Why Powermat Fails

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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 YouTube 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 mention 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 convenient 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.