We’re no strangers to companies pushing an “eco-friendly” edge to increase appeal of their products, but iDapt has done a particularly good job here with the i1 Eco. This ‘all-in-one’ charger is capable of juicing up gadgets via a mains connection or in-car cigarette lighter, with a range of over 4,000 devices allegedly compatible.
For starters, it’s a bold move to present the product in a rather bland, brown cardboard box that certainly wouldn’t stand out on the shelves – but it betrays iDapt’s unashamed position as a recycling-friendly company.
Other claims to environmental friendliness include the fact that the iDapt is made from recycled components, and includes an auto-off system that turns the charger off while not in use. A re-start button enables it to wake again quickly when required.
The design of the actual device is also very basic – and dare we say it, child-like. Cream and lime-green isn’t exactly the cutting edge of current tech aesthetics, but again hints at a finer attention to an environmentally friendly design. Unfortunately it does feel a little cheap. The plasticky build seems rather flimsy, but being fairly pliable we think it would stand up well enough to a bit of punishment.
What you get
The i1Eco is the kind of upgradeable design that users of portable chargers may already be familiar with. In the box you get an in-car cigarette-lighter adapter, alongside a mains plug and three tips that include mini USB, micro USB and iPod/iPhone. The initial ‘main bases’ are covered here, and iDapt pledges to keep its device up to date by providing new adapters as needed.
Currently, adapter tips retail at £5.95 each and cover proprietary connections demanded by Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung among others. Most users may be able to do without these however, since a USB port built into the neck of the device allows it to simultaneously charge any gadgets that can be boosted through a data cable.
We ran the i1Eco through a series of tests to see how it fared compared to more conventional methods of charging, and were pretty impressed by the results.
It’s comparable to a standard wall charger when used via the mains, boosting our gadgets in around the same time, give or take 10 per cent. In-car charging took about 50 per cent longer – but as in-car chargers go, this is still pretty good. We also noticed no slowdown when two devices were connected simultaneously, which is certainly something that adds to the device’s convenience.
- Versatile, eco-friendly and reasonably priced.
- Rather cheap-looking design may not appeal to the style conscious.
Despite its slightly peculiar design, the iDapt i1 Eco is a great little device that can streamline gadget charging both at home and on the move. With a wide range of tips available and the most essential generic options covered out of the box, it's a worthy alternative to more expensive rivals - especially given its eco-credentials.