Love at first sight. It might be cliché, but there are times when I would come across an item that would utterly take my breath away, make me daydream about it and want to run out and buy it. The Bluelounge Sanctuary is one of them. In the words of the manufacturer, "the Sanctuary is a beautiful, simple solution to a real everyday problem. A place to put the multitude of personal items we all carry around so they are easily located again when later needed and, always fully charged."
So how does having the Sanctuary in my home stack up to the glowing initial impression it left on me from reading about it on the Bluelounge website? Well the folks over at Bluelounge have very generously provided DigitalReviews this opportunity. Thanks Bluelounge!
Actually I could not find words to describe it except to reliterate the words of the manufacturer. It is a beautiful and elegantly designed solution to a modern day problem. On surface it looks nothing more than a good sized container with a felt cover. An elegant and classy container admittedly, but nothing to write home about. If you happen to pick it up, it would be surprisingly heavy for what it appears to be.
Beneath the Facade
Concealed beneath the cover is a universal charger that is claimed to be compatible with over 1500 electronic devices from most major brands. Additionally an USB port is provided to allow for flexibility with devices that are not directly catered for.
The eleven supported connectors are hard wired both into the universal charger end and the connector end. There are two cable management hooks built into the tray to help keep things tidy. The hardwired cables are really not long enough to need the cable management but a self provided USB cable might.
The mains power lead is fed through a hole at the back of the unit. All I needed to do is to identify the connectors I need, feed them past the pre-cut notches on the inner tray and it is ready to go.
I have a particular habit of keeping everything I need to carry on me for the day in one spot. When I rush out the door in the morning, inevitably on the borderline of being late as I like my beauty sleep, I can grab everything quickly and bolt. At the very least I need the keys to my wheels, mobile phone and watch. The rest of what I need for a work day are in my trusty work bag which I snag along the way not unlike a F-14 tailhook picking up the #3 arrester wire on an aircraft carrier.
As my gadgets dependence grows, it is harder to keep everything tidy and close together. At last count I had chargers for my Nokia N80, a bluetooth headset (Callpod Dragon currently), a Blackberry 8100 thanks to work and an iPod. Naturally not all of these chargers would fit onto the same power board thanks to their chunkiness, so at best I have to visit two power boards to collect my gear.
From the day the Sanctuary arrived at my desk it seamlessly integrated into my daily routine. Out goes all the different chargers to be replaced by the single requirement of the Sanctuary. At the end of the day, my car key, watch, iPod and bluetooth headset goes back into the Sanctuary. Before I turn in for the night my N80 and Blackberry goes on charge, ready for another day.
Dimensions: 230mm (9") x 230mm (9") x 47mm (1.85") LxWxH
Reversible Inner Tray: Black / Tan
Weight: you won't be lugging it around.
Compatibility: Check website for full listing.
The design of the Sanctuary limits the connectors to the eleven hardwired cables and an USB port for expansion. The downside of this design is that I am limited to one connection type at any one time, two at most if I have (or purchase) an USB cable. For me who reviews gadgets for your pleasure, this can be troublesome.
For example, my Blackberry and Callpod Dragon both uses mini-USB charge ports. Lucky for me, the Dragon has a great battery life. However if I was still using my old SE mobile and bluetooth kit which uses the same charge adapter, I would be limited to sequentially charging these two items.
I would love to see a little interchangeability in the connectors. It would be nice to be able to charge "his and hers" mobiles at the same place, along with the various accessories that goes with the modern day life.
For my current purposes, the Sanctuary's clean look and seamless integration into my routine is a definite winner. I could overlook the limitations, but for the asking price, it is an expensive proposition to have two in the same abode.
The Bluelounge "The Sanctuary" is available for USD$129.95 from here in either black or white finish. Whilst you are on the website, check out the very nifty Cool Feet (amongst other little gems).