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Mobile Charging Station Review: Belkin Conserve Valet USB Charging Station
      05/14/11 12:59 PM

Mobile Charging Station Review: Belkin Conserve Valet USB Charging Station
Reviewed by Tong Zhang

Editor's Ratings (1-5): 3.5

What's Hot: Charges up to 4 devices at once, compact, conserves power.

What's Not: Power output is too low.

By now we all realize that some AC adapters drain power even when they are not charging anything. To prevent this power "leak", Belkin has released the Conserve Valet Smart USB Charging Station for charging up your gadgets without worrying about this issue. The Conserve Valet will shut the power off when everything it's connected to is charged. In fact, Belkin has released a whole line power conservation charging solutions that solves this problem for mobile devices, home appliances and more.

The Belkin Conserve Valet is a smart USB charging station that charges up to 4 mobile devices and shuts off automatically. The charging station takes 100-240V world AC input and outputs +5V/500mA to four USB ports.



Design

Belkin is known for making Apple accessories in clean and modern designs, and the Belkin Conserve Valet is no exception. The USB charging station is compact, measuring 8.5 x 6.25 x 1.25-2.25 inches and weighs only 0.758 lbs. The Belkin Conserve Valet comes in three colors for the charging base (black, white and lemongrass), and we have the white version for this review. The base of the charging station houses the charging ports and power in port. One very nice design on the Belkin Conserve Valet is that it has three USB charging ports on the back of the base and one on the right side so that your devices won?t fight with each other and keep the charging cables apart as well.

Sitting on top of the charging base you will find a black device tray with matte finish. The tray has enough space for three smartphones, and it sits in a slightly tilt angle, making it more ergonomic for you to put devices on it to charge. There is a charge button on the tray along with an LED. You press the button to start charging and when the devices are fully charged, the Belkin Conserve Valet shuts itself off. The LED light stays on while the station is charging your devices and when it?s done charging, the LED light will flash three times and shuts off along with the power.



The device tray also sits a bit higher to leave a space for the charging cord to wind up when the charging station is no in use or very close to an AC outlet. The charging base also has cord holder holes on all sides so the AC cord stays put through the holder.

Features

For those who use several devices that need charging, the Belkin Conserve Valet is a very convenient accessory to charge them all and makes you feel good knowing it won?t waste power after charging up the devices. If you charge your MP3 player, digital camera and your phone at home overnight, the Belkin Conserve Valet is an ideal charging station. However, if you are charging 2 or more smartphones at a time, the Belkin Conserve Valet will charge them slowly. Again, if you are using this as overnight charging station, you will have no trouble charging anything that takes 5V output. But this isn?t a fast charger for those who are on the go and need charging fast.



The Belkin Conserve Valet outputs 500mA power and usually takes about 4 hours to charge a smartphone. To give you an idea, the chargers come with most smartphones such as the Droid Charge, Nexus S 4G, Droid Incredible 2 (or most all HTC phones) and iPhone 4, outputs at least 1A which is doubled the power of the Belkin Conserve Valet outputs. And 500mA output will likely not be able to charge larger devices such as tablets and eReaders.

The biggest reason though to use the Belkin Conserve Valet is for its zero power consumption when not in use. The charging station turns off power output when all devices are charged and powers itself down after 2 minutes after all devices are disconnected from the USB 2.0 ports.



What the Kit Includes

The Belkin Conserve Valet comes with the charging station, two USB cables (one Mini-USB cable and one Micro-USB cable), and a printed short guide. The included 2 USB cables are short to reduce the clutter around the charging station, but Belkin suggests that you use the cable that comes with your phone or mobile device.

Conclusion

The Belkin Conserve Valet is a perfect charging station for a family with up to 4 mobile devices to charge them all at once overnight. The power conservation features put you at ease when it comes to not wasting electricity. The charging station is well designed and looks great. The only downside for this power saving charger is the low 500mA output. If you have 2 smartphones that require 1A each, you should charge only two devices at a time as the entire charging station outputs 2A power.

Price: $39.99
Web site: Belkin Conserve Valet


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