One essential item for any gadget geek is a USB wall charger. They come with most mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, and chances are, you have a bunch of them occupying outlets all over your house. The Moshi Rewind Dual USB Wall Charger ($20 direct) is one of the more thoughtfully designed third-party wall chargers you can find, with dual 2.1-amp USB ports, a portable design, and built in cable storage. Best of all, it’s the same price as a single port charger from Apple.
The Rewind is a fairly unassuming white plastic brick, measuring 2.28 by 2.28 by 1.18 inches (HWD). It’s larger than the standard wall adapter bundled with Apple iPads, but not by much, especially when you consider its two USB ports instead of just one. And compared with the 3.38-by-2.5-by-1-inch Kanex DoubleUp, it’s considerably less bulky in the dimensions that matter—its shorter length and plug positioned on the corner make it less likely to occupy multiple outlets on a crowded power strip. The plug folds neatly into the Rewind and has a nice firm feel to it. On the outer face of the Rewind is a built-in slotted area for cable management. I tested the standard Apple 30-pin and Lightning cables and found that both easily wound within the area, ending close to the slot for locking the cable into place. It’s a thoughtful touch that any road warrior who has battled with unruly tangled cables will appreciate. Keep in mind, however, the Rewind does not come bundled with any cables.
Like the DoubleUp, the Rewind houses two high-output (2.1-amp) full-sized USB ports. Though you might find that many of your devices can use various USB wall chargers, not all USB ports are created equal—many feature a lower 1-amp output. That not only leads to slower charging, but it can be detrimental your battery’s longevity over time. The high-output ports are ideal for power hungry tablets like the Apple iPad and for newer smartphones as well. I tested with iPads, iPhones, and a number of Android devices, all of which worked perfectly with the Rewind. Moshi also claims that the Rewind can detect the appropriate amount of draw needed for plugged in peripherals, adjusting output accordingly, but we had no way to test that. The DoubleUp goes even further by detecting when devices are fully charged and stopping the flow of juice, but it also costs more than double the price and comes in a larger package.
As someone who spends a lot of time travelling and carrying around a multitude of electronics, the Rewind Dual USB Wall Charger is an excellent addition to my gadget arsenal. It’s well-built and features thoughtful design touches like built in cable management. It’s also an excellent value at only $20, which is the same price Apple charges for its single-port wall adapters. The Kanex DoubleUp is a good deal more expensive at $49, but it does have the added feature of stopping the flow of juice to prevent overcharging. Still, I’d take the more portable design, cable management, and lower price of the Rewind any day.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc