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Computerized Investing > November 3, 2012
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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

$79.99

Organize your cables and charge multiple devices simultaneously.

In today’s world, it is rare to have only a single device that requires charging with a USB cable. When I am traveling, I typically have my iPhone, Bluetooth hands-free headset, iPad and probably a few more gadgets. Each requires its own USB charging cable and an adapter and outlet in which to plug it. To accommodate the accessories and keep these items charged, I carry a ditty bag in my luggage or laptop bag. To help reign in this mass of cables and adapters, AViiQ offers a Portable Charging Station with Cable Rack System. It combines a cable management system and a USB hub, all with a single adapter. The company gave me one and I have tried it on my last couple of cross-country business trips.

Out of the Box

The system comes within a nylon carrying case that measures 10 inches by 5 inches by 1.5 inches and weighs a little more than seven ounces (less than half a pound). For a “portable” charging system, it does take up a fair amount of space in a bag. However, AViiQ has squeezed as much as it can into the case, so there isn’t any extra bulk.

Inside you’ll find a four-port USB hub, detachable 15-watt (five volts) wall charger and four-cable rack system. All of the components can be removed from the case as needed.

Setup

They say that patience is a virtue, and you have to be somewhat virtuous to get the most out of the AViiQ Portable Charging Station. It may take you a few times of winding and unwinding the cables around the individual racks to achieve an even amount on both ends. Depending on how long your USB cords are, you may find that trying to re-install the racks with cords wrapped around them can be a little difficult, as the four racks are already packed closely together.

Once you have your cords wrapped around their respective racks and plugged into the USB hub, you then connect the adapter to the hub and plug it into a wall outlet. This is where things may fall apart for you, depending on the devices you use.

As I mentioned, the charger is 15 watts/five volts. I was able to plug in and charge my iPhone 5 and iPad 2. The native Apple iPad charger is 10 watts, so I didn’t think there would be a problem. However, I was surprised that I was not able to get my Galaxy Tab 10.1 to charge. Upon closer examination of the Galaxy Tab’s charger, it says it requires five volts, but the AViiQ charger wouldn’t send any juice to it. Based on my limited experience, if you have a device that requires 5V of power or more, you probably won’t be able to charge it.

Overall

The AViiQ Portable Charging Station with Cable Rack System definitely delivers on its promise to help you organize your cables. I probably have more gadgets than the typical geek and rarely have I run across a situation when I am charging more than four USB devices at once. So, from that standpoint too, the charging station is extremely useful.

The biggest obstacles for most potential buyers are the price and device compatibility. At $79.99, the charging station isn’t cheap. But, at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s unreasonable since it helps you organize your charging cables, provides a four-port hub and includes a 15-watt power supply, all in a self-contained carrying case.

Lastly, and probably the most important, is whether the charging station can actually charge your device. If you don’t have any devices that require more than five volts of power, the AViiQ Portable Charging Station with Cable Rack System is an accessory to consider, especially if you’re a road warrior. Luckily, AViiQ also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee if you find it can’t handle your devices.

Pros

  • Self-contained cord management and charging solution
  • Four-port USB hub
  • 15-watt power supply

Cons

  • Carrying case is a bit bulky
  • Cannot charge all portable devices

AViiQ Portable Charging Station with Cable Rack System Nylon Series

$79.99 (currently $79.99 from Amazon.com)

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is the author of “Gadget Corner.” All reviews are based on firsthand experience of the product or service. No third-party compensation is received for opinions on products, services, websites or topics. However, sometimes the author is not required by the manufacturer or their PR firm to return the product under review. In such instances, it is our policy to convey this within the review. The views and opinions expressed in these reviews are strictly those of the author. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Wayne A. Thorp, CFA is a vice president and senior financial analyst at AAII and editor of Computerized Investing. Follow him on Twitter at @WayneTAAII.


Discussion

Greg Bonham from IL posted 6 months ago:

Wayne,
I enjoy reading gadget corner but i think that you could improve it by having a simple chart that lists all the previous gadgets along with the gadgets that you are currently reviewing with simple boxes that can be checked or filled in.
For example Mophie powerstation xl and NewTrent PowerPak can be compared with all previously reviewed items of a similar nature.
A simple spread sheet with boxes for how many usb ports are available, as well as the types of devices that can be charged (or their power requirments) and also prices etc.

Adding this feature would sure be beneficial to me. I would think it would help others also.
Thanks for all you do.
Greg


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