N+ Review: Wii Energizer 2x Induction Charge Station
By Joel Lutherlutherjw. Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:26:23 AM
Ever since the Wii was released in 2006, people have been clamoring for the "perfect" Wii Remote charger. We reviewed a few different chargers over the years, which all served their purpose well, until October 2007, when Nintendo announced and released the Wii Remote Jacket. Players who wanted to use the jacket in conjunction with a charging dock were forced to sacrifice the rubber sleeve - and their safety. However, with the advent of the Wii MotionPlus and its near-compulsory jacket, it's becoming more frustrating than ever to use a charging dock. Luckily, Performance Designed Products, partnering with Energizer, has stepped up to the plate, offering the Wii's first wireless, contactless charger, which allows for charging through the Wii Remote Jacket. Sounds perfect on paper, but how does it fare in the real world? Does it deliver on its promise of hassle-free Wii Remote charging, or does it fall short? Read on to find out.
PDP is no stranger to the Wii. In the years since the system's launch, PDP has partnered with some of the biggest names in the world to bring new and innovative accessories to Nintendo's home console, like various charging stations, custom guitar peripherals, racing wheels, sports packs, and a Wii Fit starter kit. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Wii Energizer 2x Induction Charge Station works exactly as advertised.
Upon opening the package, consumers will find the charging dock itself, an AC adapter, two battery packs, an optional stand for vertical charging, and of course, the instructions. The setup process consists of removing your current batteries and replacing them with the included packs, plugging the cable into the station, and attaching the optional stand if you'd like your charger to stand vertically (it also works just fine laying flat without the stand). From there, you're free to simply drop your Wii Remotes into the grooves (no need to worry about contacts or wires) and let them charge.
From a design standpoint, the Wii Induction Charge Station is simply breathtaking. Its sleek, elegant design is sure to fit in perfectly with any room, and the device itself is so thin that it barely takes up any space at all. Not intrusive in the least, the Wii Induction Charge Station is one of the most stylish and unique chargers we've seen on the market.
As for the actual charging process, the Wii Induction Charge Station uses, you guessed it, induction technology, which allows for completely contactless charging. No more removing jackets, no more making sure the contacts are perfectly aligned, no more fitting the remotes snugly into their places. Everything just works as soon as you lay your Wii Remotes down onto the surface. Two indicator lights shine red while the Remote is charging, and turn green once the job is done. It's all a simple, painless process that works better than any charger we've ever used.
How does induction charging work though? To put it quite simply (and avoid all the tech jargon), induction technology uses special coils that create electromagnetic fields, allowing electricity to be transferred without the need for metal contacts. Sounds perfect, right? There are two main problems with indcution technology, though, and the Wii Induction Charge Station unfortunately suffers from both of them.
Firstly, charge time. As energy is not being transmitted through a physical conductor, charging Wii Remotes with the Induction Charge Station will likely take quite a bit longer than you're used to. Fully charging an empty battery can take anywhere between five and eight hours. Luckily, we couldn't find any discernible loss of play time - a full charge should last you several days of moderate gaming.
The second major problem: price. Set at $49.99 USD, the Wii Indcuction Charge Station might be a bit expensive, depending on how much you're willing to shell out.
And let's be honest - you should be willing to shell out a lot. Despite a few minor quirks, the Wii Induction Charge Station is quite an impressive piece of hardware. Its attractive design, convenience, and ease of use make it easily the best Wii Remote charger available.
Wii Energizer 2x Induction Charge Station
Developed by: PDP/Energizer
Release Date: June 2009
N+ Easy to use
N+ Compatible with Wii MotionPlus and the Wii Jacket
N- Quite a bit expensive ($49.99)
N- Takes a while to fully charge