Desktop chargers, multi-port USB chargers or whatever you want to call them may not be the sexiest tech gadgets we can think of, but beyond our core mobile computing devices – our laptops, our tablets, our smartphones – I can’t think of a more useful gadget to have around the home. It’s not so much a question of why would you want a desktop charger, but why wouldn’t you want one? Also see: Best desktop chargers 2016.
All of us these days live in homes with multiple devices that charge over USB, many of which need recharging every single night. It quickly gets to the point where you have more devices than you have mains power outlets, and messy USB chargers and cables sticking out of wall sockets in every room of the house. Desktop chargers such as this five-port USB charger from iHarbort remove the need for all that clutter and free up your power points, allowing you to fast-charge multiple USB devices from a single socket.
The iHarbort isn’t the fastest multi-USB charger we’ve seen, with its five ports offering a total output of 40W, but it does come in at a great price – just £14.99 at Amazon UK with free delivery.
With five devices connected each is capable of 8W; with fewer attached the ports can offer a much faster 12W. We’ve seen USB chargers that can support all their ports at 12W, and those that offer Qualcomm Quick Charge super-fast charging (check out the Tronsmart Titan for a great example). But if your devices don’t support Quick Charge – perhaps you’re an iOS family and use mainly iPads and iPhones – then this iHarbort may be all you need. Also see: How to improve smartphone battery life.
As with most such devices the iHarbort claims to offer intelligent technology that recognises your device type and delivers only the amount of power it requires. In truth this isn’t really something you need to worry about, since USB will only ever draw the amount of power it requires. However, with all the ports in use, you can be confident that the iHarbort is divvying up that 40W of available power the best way it can.
The iHarbort is a compact, sleek charger with the power supply built-in to the main box. With its plain gloss exterior, this 98x60x26mm, 169g unit can slip unobtrusively into any home environment. It operates silently, and efficiently. Also see: How to charge your phone or tablet faster.
Something that’s often displeased us with multi-USB chargers is the logos, legends and information printed all over them, which can look ugly on display. The iHarbort has an iHarbort logo at the top left of one of its sides, but the only other information is printed out of sight on the rear.
You can buy the iHarbort in black or white from Amazon UK.
Read next: Best power banks 2016.