For multi-device users
Do you have a family full of phones and tablets that all need to be more organized and charged?
One of the things that we still wrestle with here at PC Perspective is keeping a host of phones, tablets and mobile gaming devices charged and ready to go when we need them. Reviewing items means we need to have multiple devices ready to go to run tests and benchmarks at any given time. Keeping that collection of technology powered up can be a pain in the rear – adapters everywhere, cables strewn across the shelf, etc.
The same is true for me at home – even though we are only a two adult household, my wife and I each have a tablet we use regularly, smartphones and a host of accessories like wireless headphones, smart watches and more. And when company comes over it is expected that at least someone will need to top off the power to their phone.
Skiva has a USB charging accessory to help alleviate much of the headache involved with these situations. The Powerflow 7 Stand Charger combines a 7-port USB charger capable of 2.4A to each port with a simple stand to support 7 tablets and phones vertically. The result is a neatly organized set of hardware that is accessible when you need it.
From a power perspective, the Skiva Powerflow 7 Stand Charger is able to supply 2.4A to each of the 7 USB ports on the unit, even when all of the ports are populated. This is possible thanks to the 90 watt AC adapter that the unit ships with. The Smart Detection feature that Skiva has implemented will properly detect the maximum power output for each USB device (up to that 2.4A level) and supply it for the quickest possible charge times. I would love to see another version of the Stand Charger that adds support for Turbo Charging / Quick Charging for hardware that supports it, but otherwise, the 2.4A output is as good as you can ask for.
Should you want to turn on or off the entirety of the Stand Charger and the 7 devices attached to it, Skiva has included a power button the front of the unit. I'm honestly not sure why you would want to do that, but the option is there.
The Stand Charger is divided into 7 slots by a set of clear acrylic pieces, allowing you to set your phones and tablets between them, keeping them in a nearly vertical placement. This saves space on your desk or counter and also makes finding the right device easy. Rubber pads under each "slot" keep the phones and tablets in place and prevent scratching. The USB ports are located directly below the 7 slots for help with cable management.
Which leads me to the biggest complication of a 7-port USB charger – lots of cables! If you use the same cables that shipped with your devices on the Skiva, they will work, but it tends to create a rat's nest of wires that will overtake your desk or countertop. One solution is provided by Skiva in the form of the USBLink Short Lightning Duo 2-in-1 cable – a 6 inch cable that supports both modern Apple devices and nearly everything else.
The catch: these cables are $10.75 each on Amazon, making a set of 7 of them more expensive than the charger itself. If you look around on Amazon Basics or even Monoprice, you can find 6 inch cables with and without adapters that are going to be much less expensive.
Speaking of pricing, the Skiva Powerflow 7 Stand Charger is currently selling on Amazon.com for $65. That's definitely higher than other multi-USB chargers we have used and recommended here at PC Perspective, including the very popular Aukey multi-port devices than run for as little as $30. But the Skiva Stand Charger doubles as not just a multi-port charger but also as an organizer for your electronics and the value of that shouldn't be overlooked. I know my wife appreciates the stand for our tablets and phones much more than the mess of devices and cables sitting flat on our kitchen countertop.
There are definitely cheaper options out there, but if you are a technology enthusiast with several devices that need to be charged and organized, take a look at the Skiva Powerflow 7 Stand Charger. I know that this one will be finding a permanent spot in our office lab.