Tech News on G4

Kanex DoubleUp doubles your charging pleasure

Sept 9, 2013

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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Kanex  DoubleUpWhile it sounds like the name of an R. Kelly album and a famous chewing gum, DoubleUp by Kanex is a dual USB charger for iPad, iPhone, and iPod. And unlike a typical USB charger, this gadget is uniquely designed as a workhorse, enabling you to simultaneously and quickly charge two full-sized iPads from a single power source. Having this capability can be particularly handy when you're on the road and carrying a backpack full of gadgets or when the availability of AC sockets or time is at a premium.

DoubleUp has a simple design and is fairly easy to use.  The sleek and almost oval shaped design features a foldaway plug so it's easy to store away when traveling. While it’s much larger than your standard iPhone or iPad AC wall charger, it's still compact enough to be portable.

21-Watt Output

DoubleUp offers a total output of 21 watts through two full-sized 5V USB 2.1A charging ports. Above each port is an LED indicator to keep you informed of the charging status of each device. An amber indicator tells you your device is charging, while green tells you it's ready to go. Interesting to note that the LED indicator should turn green when your iPhone is at 90% charge or 98% charge in the case of the iPad. Although admittedly, I wasn't there to catch at what exact percentage point the green light came on.

Kanex  DoubleUp DoubleUp is MFI complaint (Made for iPad, iPhone, iPod) and designed primarily for iOS devices. Nevertheless, it will charge most of your other 5V USB devices including smart phones and tablets and accessories. For iOS devices, the LEDs did start at amber and eventually turn green. However, it's possible that the reading of the charge status indicators may not be totally accurate for undocumented devices, so you might need to experiment with the device that you have before relying on the indicators.

Kanex does offer a compatibility list on their site for over 50 smartphones, tablets and e-readers in addition to the compatible iOS devices. Some of these include devices from Blackberry, HTC, Nokia, Samsung, and Kindle.

With respect to charging, DoubleUp performed as advertised, fully recharging various devices each time and equally important, was that there appeared to be no "slow down" when charging two iPads at the same time. With the iPhone, it appeared to recharge it perhaps a little faster than the standard supplied charger. For safety, the unit also has built-in short-circuit protection, so there's no need to worry about it harming your prized possessions.

I would have liked to see DoubleUp a little smaller. While suited for a wall socket, it could potentially take up significant real estate on a power bar. The charging ports are on the bottom, and this makes perfect sense, but the weight distribution seems to be a little uneven. As a result, I discovered that if the prongs from the wall plug did not fit snuggly into the wall socket, the charger could actually fall out. Not a good thing if you're on the road and relying on a quick charge; you might be disappointed. Also, the easy foldaway feature of the prongs makes it easy for them to potentially foldup while trying to insert them into a power bar.

 

Kanex  DoubleUp Good Value

Overall, if you're careful with how you plug in the Kanex DoubleUp, it can be a great companion to have if you're a multi-device toting person. Now, while DoubleUp might be larger than your average charger, its price is quite the opposite. It comes in either black or white, each with a grey trim and retails for $34.00 U.S. - not that much more than what you'd pay for a single USB charger.

You can get DoubleUp directly from Kanex, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com and NCIX.ca.

(As an aside, if you need a mobile 2.1A charger for your car, truck or RV, Kanex does offer a USB solution suitable for 12V and 24VDC plugs for $24.95 for a 2-pack.)

Kanex DoubleUp

Pros
Charges 2 high powered devices simultaneously
Foldaway plug
Fully iOS compliant (MFI)

Cons
Could fall out of wall socket
Prongs don't lock firmly in open position
Larger than average charger

Rating:  3.75 / 5

 

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , GadgetGreg.com , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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