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What Is a Powermat?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2014
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The powermat is an interesting concept for charging handheld electronic devices. It stands in a line with many other types of charging stations, such as charging valets. The difference between the powermat and products like a charging valet is it is an either fold up or fully flat mat that has few extra electrical cords emerging from it. Instead, devices are charged by sitting in separately purchased receivers that simply sit on the mat. Each receiver is customized to specific brand products, and they’re available for popular devices like iPhones® and Blackberries®.

People can buy either a portable powermat or one that stays in place, and companies that make these are right to claim that their product looks much neater than one that has multiple cords emerging from devices on it. The businesses that produce the different kinds of powermats also claim their products save money because they charge only to specifications for each handheld device type. Not only that, but it’s possible to charge three to four devices at the same time. If people don’t want to leave the mat out, the fold away kind can provide a perfect solution, or be excellent for travel.

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The powermat has its disadvantages. One major disadvantage is the expense; people not only must purchase the mat, and the non-travel types exceed other charging stations by a lot, but they must additionally purchase receivers for each product. These are usually not interchangeable. Given four products that might need a receiver, price of a powermat and receivers climbs above $200 US Dollars (USD), as of the late 2000s.

There are a few devices that may work with a universal receiver that could come with the powermat, but there is little guarantee of this, except for whatever products are listed as having compatibility. Given the range of handheld products available, it’s likely some people will have trouble finding a receiver or will find themselves needing to buy extra ones. As companies that make these mats may make adjustments, receivers could be available to greater or lesser degree and for lower prices.

To some, the powermat is a terrific product, certainly elegant and much neater than other stations. To others, such products lack universality, and customers may not want to pay so much more for what seems like an original idea. Those deciding on whether these products are worth it, should do some investigation. Reading reviews, seeing the product in person and determining expense may all be good plans while this new technology continues to evolve.

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