Kanex Sydnee Smart Recharge Station for iPad Review

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Our new computer lab will be ready for our students when they return this fall. That means our pre-school will have four or more iPads and our grade school students will, eventually, have access to a dozen or more iPads. That’s all good and well except for the fact that all those iPads need to be recharged. Sure we could get a power strip and put AC adapter and cable after AC adapter and cable into it but that would be bulky, ugly and inconvenient. The alternative would be a multi-iPad charging station. A few exist but most are big and expensive. That’s where the Kanex Sydnee Smart Recharge Station For iPads comes in.

While the MSRP of $149 might seem a bit high, the Sydnee will not only charge four iPads at once but it builds in a layer of protection to ensure that the tablets charge SAFELY. Add in the extra benefit of flexibility (more on that in a moment) and the Sydnee is a great solution for our school… or for a multi-iPad or multi-device home. Let’s take a look.

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From Kanex:

1 Cord, 4 Ports, 2.1A Each: With Sydnee at your desk, you can recharge up to 4 iPads or iOS devices simultaneously. Each individual USB port pumps out 2.1 Amps of power for quick charging.

Recharge with Confidence: As a central charging system, recharge all your iOS devices with confidence. Sydnee’s Auto detect smart charge allows for optimum supply of power needed adequately to charge the iOs devices.
Smart Mess, Smart Charge: With no tangle and no mess – your cable clutter is simplified without compromise through Sydnee’s intelligent design. With the cable management provided all cables stay neatly concealed, comfortably holding up to three iPad’s and an iPhone.

Revolutionary Design: Sydnee’s sleek, modern style adds interest to any room. Whether placed in the living room for entertainment or in the bedroom for privacy, Sydnee’s aesthetics and eye-catching design says it all.

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Let me get this out of the way up front. The Sydnee does let you “recharge with confidence” and it does present you with 4 Ports of 2.1A each while only requiring a single AC outlet. All that is true. Where the description falls short in my opinion is in the area of “Revolutionary Design”. While the company describes the Sydnee as having a “sleek, modern style that adds interest to any room” I would describe it as “awesome in its functionality and its relatively small footprint” but NOT in its design. No, I would not describe it as cool-looking or sleek.

It does what it promises and that is more than enough for me and more than enough reason for me to recommend it you others but as far as its good looks go… I’m not sure I would push its appearance as one of its key selling-points. Sorry Kanex!

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What IS a key selling point? This:

Short-circuit protection built-in: Each DC output comes with a circuit protection, which actively conditions the DC outputs. In the event of power surge or spike, the outputs will cause no damage to the power charger. The unit will automatically recover and function normal as soon as the short condition is removed.

Fuse protection: The fuse inside the power charger will initiate when the AC input current is over the rated current of fuse. This Fuse protection will cause switching power charger to fail.

Over voltage protection: The output also manages the over voltage protection. When the main feedback control circuit fault occurs, the power charger will activate over voltage protection to protect the whole system from failing.

Think about it. If four iPads are plugged in there is at least $2000 worth of tablets drawing power from a single plug. In such a situation you WANT and NEED the power to be protected lest you have a tech-nightmare on your hands. The Sydnee offers just that. But there is more.

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The Sydnee is designed to fit iPads while still protected inside the majority of cases. (This is a great thing since each of our iPads is protected in one of Kensington’s security cases. ) Moreover, while the system provides each individual USB port with 2.1 amps and comes with 3-USB cables so you can instantly begin charging iOS devices, you can also charge a Kindle or just about any other device so long as you have the proper USB cable. That is a great thing since even households like mine have devices other than iOS tablets and phones.

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And as the FAQ page replies to the question “Can I use Sydnee in the lab or classrooms where we require heavy-duty use out of the iPads?”

Yes, the whole purpose of Sydnee is to provide the convenience of recharging the iPads or iOS devices at virtually any workspace to get you the full productivity everyday through rapid charging.

Perfect for my school’s needs isn’t it!

And while the Sydnee does not have any indicators to show when the charge is full, when the iPad or iPhone is fully charged it will not draw or send any more power to the devices.

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And there is one more thing that has me fairly enamored with the Sydnee — the USB plugs. As you know, Apple is expected to announce a new, smaller dock connector. That means all the current cables will be useful unless they have an adapter. This is not an issue with regard to the tablets we already own but, going forward it would be were the cables permanently affixed to the Sydnee. Thankfully this charging station is BYOC (Bring Your Own Cable). Yes, if you want to charge a device with the new Apple dock connector you simply unplug one of the USB cables and plug in the new one. In other words, the Sydnee is future-proofed. That’s a good thing since the station has an MSRP of $149.

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The Kanex Sydnee Smart Recharge Station For iPads comes with three USB cables and works with a multitude of mobile devices. While I can’t get excited about its appearance I do like the functionality, the power-protection and the flexibility it offers. It is the multi-device charger I have been looking for! You can learn more here.

MSRP: $149.00

Get it in White for under $130 here in our Affiliate Store.

Get it for under $130 in black

What I Like: Charges four devices; Offers great power protection; Future proof; Lets iPads stay in most cases; Comes with three iOS cables; Charges non-iOS devices too

What Needs Improvement: Doesn’t look nearly as great as the company would like to think; No indicator light when devices are charged

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.