Review: Chil PowerShare Reactor 5.1 Amp Multidevice Charger
With the average number of power-hungry devices in a household rapidly growing, efficiently charging them all has become more of a concern. Chil's PowerShare Reactor 5.1 Amp Multidevice Charger ($50) is among the latest solutions developed to address this issue. It's capable of charging four devices at once — three at 1-Amp speeds, and one iPad at 2.1A. Although the wall plug is integrated, no device cables are included.
The charger itself is a 2.4” deep plastic box, 3.3” across at its widest point, with the four USB ports lined up along the top. It arrives inside a 4.2” teal or black rubber sleeve. The sleeve’s shape somewhat resembles a nuclear cooling tower, wide at the bottom and narrow at top. Although the charging component can easily be removed, it’s designed to stay in place, in line with the top of the sleeve. The extra space in the rubber can be used to tuck the cable away when it’s not needed. A slot in the bottom allows for access to the cable, and there’s a small divot on one edge to ensure the cord can stick through without titling the charger.
With its array of USB ports and their respective speeds, PowerShare Reactor may be well-suited to handle device charging needs for a family. We plugged in two iPhones, an iPod nano, and an iPad Air to test its capabilities, and confirmed that the 2.1A port wouldn’t be slowed by the power draw from the others. While all the other devices were charging, the tablet’s battery level increased 23% in an hour, a figure that’s right where we’d expect it to be. In other words, Chil’s charger performs just as promised.
Functionally, PowerShare Reactor is a step below RAVPower’s 4-Port Wall Charger, which also has four ports, but offers two 2.1A chargers instead of just one. It didn’t exhibit the noise and heat issues that competing unit did, though, and didn’t shut off during the charging process. Although having that extra high-speed port is a benefit, we’re happier to have a quiet, cool system, and that’s why Chil’s charger earns our general recommendation. It’s a cost-effective method of juicing up multiple devices at once; if all the ports could be upgraded to support tablets, it’d be an even better deal.