Channel 5

Powermat

Tuesday 03 November 2009

G-Rating

Rating of 3

The basics

The Powermat sounds like the answer to many a gadget fan’s prayers – a way to juice your gizmos… without wires! What witchcraft is this? Just slip a special jacket onto your gadgets and place up to three devices on the mat and watch them fill up with power. There’s a fold-up travel version as well as a version for the home.

The good

There’s no denying that the Powermat is one of those bits of kit that makes you gasp. Just pop down three gadgets and they’ll begin to charge, despite the lack of plugs, via some alchemy known as magnetic induction. Powermat uses the same charging technology as the Touchstone Palm Pre accessory, but the twist here is that there's just one charging station to rule them all. Powermat wants to offer slip-on cases for every mainstream gadget from phones to cameras, so that they can all suckle on the mat’s wireless energy. The cases on offer (BlackBerry Curve and Bold, iPhone and iPod touch and Nintendo DS Lite/DSi) work just as advertised, and are cleverly tweaked to shut off when the battery is full.

The bad

It’s the need for these magic cases that prove to be the Powermat’s undoing. Not only are the cases limited in range (the company says Nokia is high up on its priority list), but they’re expensive at around £30 a pop and, in the case of the iPhone, so enormous that you wouldn't leave them on out of the house, making the whole set up no more convenient than a regular wall plug. Powermat’s solution for as-yet supported gadgets is perplexing too – it’s selling a Powercube accessory that comes with nine different charging tips to cover most phone manufacturers, but you’ll be left wondering why it’s worth 30 notes when you still have to plug your handset in.

The bottom line

The Powermat could flourish in time – and the company wants to upscale to netbooks and laptops. If it can reduce the size and price of the cases for a wider array of gear, it’ll only get better. Right now though, £160 to wirelessly charge three items is a bit too much to ask.
Buy now on Currys

Powermat is tagged with powermat and wirless charging. Select a tag (powermat, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (4)

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Gary Hadfield

Looks like a useful site....

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AdamSegarty

I got my powermat in the US and am using a power adapter with it, i can honestly say it is a great gadget! Friends are amazed by it when you show them how it work, it makes charging a doddle and it looks so high tech. Worth every cent!

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Joshua Jones

I realy want one of these for christmas but my parents wont buy me one im very very mad though :@ thanks for reading. : )

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nick

i got a powermat and 2 pads both of which need the adapters as they dont do the propper pads for galaxy s and htc wildfire phones so it kinda defeats the object especially with the adapter plugs hanging out far from the phones ,,, i have moded mine to take just normal charger size plug by cutting plugs of my proper chargers and plugs of the pads and soldering wires together and taping and hiding in the pads cable tidy so looks ok now , plugs sticking out still but not as far as if was using the adapters, plus ive put the pads adapter and orig plug on my normal phone chargers now so they still work as well !!!!!! cool carnt complain .

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