Review: Incase Dual Car Charger for iPod, iPhone + iPad
Models: Dual Car Charger
Compatible: All iPads, iPhone 3GS/4, iPod nano 6G/touch 4G
Incase frequently updates its car chargers with the latest charging technologies, so it's no surprise that the company has released a Dual Car Charger ($35) with a new feature: dual 2.1-Amp USB ports so two iPads can refuel simultaneously at full speed. While the design is very familiar, the Dual Car Charger's dual 2.1-Amp ports are the first we've seen to receive Apple certification; other chargers have generally had one 2.1-Amp and one 1-Amp port for various reasons. Others have been released, including Just Mobile's Highway Pro, but without Apple's stamp of approval.
Those who have come across Incase’s charging solutions before, including Combo Charger and its forerunners, will find Dual Car Charger quite familiar. The 3.5” long plastic charger is coated in black soft touch rubber. The charging end is narrow with metal electrical components, with a taper that brings the bulb to 1.5” inches tall. At only 1.1” inches across, the glossy passenger-facing cap has enough room for two USB ports—one stacked atop the other—as well an Incase Leaf Logo that glows when power is flowing. We continue to appreciate the design that goes into this series.
Dual Car Charger comes with one black Dock Connector cable that’s about 4” longer than Apple’s standard pack-in; you supply the second as needed. Although the single cable is common with many two-port solutions, we would appreciate the second being included. As it stands, it feels like somewhat of an incomplete solution, although it’s not terrible. Charging works exactly as you’d expect it to: plug in your iPad, iPhone, iPod, or any pairing of them and they’ll charge at full speed. That is, however, all it does. Unlike some earlier models, there’s no line-out audio port. Charge times will of course vary based on device, with the new iPad potentially draining battery at a reduced rate rather than gaining juice, depending on how it’s being used.
Overall, we really like Incase’s dual charging solution. Not only does it do the job, but it looks very nice too. We still prefer Highway Pro when it comes to premium design—it’s hard to beat that metal cap—but Dual Car Charger comes pretty darn close, and at a lower price too. Between the two, it comes down to a choice of aesthetics. As such, Dual Car Charger earns the same high recommendation. It’s a beautiful and effective product at a fair price.