Charges up to four iOS devices at the same time; small footprint
Design precludes docking of iPads in bulky cases; price
US$149 + shipping
Now that we’re on our third iPad model and the iPad has become one of the hottest gadgets on the planet, more and more families own multiple iPads. Similarly, many companies have turned to the iPad for everything from displaying live- updated menus to tracking customers to accepting credit-card payments, so they’ve got multiple tablets that need charging. Which means people are filling up multiple wall outlets with iPad chargers.
Kanex offers a solution in the form of the Sydnee Smart Recharge Station. Available in black or white, the Sydnee can charge up to four iPads (or other dock-connector devices) at a time.
The Sydnee is 19.6cm tall, 12.7cm wide and 18.3cm deep (20.3cm if you include the power cable that sticks out the back) and provides three places to stow charging iPads: a simple shelf on the front and two slide-in slots behind it.
Unlike chargers which use multiple dock-connector cradles, the Sydnee provides four powered USB ports, each providing 5V of power at 2.1 amps for full-speed iPad charging.
You just connect a standard USB-to- dock-connector cable – Kanex includes three 40cm versions – to one of the Sydnee’s USB ports and then plug the dock-connector end into your iPad (or iPhone or iPod).
Yes, there are more charging ports than there are places to put an iPad, but it’s no big deal to place an iOS device on the desk or counter next to the Sydnee if you have to.
The back of the unit hosts a large spool, just above the unit’s USB ports, for winding excess cable. Cables unattached to a device can be secured using any of three small notches near the top of the Sydnee. Though the cable spool and notches do reduce cable clutter, you’ve still got multiple USB cables to deal with, giving a slightly messy look.
A single power cable, permanently attached to the back of the unit, terminates in an AC power block; when no iPads are connected, Kanex says, the Sydnee consumes just 0.5 watts of power. The company also says the Sydnee includes built-in short-circuit protection and a replaceable fuse.
In our testing, the Sydnee worked well. We were able to charge three iPads and an iPhone without problem and the cable-management features kept the charging station from getting too cluttered, especially when no iPads were connected.
However, there’s one significant issue with the Sydnee: The front shelf will hold pretty much any iPad, even in a chunky case, but the two slide-in slots in the back are considerably more limiting. While a bare iPad or one with just a Smart Cover or a skin-style case, fits easily in either slot, thicker cases prevent an iPad from fitting at all.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
At US$149 plus shipping, the Sydnee isn’t inexpensive, but if you’ve got a few iPads and other iOS devices, it offers the convenience of full-speed charging of up to four iPads from a single wall outlet.
And while the design isn’t as clean as a row of dock-connector cradles, the Sydnee’s footprint on your desk or counter is much smaller. It’s biggest limitation is one that could have been easily avoided: If any of your iPads are protected by bulky cases, the Sydnee’s design means those iPads have to share the single front shelf or sit on the desk or counter next to the charger.