StuffWeLike readers tend to like a lot of stuff. And most of that stuff needs to be recharged. Constantly.
But while it’s easy to keep adding new gadgets to your life, finding new wall outlets for all your gadgets’ chargers can be a huge hassle.
The Conserve Valet from Belkin (approx. $40 retail) is a USB charging station that promises to provide a central charging location that eliminates your rats’ nest of charging cables and claims to conserve your devices’ energy consumption as well.
The Conserve Valet provides an 8.5-inch by 6.25-inch rubberized surface for resting your devices while they are plugged into one of the four available USB ports. The device ships with one micro-USB and one mini-USB cable. Both cables are short, which helps minimize clutter. Unfortunately any additional cables you connect won’t look nearly as neat.
A happy coincidence of the Valet’s design is that one USB port is located on the device’s right side. We plugged in a Flip camera there and the camera now rests nicely on the desk surface. This is a huge improvement over the way the camera usually dangles precariously off of our pc’s front USB ports.
Once the charging station is powered on, an LED is illuminated which indicates that your connected devices are charging. One of the unique features of the Conserve Valet is that the charging will only continue for approximately 4 hours. After that, the charger shuts itself off.
If a device is connected during the charging period, the Valet will restart the charge time. It would require more testing time to determine if the shut-off feature keeps devices from ever fully charging or potentially harms their ability to hold a full charge.
Several user reviews on Amazon state that the Valet does not supply sufficient power to charge an iPad. This is not entirely accurate. The iPad will not charge if you attempt to operate it while it is connected to the Conserve Valet. However, if you power the iPad down and then connect it to the charge station, it will happily charge along with your other power-hungry devices.
The Conserve Valet doesn’t remove clutter sufficiently well nor look attractive enough to convince the wife it belongs on the nightstand. But in an office or conference room setting, we think the convenient charging station will be a welcome, low-cost addition.