Steve M-G
An artist with a hard candy design shell.

WRITES

My opinion and critique of the design world we live in.  

Anker Dock

The Anker® 5-Device Charging Station — with 40W 5-Port Desktop Charger is something that gets used everyday by my family. We had tried a couple of different solutions to try and organize and charge our various phones, and keep them in a central location. Nothing really seemed to fit bill, either very expensive, not great looking, or not compatible with more than two or three devices. Plus at the time of purchase I was carrying around about 3-4 mobile phones (for work) and some of them were definitely power hungry. Of all the different solutions I had seen, the Anker Station seemed to have the perfect combo of usefulness, design, and aesthetics. Below are the product photos I found on Amazon. (Currently the Anker® 5-Device Charging Station is no longer made.)

Looks good. However there are things that could be better. When you see these, or at least when I see them after using the product, I start to wonder: "Didn't anyone not think of this use case?" "Really?" The funny thing is, I really like Anker products. I have three portable chargers, numerous cables, and a cool power block, it's kind of a head scratcher.

Exhibit 1: Why a straight out plug as opposed to a right angle plug? Even better why not put the power/charger power input from the wall in a place where the back end of the station can fit flush or close to flush to a wall?

 It's a minor thing, but it would be nice if the base could fit flush or nearly flush to the wall.

It's a minor thing, but it would be nice if the base could fit flush or nearly flush to the wall.

Exhibit 2: When your phone is in the station, you can't touch the home button. Until you use the station and want to open your phone while it's charging, you won't realize what a huge pain this actually is. Plus it kills the organizational aesthetics of the charging station design.

So now instead of the members of my family slotting their phones into the helpful stand up slots, they lay their phones flat on the top. It's super great...

 They should be cord down in the slots. If only!

They should be cord down in the slots. If only!

Exhibit 3: Not only would it be great if the power in cord fit at a right angle to the base, but having the power cord coming out of the wall with a flat right angle plug would be aesthetically better. More than just looks, it would be a better design overall.

wallplug.png

In conclusion, The Anker® 5-Device Charging Station — with 40W 5-Port Desktop Charger is a useful and attractive way to organize your phones and a tablets. Unfortunately it only gets a 7 out of 10. The flaws illustrated above prevent it from being the best charging station it could be. I do however think it is telling that the station is no longer for sale; though I haven't found anything recently that comes close. Bluelounge has some good options but they aren't really set up for a countertop family situation. If you have a desk with some space behind it:  this could be the charging device organizer of your dreams!

Cheers!

steve mcmahon-grace