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Product Review: WildCharge vs. Valet

Posted on 2.11.2008
I came across the WildCharge not too long ago and I was immediately impressed. It just sounds so perfect to be able to lay your phone or iPod down on a simple mat and have it charged. No more searching for wires that may have slipped off of a table or fiddling with tiny plugs that have to be turned the right way to fit. WildCharge is definitely a cool device and the advantages are pretty clear. It looks cool, it does the job, it's relatively portable and it's very convenient. But there are some negatives:
  • Few devices are supported at this time - more adapters (see below) are coming but progress seems to be slow.
  • You need an adapter - this comes in the form of an attachment to your device so that it can be compatible with the charger. I bought the Blackberry Pearl for one reason - it fits nicely in my pocket. I don't want to add bulk to any of my devices.
  • Cost - the charging pad alone is $59.99. The package with the adapter (for the Razor, for example) runs $89.99. Tough to swallow when your device comes with a perfectly good charger. And if the idea is to charge multiple devices, you need to purchase multiple adapters.

The Charging Valet (there are several versions available for purchase through several sites) serves the same basic function - to charge multiple devices at the same time. The advantages of the valet are that it's less expensive (about $50), includes some storage space for other items, it's technology is simple and time-tested and it supports any device. The negatives:
  • It's not as cool, at least in my opinion.
  • It's bulky. You need some space on a counter top for this one.
  • It's not as cool.

Until the WildCharge supports more devices, the price comes down to Earth and I get over the the problem of adding bulk to my devices, I'm going with the Valet. It costs less and does everything I want it to do. And I'm pretty sure I can find somewhere to put it so that it's convenient without cramping my style. But I still like the WildCharge and will be keeping a close eye on its progress.
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