In order to test the Powermat Portable Mat properly we arranged for two iPhone 3G/3G S receivers. This configuration allowed us to completely fill the Powermat’s charging pads and also to place a fourth device into the mix as well. Our results were impressive to say the least. We used the following for testing
2x 16GB iPhone 3G S phones using Powermat receivers
1 x 1st Gen iPhone using the Power Cube
1 iPod Classic 80GB using the USB charging port
To measure the draw from the wall we used a P3 International Kill A Watt EZ P4460
We found that when we loaded up the Powermat with four devices [three on the pad and one on the USB port] we were pulling roughly 24 watts from the wall while all the devices were actually charging. Once the two iPhone 3G S were charged this dropped down to 11 watts, while the complete charging of the 1st Gen iPhone reduced this further to 5 watts. Once the iPod Classic was charged we still saw a draw of about 3 watts from the wall. Removing the iPod reduced this down to a single watt being drawn from the wall. This would indicate that either the Power Cube is not as efficient as the tailored receivers or that the 1st Gen iPhone still needs that 1 watt trickle to keep the charge at 100%.
Charging times were around the same as using the standard wall chargers and faster than USB charging by a few minutes. Like I said that is impressive given that a typical charging block will continue to pull between 2-3 watts from the wall even when nothing is plugged in. So by simply using the Powermat I was saving 8-24 watts of power. Value -
I have said it before, Value is a subjective concept. I will admit that when I first saw the Powermat products in the stores I openly balked at the $100 price tag for the mat
and the $30 [For Blackberry]
- $40 [For Apple]
price for the receivers. It simply was not worth it to me; so after a quick look, I walked on. Now having had the chance to try the Powermat and its technology I have a very different opinion. I underestimated the convenience and power saving that the Powermat brings to the table. If you consider the efficiency of the Powermat and the amount of power it can save you the value becomes more apparent. So in this case I can say that they $100 [+$30-$40 per receiver] is more than worth it for households with multiple phones and devices. Conclusion -
When I first approached the Powermat I already had a negative opinion of the device and its technology. Even after the great treatment they showed us at CES 2010. I felt that perhaps the product was out of line with the price and it was more fad than function. After spending a couple of weeks using the product and having a free counter, I can say that my mind has been changed 100%. The price is not cheap, but it is worth it to be able to cut the cords and for the power savings that we saw. Powermat took an idea from over 100 years ago and have worked it into a very viable and useful product for today’s increasingly portable world. We are happy to give the Powermat Portable wireless charging mat both our Editor’s Choice for Mainstream gear and our Innovation award for Home Entertainment.
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