With all the devices we use, keeping them charged can be a challenge, and in fact, has spawned a huge accessory market that includes battery packs, battery cases, multi-port chargers, and desktop charging stations. Keeping your devices topped off has become even more important with many of us spending more time on our devices. For me, few products I use have enough battery capacity to get through a long day, so I have chargers in several rooms of my home, mostly generic chargers plugged into various outlets nearby to where I relax or work.
If you’re a user of multiple Apple devices, you likely have an iPhone, AirPods, perhaps an Apple Watch and an iPad. I searched for a product that could charge all of them, but struggled to find something that was compact, neat and attractive. I tried numerous stands constructed of bamboo – like this one – as well as multi-port chargers such as this one. They all required managing lots of cables and generally became messy and tangled.
That’s when I came across a product from Nomad Goods while roaming a Best Buy earlier this year. The Santa Barbara company has come up with what I consider to be the best solution yet to keep all of the Apple products charged, using a single device.
The Nomad Base Station is a central charging station that is an attractive low-profile pad that sits on your night table or desk that can charge five devices at once. It’s made of matte black finished aluminum and dark brown padded leather that’s as good looking as the Apple products it works with. The Base Station charges three of your devices using their wireless charging capabilities: your Apple watch, AirPods (or AIrPods Pro) and your phone. Two USB ports (Type A and C) on the back lets you charge two more devices using your own cables.
The Watch is held in place magnetically on a vertical arm extending from the pad and can be used as a nighttime clock. The earbuds and phone sit on the pad in specific locations.
The two rear connectors take USB-C and USB-A cables for charging an iPad or other device, although charging is relatively slow. The charging station is not cheap, it costs $149. I hesitated to purchase it, but eventually ordered it from the company’s website to try and found it exceeded expectations. It’s worked reliably, looks great, and reduces clutter on my night table.
Like most wireless chargers, it does require positioning your phone and AirPods case carefully in order for the coils in the devices and pad to line up. When properly positioned a light momentarily goes on. Only once in five months did I awake to find my phone didn’t charge due to being misaligned.
This is one of those rare products that exceed expectation in performance and utility. The company also makes charging stations for other combinations of products and has previewed a product on their site that reduces the need to carefully position your devices.