB sync and charge cables that use the same “Tip Exchange Technology”.
I call that brilliant.
The Gomadic Double Chargers are available directly from the manufacturer.
MSRP: $34.95 for the double wall charger, and $29.95 for the double car charger. Each charger comes with two user specified tips. Additional tips can be ordered for $4.95 each.
What I Like: One set of cables with tips to fit almost every portable electronic device, additional tips may be purchased separately, and Gomadic offers a on all parts, and you should .
What Needs Improvement: Nothing