Tech News on G4

myGrid Drop-and-Go Cordless Charging

Aug 31, 2010

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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How do I charge thee? Let me count the ways. And while we're at it, lets add one more way to the mix. It's called myGrid, by Duracell, the guys with the copper top batteries.

myGridDuracell myGrid is designed to be a drop-and-go charging solution. The premise is simple. Instead of using a mess of cables and power adapters to plug into your device, you have an AC powered grid; You simply drop up to 4 of your gadgets like a cellphone, PDA, iPhone, iPod or BlackBerry to be charged onto it and voila! It will simultaneously charge your devices conductively. You just walk away.

Ok, well it's a little more involved than that. In a Utopian world, little nanobots would creep inside the device figure out how it's powered and seamlessly feed and recharge it. Okay, well that's Star Trek XI. Charging through myGrid is not totally a wireless process, but clever nonetheless. It does require the use of either a PowerSleeve or a PowerClip to be attached to your device to make the connection with the metal slats on the grid and thus the charging process begins.

Currently, in Canada, there are sleeves available for the iPhone 3G and the iPod touch. A compatible iPhone 4 sleeve might be in the works, but not confirmed. Sleeves for Blackberry Curve and Pearl models are only available in the US.

All other compatible* devices may be charged with the use of an adhesive-backed PowerClip that you stick on your device leaving exposed the metal contacts. You'll need to select the tip that corresponds to the appropriate mini-USB connector on your device that will magnetically adhere to the PowerClip and you're good to go.

myGridKits & Options

Duracell myGrid kits retail for $89.99 in Canada and are available in 2 flavours:

1) Cell Phone Charger Kit which includes the myGrid charging pad, AC adapter, PowerClip + tips (*compatible with many BlackBerry, LG, Nokia and Motorola phones as well as many MP3 players)

2) myGrid iPhone® Charger Kit which includes the myGrid charging pad, AC adapter, and iPhone® PowerSleeve

Extra Power Sleeves, PowerClip + tips are available for $39.99* SRP

Futuristic Design

What I like about the device is its sleek funky futuristic design. It's very thin, doesn't take up a lot of space on your desktop and looks cool. You may think that the exposed metal slats might be a hazard but the device is designed to shut itself off and it can detect if a hand or foreign objects like keys or coins are touching it.

myGridAnother plus, is its ability to charge a wide variety of devices - phones, iPod, mp3 players quickly and at the same time and it eliminates the need to have all those darned cords, not to mention all the extra outlets you'd need to plug in to. Drop and go makes it very convenient.

If you don't already own a protective casing the rubberized PowerSleeve also doubles as a one - bonus! But sadly, if you already own one or prefer another style or want to sync your iPod to your computer, you'll need to remove the case - which is not always convenient.

You also have to ensure that your device lies flat and that all 4 connector points touch the metal slats.

And while you do get a few different tips with the charger kit, you only get one PowerClip and with the adhesive back, so you have to remove and reattach should you wish to change gadgets - again, a little pain and you need to be careful not to lose any of the little pieces.

Bottom Line

Overall, Duracell myGrid certainly has a very high coolness factor and ease of use. It charges as fast as standard AC adapter and offers the convenience of no wires. It performed flawlessly with the iPhone 3GS using the sleeve and an LG Dare using the clip.

On the other hand if you have many devices and wish to charge them all, you'll need to dish out the extra $40 for either another PowerSleeve or PowerClip + tips which I think is getting a little steep. With that said, you certainly can't go wrong with myGrid, but check to ensure your device is both compatible and decide ahead of time what items you'll be charging.

 

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net Or GadgetGreg.com

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