Inateck 5-Port USB desktop charger
The proliferation of digital devices has turned what used to be the simple issue of charging portable devices batteries into a major headache - how to keep half a dozen smartphones and tablets on the go using individual charging adaptors? Inateck’s five-port charger is one way of solving the problem by allowing one plug socket to feed up to five devices simultaneously.
Three of the ports are 5v 1 Amp and are designed to charge mainly smartphones while a further two 5v 2.1 Amp can cope with the larger batteries used in higher-end smartphones and most tablets. Inatech describes the latter as ‘super charge’ which we assume is a way of saying that using them with compatible devices will save time compared to the lower-Ampage ports.
In testing, this held true as long as the correct type of device is used. Just plugging an old smartphone into one of the super-charge ports won’t make it top up any faster if the circuitry doesn’t support that. Testing this type of simple device is pretty hard to do. We plugged different devices into different ports, loading it to the maximum of five and it seemed to work as claimed.
Other features include a power button and LED in a unit that was small and looked portable until we realised that the UK mains adaptor was physically bulkier than the charging station itself. While not a problem if the Inateck is used desk-side it makes it inconvenient to use as a portable charger, which could have been one of its best use cases.
Some of its rivals don’t suffer this issue, fitting the mains circuitry into smaller adaptors or the body of the charger itself. It’s something to be aware of if you imagine using it this way.
The charger itself is well made and does the job as described, charging up to five devices, including recent tablets at the expected rate. Adding more devices doesn’t slow down charging. Its flaw is the mains adaptor, which is incredibly bulky and means it can’t be used as a portable station.