By Taylor Martin | July 29, 2013 1:20 PM
Wireless charging is still a hit-or-miss feature with mobile users. Not everyone cares for it or sees the point. But those who do love the ability to drop your phone on a mat and let it charge without the hassle of cables.
The Nexus 7 announcement last week also came with a tiny surprise for wireless charging sympathizers. The 7-inch, affordable tablet comes with the Qi standard for wireless charging built into its thin frame. But there’s a problem: not a lot of tablets come with wireless charging abilities. Thus, most wireless chargers are best suited for smartphones.
So which wireless charging solution should you go with for your small tablet? Below are some of the best options available.
Nexus 4 charging orb
The Nexus 4′s wireless charging orb is one of our favorite accessories … period. Sure, it’s a little expensive for a charger – weighing in at a hefty $60. But it’s angled, weighty, and quite easy to find the “sweet spot” for charging.
We weren’t sure if this charger would actually work with the Nexus 7 due to the larger size and the sharp angle of the charge with the orb. However, it works quite well if you rotate the Nexus 7 to landscape.
If you’ve already got a Nexus 4 or a Qi-enabled phone, this may be one of the best options.
The problem with the Nexus 4 wireless charging orb, however, may be its size. It’s not exactly ideal for traveling. It’s somewhat heavy, and it takes up a lot of space, considering it requires a standard AC adapter, microUSB cable and the actual orb.
In February, LG also announced a Qi wireless charging pad, which costs $50. The difference here is that it’s much thinner; it’s a thin disk, not half a sphere. You can’t go wrong with that.
The downside to this one is that it won’t prop your Nexus 7 up, so this one may not be ideal for the nightstand.
Energizer also offers a few inductive charging pads. Its three-position charger comes with two inductive positions and one USB port. However, it isn’t cheap. It retails for a whopping $110 – that’s nearly half the price of a Nexus 7.
Energizer also offers a single device inductive charger, but they’re increasingly difficult to come across.
Our own Joe Levi has the single device charger and says his wife uses it to charge her Nexus every night.
This product is also fairly difficult to come across, but there are some definite advantages. Like the Nexus 4′s wireless charging orb, the VU from TYLT sits your device at an angle, which makes it nice to use on the night stand as an alarm clock. (Seriously, Daydream mode is one of my favorite recent features of Android.)
This charger has multiple coils, meaning it should – at least theoretically – be quite simple to find the right position and start charging. Best of all, it looks modern and stylish.
The downside? The TYLT VU retails for $70 and is temporarily out of stock.
Not satisfied with any of these options? Looking for something a little more integrated?
Never fear! There are countless wireless chargers – many of which are quite affordable – and dozens of online tutorials for turning your existing furniture into wireless charging stations. You can’t tell me that a nightstand with wireless charging capabilities doesn’t sound awesome.
It’d be perfect for a weekend project!