Everyone oohs and aahs every time a phone or tablet gets an upgrade. But when it comes to what connects mobile devices to the power supply they need, looks aren’t just the only thing that falls short. The charging device needs to work in a clean and efficient manner and, if possible, it should look good as well as having modern electronics doing the job. All of that applies to Nomad’s Wireless Hub USB-C.
Start with what is on the outside. The Hub is shaped sort of like a hockey puck, but with a weighted rubber base to keep in still. Unobtrusively black, the matte rubber top conceals on the backside 4 USB ports: you get one USB-C, which is the fastest, high powered king of the USB world. You also get a high-powered USB-A 2.1 amp and two standard 1 amp USB ports – specifically designed for use with the Apple Watch or the AirPods or wireless mice.
Now obviously you plug your cables into these ports, but doesn’t that mean cables jut out like a 2 day stubble? Nope, there’s a cable routing channel embedded in the Hub that the cables can work their way down and out from.
Speaking of ports each one gets an LED charging indicator light to show it’s being used — going from orange to white to indicate that the device connected is now all juiced up. That’s all well and good as long as no one cares that the LED is outputting light. But since the Hub might end up being used on a night table (odds are that it will be), then it makes sense that there’s not just some switch to dim the LEDs, but instead a self-aware ambient light sensor handling the duty.
And for those blessed with the latest wireless charging capability on their phone (i.e., an iPhone X or one of the 8 latest Android phones), the Hub’s top ain’t just for show. It’s got 7.5 watts of power ready for charging. That translates in real-world terms into putting out a 50% charge in 30 minutes for a depleted phone. Of course, unlike the USB ports which work with tablets also, this wireless charging top is smartphone use only and remains powered down when there’s no wireless capable phone lying on it (meaning that you can safely place small items on top, should you wish to).
The Nomad Wireless Hub UB-C plugs into a standard wall outlet and gives you a power cord with a 1.2 meter range (that translates for us US folks into 3.94 feet). The retail price is $79.95.