The Zens 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger was announced last month as a complete charging solution for iPhone 12, Apple Watch, AirPods, and iPad.
At $150, it’s not a cheap option, so raises the question: Is it worth it … ?
Look and feel
As someone firmly of the opinion that gadgets should be black or silver, and who only grudgingly accepts Apple’s obsession with white, I’m happy to report that the Zens charger is mostly matte black. The arm supporting the MagSafe charging pad for the iPhone 12 is darkened silver, while only the Watch charging puck is white.
It’s solidly built, with a mostly aluminum construction, and both looks and feels like a premium product.
The raised and angled MagSafe charging pad means that the iPhone 12 “floats,” while the vertical Apple Watch charging puck is ideal for nightstand mode. The AirPods (or, in my case, Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport) sits beneath the phone. The only wired item is an iPad or other device, charged from the USB-A port in the right-hand side of the charger.
The rear has a USB-C PD port to provide power from the included charging brick and USB-C cable.
The MagSafe pad for the iPhone 12 supports the full 15W delivery. The Apple Watch puck delivers 2.5W, while the AirPods pad provides 5W.
The main limitation is the USB-A port, which is limited to 10W – but this is still enough for an overnight charge of an iPad, and the unit is primarily intended for bedside use.
I used the Zens charger as my overnight charging device for:
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
- Apple Watch Series 4 (44mm)
- Master & Dynamic MW08 Sport in-ear headphones
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro
The unit is mostly very easy to use. The first few times I placed my phone on the pad, I had to move it around a little for the magnets to grab it, but I quickly found that holding it so my thumb touches the bend in the post made for perfect positioning every time.
The Watch puck works the same way as the Apple one, instantly attaching in the correct place.
The only slight usability issue I’ve found is the wireless earphone charging pad. There is a reasonable degree of leeway in the positioning, but I don’t always get it right first try. Fortunately the three green LEDs on the MW08 case make it immediately clear when it is properly positioned.
I let both iPhone and iPad battery level drop to around 30%, which would be typical for me with heavy use on a day when I’m not working from home. The Watch and earphones I could use normally.
I typically sleep for around seven hours, and all four devices were fully charged by the time I got up.
Zens 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger: Conclusions
This is, as I said at the outset, an expensive device – though looks less so if you compare it with Apple’s $129 MagSafe Duo Charger, which is not only less capable and practical, but to my eyes a lot less attractive too. To me, the extra $21 is a no-brainer.
The Zens charger also super-convenient. Being able to fully charge four Apple devices overnight with a single charger is handy in itself, and being able to do this so easily using a compact unit is ideal.
I have what probably amounts to the smallest nightstand around. We have a platform bed, so I had our handyman make a small box to act as a tiny bedside table (and, of course, hide cables). This measures just 5 inches across, but the charger still fits comfortably onto this, above. No matter how small your nightstand, this is going to fit. It’s also sufficiently neutral in appearance to work with most decors.
Finally, as a board-certified wire-hater, it will enable me to replace four cables with just two. And if you don’t need to charge an iPad, then you get a single-cable connection for three devices.
If you have the budget, and will appreciate the neatness of the solution, I can recommend it.
The Zens 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger is available from the company’s website, priced at $149.99. Shipping is from August 16.
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