If you need an adequate USB charger or device stand, the Chuwi Hi-Dock 4-Port USB Desktop Charger is worth a look. But actually trying to charge a device in the stand is another matter as most device are too top heavy.
The number of devices that need to be charged via a USB cable in some form continue to multiply on what seems to be a daily basis. That leads to a small problem — where exactly to place all of the smartphones, tablets, and more along with a tangle of USB cables. Since my home work space isn’t going to grow anytime soon, I’m always trying to make the most out of my existing desk and computer area.
The Chuwi Hi-Dock 4-Port USB Desktop Charger is an interesting option that can do more than just charge your electronics.
Clocking in at just $19.99, the dock sports a unique design with some apparent advantages compared to other charging options. But is it worth your cash and a spot in a home or office? Lets find out – and the end of this review, you can enter to win one for yourself.
Chuwi Hi-Dock 4-Port USB Desktop Charger Specs
- Input: AC 100~240V / 50-60Hz, 0.85A(Max)
- Output: QC3.0 (1): 3.6-6.5V/3A, 6.5V-9V/2A, 9V-12V/1.5A
- USB (3): 5V/2.4A,(5V/3.4A Max)
- Dimension:3.19 x 3.19 x 1.1 inch
- Weight: 1.65 ounces
Since you’re setting up a desktop charger, getting started takes just a few minutes. The Hi-Dock is packaged in a small, attractive all white box with an Apple-like aesthetic. And the similarities aren’t just skin deep.
Opening the package reveals the charger itself and a small box that contains the power cord. Unlike other chargers in the same price bracket that usually place the USB plugs close together in a tight vertical orientation, the Hi-Dock does things a little differently.
While the Hi-Dock is just a little bigger than a MacBook charger with the same glossy white vibe, the USB ports are more spread out with two placed on each side and covered with a movable bracket that also doubles as a device stand.
Along with three normal USB plugs, one USB outlet — in orange — can charge compatible devices that support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology. That’s usually found on Android devices and provide up to 18W of maximum power.
A Bit Too Short
When setting up the charger, I ran into my first major problem — a 5-foot power cable that’s just a little too short. While the cord features a velcro strap that makes it great to bundle up for travel, in my case it was just too for my desk.
By the time I plugged the cord into my UPS, and stretched it up to my desk, the short length severely limited where I could place the Hi-Dock. Especially when it comes to power cords, I would always rather have too much than too little.
When I found a decent location for the dock on my desk, I was able to start testing the charger. I had no problems charging my devices and my iPhone and iPad charged in the usual amount of time. I don’t own any Android devices, so I wasn’t able to test of the QuickCharge 3.0 port.
All of the ports do feature special technology that will automatically provide the fastest possible charge for the specific device.
A Stand That Delivers (Kind Of)
Since the Hi-Dock is designed for the desktop, the brackets covering the USB ports are a very smart idea. Along with protecting the ports from dust, those should also fend off any spills or other spalshes of liquid.
When open, the brackets also function as a dock for devices like a smartphone or tablet with a few caveats. First, don’t expect to place anything in a vertical orientation – you’ll need to stick everything in landscape mode – but this shouldn’t be a big issue for most people. Also, you’ll also only be able to hold one phone or tablet at a time.
I was able to use the stand easily for both my iPhone and iPad, even with a rugged and large case. But it was a different matter when trying to charge those devices on the stand.
However I tried, using different lengths of cords always led to the Hi-Dock and device usually toppling over quickly. I even went as far as using an iPhone and iPad without a case the same thing occurred.
I spent more than an hour adjusting the stand’s placement, the brackets, and my devices but to no avail. When I removed the charging cord, though, everything was just fine. Since the charger itself weighs less than 2 ounces, adding the charging cord and device to the mix just made the entire package too top heavy. And that’s a shame.
While on paper the Chuwi Hi-Dock 4-Port USB Desktop Charger looks like a great option, it fails the all-important execution. It works well as a desktop charger and a stand for smartphones and tablets. And the $19.99 price is definitely reasonable.
But when actually trying to charge a device and place it in the stand it fails miserably and was an exercise in futility. Add on top of that the short power cord, and it’s best to probably look elsewhere for something to charge your devices at home.
What do you use to charge your devices? Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about the dock.