Hot on the heels of some great products from GELID Solutions this year, they were kind enough to send through a Zentree Marble charging station to the DRN test bench.
I don’t know about you, but I am certainly constantly in need of powering up my gadgets. Right now I have three notebooks, an iPad, three phones, a handycam, Jabra earbuds, wireless keyboard, 2 mouses and a security camera crowding on my desk. Granted not all of them need to be plugged in at the same time, but the point is, I have a lot of stuff that requires charging.
The GELID Solutions Zentree Marble is a 4 port docking station. The marble part refers to the pattern of the base, which is not really a hunking chunk of marble, but made from an eco-friendly plastic with a pretty realistic marbling pattern.
The top of the unit is the “Zentree” – the 3D Tree Array, designed to accommodate multiple devices of varying sizes whilst they are charging. It is a 4 x 6 rows of “spikes” with the center ones being about double the height of the edge ones. There is a soft silicone rubber over the top cover piece. My one came in white, but it is also available in light grey or light pink.
Under the hood is a 4 port charger providing a total of 60W of power output. The USB ports are comprised of 2 x USB, 1 x USB-C and 1 x USB-PD. The unit comes with everything that gets you up and running quickly – 2 USB-A to micro USB, 1 USB-A to USB-C and 1 USB-C to USB-C cables.
AC power is connected at the back of the base.
The Zentree was simple to get going. The surface of the Zentree marble has two push lever points which releases the “roof” from the base. The supplied USB cables are 50cm in length and is just enough to comfortably position your device in any configuration within the Zentree forest. At the back of the unit is two cutouts allowing cables to be fed through.
At the heart of it all is a smart QuickCharge 3.0 multi-device charging system. It is designed to auto-negotiate the output voltage ranging from 3.6V to 12V in 0.2V increments. GELID claims this to be the most efficient method of quick charging and preserves the battery lifespan.
The USB-PD port supports up to 18W charging power. Across the 4 ports is a combined 60W total power output for simultaneous charging of 4 devices concurrently.
In my daily use, I have had my Google Pixel and Pixel 2XL regularly charging concurrently. My roll call of gadgets such as my MX Keys, MX Master 3, MX Vertical, Arlo cameras, MegaBOOM and Jabra earbuds are all on rotation here. The Zentree Marble has handled everything I have thrown at it so far in any combination.
It is hard to fault a good charging station, but I do have some nitpicking points which would round out the Zentree Marble nicely.
All the cables are a homogeneous white, not an issue from an aesthetics point of view. However, I have resorted to stealing one of my daughter’s hair ties to denote the USB-PD connected cable.
The second issue is the size of the USB plugs. They are chunky and look like they will survive to the end of days, but they are too chunky to work for my Arlo cameras or the MegaBOOM. I have had to resort to using another cable and coil up the excess inside the Zentree base.
Right now the Zentree sits in our designated charging area in our pantry. Master J has to put his device away for charging at night and it is easy for us to identify if they are all present. The GELID Solutions Zentree Marble ticks all the boxes. It is simple and easy to use, fast to charge. There are some minor faults but all can be fixed with minimal effort. It would be a nice touch out of the box, but it did not impact the functionality at all.
It is available from Amazon for €49.90. A small price to pay for a tidy charging area.
Dimensions (l)x(w)x(h) (mm): 224x159x95
Idle Power Consumption (W): 0.04
Max Output Current (A): 3 per Port (QC 3.0 & USB-PD modes)
Number of USB Ports: 4 (2x USB, 1x USB-C, 1x USB-PD)
Power Output (W): 60 (total)
Weight (gram): 590