How Do I Choose a Charging Station?

The number of digital devices now available mean that your typical household has much more than one or two smartphones to charge. Tablets, laptops, e-book readers, and smartwatches all need to be charged regularly. And depending on how many of these devices you and your family own, keeping them charged can be tricky, if not messy. Misplaced chargers and USB cables are a common problem, but even if you create a dedicated space to charge all your devices, you still end up with multiple chargers crowding a single power strip.

Charging stations are a better solution, but it is important to know what to look for before choosing a charging station for your home or office.

Number of Ports

The number of ports included should be at the top of the list of things you look at when choosing a charging station. You’ll find charging stations with anything from two to ten ports. While the idea of being able to charge up to ten devices at once is appealing, you should still be guided by how many devices you expect or want to charge at once.

Power

Charging stations usually provide between 1A and 2.4A of power per port. This is an important feature to look at. 1A is sufficient for most smartphones, but bigger devices–such as tablets–will charge faster with 2A, 2.1A, or 2.4A. The best charging stations have all ports supporting 2.4A but automatically detect the optimum amount of power needed for each connected device.

USB Connector Types

With so many different devices available, it is important to ensure you have the correct cables to suit. For years, USB Micro-B and USB Mini-B alongside Apple’s Lightning connector were the primary connector types. As technology advances so do the cables required with nearly all modern devices migrating to the USB-C connector to facilitate super fast charging speeds and increased data transfer rates.

Most charging stations will exclusively feature USB-A ports as this is the most common connection, however there are more and more charging stations starting to utilise a mix of both USB-A and USB-C as demand for the combination increases.

Portability

Now that you know what the most important features of charging stations are, you’ll find it easier to avoid focusing on how the charging station looks. Allowing you to choose a charging station that meets all your needs, instead of choosing one that looks great but takes much longer to charge all your devices.