Written by Charlie Marraffa
I'm sure that many others have looked at their desks in disbelief when they see the multitude of cables beginning to slowly take over their confined work spaces. Some are for your keyboard, monitor, or any other multitude of wired devices that zig zag and criss cross your slowly shrinking personal workspace.
Many of these spaghetti strands could be eliminated through wireless enabled devices and that's partly true with your mouse, keyboard and headphones for example. To be honest though, I have tried numerous wireless devices where they have often been beset with issues such as batteries dying just as you need them or continual resets to get the transmitter speaking the same Hebrew dialect that your device only operates with.
Another technology that is looming on the horizon but has still has numerous issues is induction charging. Think of your electric toothbrush with no charging cables. You place it in its dock and it's ready to begin whirring away at your teeth day after day.
I regularly fantasize about a world devoid of the cables attached to chargers. My therapist believes that at this point it’s not a thought that consumes me in its entirety to the exclusion of everyday life. These therapy sessions have revealed that it primarily manifests itself when I have misplaced the Mini USB cable for mobile phone X, or the Micro USB cable for device Y, or the proprietary cable for device Z.
Usually I can get around these issues by going into the garage and perusing the contents of an old bedside table that has been transformed into a storage repository for transformers, chargers and cables. None are identical in voltage, current output or connector. This repository has been growing in size after accumulating all these left over relics for many years and I now realise why the price of copper is constantly rising to the point where copper theft in power and rail networks is increasingly becoming a major issue. If everyone handed in their stash of relics at the same time we could possibly create a global crash in copper prices!!
What's the solution?
I was pondering this very thought, when I was asked to review a potential salvation that could possibly end that entanglement. It's called the SynCharger Mini, however I don’t think it’s a solution to the copper prices. You can find more details on it located at the following URL link http://www.konnext.com/new/product.asp?product_id=HO-CHS-350
In case the batteries in your wireless mouse have just died, I have also copied the details below from their website
The SynCharger™ Mini
The SynCharger™ Mini is designed for daily use at the bedside table, kitchen counter, office desk, etc… A place to put the multitude of personal items we all carry around so they are easily located again when later needed and always full charged. The simple and compact design conceals a universal charger compatible with over 1500 electronic devices from most major brands to be charged and synchronized using just the SynCharger™ Mini. Users can now, charge and synchronize their cell phone, PDA, Blackberry, iPod, MP3 player, and Bluetooth headset simultaneously in one location.
The World’s first patent pending circuit design, allowing the SynCharger™ Mini to automatically select between the Sync Mode and Charge Mode to ensure the devices would be charged and synchronized without any user intervention.
~ Synchronize & Charge up to 3 devices simultaneously
~ Revolutionary Auto-Select function to select automatically between Sync & Charge mode without any user intervention
~ Compatible with over 1500 devices
~ Uses only 1 DC-AC adapter to charge up to 3 devices in one location
~ Easily locate all gadgets
~ 3 x Hi-Power USB Charging Port
~ Universal AC-DC Power Adapter
~ Includes 1 x Mini USB, 1 x Micro USB charging tip
~ Includes 2 x 300mm USB Charging Cable
~ Includes 1 x Mini USB Cable for computer connection (1m)
~ AC Input Power: 100~240V 50/60Hz
~ DC Input Power: 5Vdc ~ 2A
~ USB Version – USB Ver. 2.0 (PC, Mac Compatible)
~ USB Max. Output Power (each port): 5Vdc ~ 1A
~ Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 140 x 141 x 70mm
~ Product Weight: 363g
~ Patent Pending
Construction and package contents
I unpacked the unit and quickly read the user guide. Essentially in the centre of the moulded plastic container, there's a USB hub. The USB hub can be connected to the USB ports on the PC and this lead is supplied. The ports are clearly marked on the USB hub which in this case is USB IN. That now leaves three USB OUT ports. The package also includes a USB mini and USB micro lead but you can plug any lead that came with your device into USB hub up to a maximum of three leads. These connections could also include your printer.
This will now allow any synchronisable device you have connected to the SynCharge Mini to sync and charge. If it's not a synchronisable device, it will simply just charge.
Also included is an AC power supply with changeable AC plugs to suit numerous countries. The AC power supply provides additional current when you connected multiple devices. It will also allow the SynCharger Mini to be used as standalone charger. The moulded plastic case has a removable lid that's coated in a rubbery non slip material. This prevents your phone/s, or any other devices you have placed on the cover from moving during an earthquake and additionally prevents your devices from being scratched. When I initially saw this rubber material, I assumed that the SynCharger mini would also allow the container housing the USB port to be swiveled so you could see your phone's screen like a desktop dock / cradle. It does!!
There's a good picture of the SynCharger Mini located at the following URL which is self explanatory. http://www.konnext.com/new/demo_CHSmini.asp
As you can see, there are small cutouts around the perimeter of the lid housing. This allows you to feed the required charging cables in and out the device and then push the removable lid back down providing a neater appearance. There's also cutouts underneath the plastic housing that also allows you to route your required cables in and out of the device.
So does it deliver and will your life be complete?
My partner and I are now testing the SynCharger Mini to evaluate whether it can restore some of that domestic bliss and more aesthetically pleasing workspace that we have both been longing for. The SynCharger Mini has appeared to deliver on these expectations. My therapist also believes the recent psychodynamic therapy sessions have revealed an inner sense of contentment with my new and improved work surroundings that may be attributable to the SynCharger Mini.
Maybe I am now truly complete.
You can buy the SynCharger Mini for around 40 bucks here in Oz and the best place is at our friends 4Cabling