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iHome Charging Station

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What's hot: Charge all your mobile devices! iPad holder, quick charging and slide-out platform.

What's not: Plasticky. Doesn’t come with inserts for any iPod model.

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Reviewed October, 2010 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor

When iHome released the iB967 charging station that can simultaneously charge the iPhone, iPod, BlackBerry and an eReader, it became a very popular charging solution, and rightfully so. The iHome iB967 can hold all your devices on or near it and charge them all at the same time. But the iB967 lacked an iPad slot. Enter the iHome iB969G Charging Station. The iB969G has everything that the iB967 has plus a holder and both standard and quick charging ports for the iPad!

iHome iB969G

Design

The iHome iB969G has a simple yet very functional design. It can be compact when you aren’t charging large devices or spacious when you are. This is done via a sliding plastic platform that opens to accommodate larger devices. The charging station measures 3.2 x 10.5 x 9.8 inches, and it can dock and charge two iPhones (or an iPhone and an iPod), an iPad and another device (smartphone, eReader, etc.) at once.

The Charging Station has two iPhone/iPod charging/syncing ports. The docking ports are wide and spacious. If your iPhone is in a case that has some bulk but allows the 30-pin connector to work while in the case, the wide port on the iB969 will likely accommodate it. For iPhone 3G and smaller iPods, you should use either the included iPhone 3G insert or get iPod inserts from iHome to use with the iB969G. The iPad slot allows you to store the iPad horizontally but not vertically while it’s charging. The syncing port and AC port live on the back of the iB969.

With the slider closed, the platform in front of the two iPhone/iPod docks can easily accommodate a large phone such as a BlackBerry, Android or other phones. Even an HTC HD2 or an HTC EVO 4G will fit perfectly. But what if you have an ebook reader such as an Amazon Kindle, B&N nook or a Sony eReader? Slide the platform open and the space doubles in size to over 5” wide. Now your ebook reader will rest on it comfortably. 

iHome iB969G

Deals and Shopping:

Charging Functions

The iHome iB969 can charge four devices at once via two iPhone and iPod charging ports and two USB ports that live underneath the platform. Since iHome is a specialist in making Apple product accessories, they added something extra for the iOS devices: quick charging ports. The left iPhone/iPod dock charging port is a standard charging port and the right one is a quick charging port. As you might have guessed, the quick charging port charges the device in about half of the regular charging time. Nice! There is a caveat, the standard charging port supports syncing, but the quick charging port does not. Each of the two USB ports on the bottom of the iB969G has a switch, when the switch is in “B” position, the port can charge any USB powered device. When the switch is in “A” position, the port can only charge the iPad. With the left USB in the “A” position it acts as the quick charging port for the iPad, while the right USB port acts as the standard charging port.

iHome iB969G

The charging switch on the underside of the Charging Station.

What the kit includes

 If your devices come with USB cable, then you are all set to go. But if it doesn’t, the iHome iB969G comes with the following cables: a 12” USB to mini USB cable, a 12” USB to 4mm plug and a mini USB to micro USB adapter. For iDevice syncing, the iB969G comes with its own syncing cable, a 36” USB cable. The package also includes two iPhone inserts, and an AC charger.

iHome iB969G

Conclusion

As you accumulate more and more mobile gadgets, charging them all becomes a cumbersome chore. The iHome iB969G certainly can help make it easier by charging four devices at once in a docking, charging and syncing station that’s well thought out and well designed. The charging station is easy to use, and we especially like the slide out platform for larger devices like ebook readers or digital cameras and camcorders. The quick charge for the iPhone and iPad will please users who need their devices charged in a hurry. And the iB969G is smart enough to stop when all the devices are fully charged. You will likely find a cheaper price than the $59.99 list if you shop around, making it a very worthy purchase.

Price: $59.99

Web site: www.ihomeaudio.com

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