Why Powermat Fails

   October 21st, 2009

So lately I have been bombarded with these “Wirelessly Charge Your Shit!” ads from Best Buy for a product called “Powermat”.  So I did some looking in to it and decided it is one big ass bucket of fail.  They claim it to be convenient, an energy-saving, and neater.

First off, lets take a look at convenience.  They say this because you won’t have to plug in your devices.  You just set them on the mat, and it charges via electromagnetic induction.  Well, that may be true, except they leave out this fact in the commercial… there are only Powermat cases that attach to devices for 8 devices.  Yup… unless you own 1 of those 8 devices, you get to use the Powermat “Tip”.  The “tip” is a white hunk of plastic that you plug in to your device’s USB port when you want to charge it.  Wait… what?   So you still have to plug in your phone to charge it?!  Oh, and it must remain perfectly seated ON the powermat, WHILE it is plugged in?  SERIOUSLY?!?!  What kind of fail is this?  So let me make sure I have this right.  To use the powermat with my HTC Fuze, I would have to plug in the “tip” and set my phone on the mat, and leave it there.  That means I can’t pick my phone up and use it while it is charging.  How the fuck is that convenient?  That sounds like a pain in my ass to me!  I frequently use my phone while it is plugged in and charging, whether it is playing games, watching videos, surfing the web, or talking on it.  The powermat would prevent me from doing any of those things.

Next, they claimed it saves energy by shutting off when you’re not using it.

I quote from this AidsTube video:

“…you’re also using a lot of power especially when the products are not being charged, you know, nobody really unplugs their stuff “

Ole Ron claim that leaving your chargers plugged in is using energy.  Well, this claim sounded like pure bullshit to me, so I tested it.  Here is a picture of my HTC Fuze charger plugged in to a Kill-a-Watt power meter, showing how much energy is being used when my phone is not plugged in to it.  Get ready for this… it may surprise you:



So yes folks, the powermat will save you absolutely no energy. If there is nothing plugged in to these chargers, they use 0 watts of power.  Who would’ve thunk it?

And finally neater… well I could almost buy this, except that now instead of your 1 wire to charge 1 device, you have to have 1 wire to power the mat, the powermat itself, and the special tip for your device.  How does going from 1 item to 3 qualify as neater?   Oh yeah, it doesn’t.  It’s just another bullshit false claim from Powermat.

Oh yeah, and did I meantion that the Powermat will set you back $100, plus another $30 to $40 for a special case for your device if you own one of the lucky 8 devices?  Sure, if you have a device that doesn’t have a case like mine, it’s only $100 since it comes with the tips.  That’s $100 for a charger, that is less conveniant then a traditional charger, saves you no energy, and is messier.  Let me get my wallet out right now.

Thanks assholes, but I think I’ll save my hard earned money and spend it on something more worthwhile like hookers and blow.

Now, I am not knocking the TECHNOLOGY behind the Powermat.  I think it is damn cool.  Electromagnetically induced energy has great potential, but this implementation of it just doesn’t work.  Maybe one day all of our little gadgets will have this technology built in, and we will just set them on our desk and they’ll charge by themselves… but until then, stay clear of this product.  It is nothing but a rip off.

Update:  Still need more convincing?  My buddy Chris pointed me to this review on ZDnet.  How the cordless Powermat charging system took my iPod Touch hostage.  So for $40 you get a very poorly designed case, and the reviewer also mentioned a lot of the same inconveniences I did.  Glad I am not the only person who sees the failure oozing from this product.

10 Responses to “Why Powermat Fails”

  1. Rick  Says:

    You are totally right man, I thought this would make a sweet christmas gift for myself. Then after the research I found that it was a hunk of shit. Who says being skeptical is a bad thing?

  2. Mike  Says:

    agreed, seen the commercial so i was skeptical, found out you need a stupid case for device to be charged, what a crock of shit, otherwise you have to use a cord. Wasn’t the point of this product not to use a cord? I don’t know if its just me, but this idea just seems plain retarded.

  3. Tuan  Says:

    Thank you, this is exactly what I am thinking. Wireless charging is cool and has been out for a long time, I remember having an electric toothbrush that wirelessly charges. But spending $140 on a pretty much a flat dock is pointless, I’d rather buy an iHome speaker system.

  4. D.Schaeffer  Says:

    Total decieving rip-off. I bought the 1XA for my touch and I now have to buy a seperate case to fit it. On the picture on the front of the package there is a IPod touch in it. What the hell? Now I have to spend another $30.00 to make this work. Wow, I find it amazing how companies can downright LIE and practice false advertising and it’s perfectly o.k. If you or I would do this, We’d be prosecuted. I’m really angry and am begging everyone to PLEASE ban this product.

  5. Nick - Author Comment:

    There you have it people. Straight from someone who owns one. The Powermat Fails, just as I suspected.
    Luckily Powermat has curtailed their massive ad campaign, so we’re no longer subjected to their Fail while trying to watch TV.

  6. john  Says:

    This is so true this is the worse gadget i ever came across, & I’m a gadget guy. It sucks, they promised a system for the Blackberry still waiting after 2 year, my phone died for gods sakes. I guess i will have to wait another six for the droidx,

  7. Mike  Says:

    Taking it back to Walmart what a bunch of Bullshit. Totally mis-leading. Powermat = Total fail.

  8. keith  Says:

    Alright guys a lot of negative responses here and a lot of valid points, only setup for certain devices, have to use a tip if you don’t have one, yeah I get all that but I will say having a compatible phone (mytouch 4g slide) and buying the powermats from best buy’s online store (I bought the blackberry 9700 kit cuz it was 10 bucks and I just tossed the back cover) I have one at work and 2 at home and they are awesome! They charge quickly and its super convenient to just throw it down and it charges, plus when I pick it up it lights up the screen. So valid points that if you don’t have the

  9. keith  Says:

    Back cover it sucks but if you do…. And know where to shop for the pads…. Its sick!

  10. Nick - Author Comment:

    You bought a gimmick hyped up by mediocre marketing. Congratulations, you are Powermat’s wet dream.

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