Does It Work: Power Mat - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Does It Work: Power Mat

(KFVS) - A high-tech gadget called the Power Mat claims to free up outlets and charge items faster than wall chargers, but does it work?

"We've got cords plugged into almost every outlet in the house," Chris Silman said, noting between himself, his wife and kids, their cell phones and Nintendo DS games, the Power Mat is looking pretty good. "You're supposed to be able to put charge up to three items at a time."

Over a two-week period, Silman is checking the claims.

Starting with the Nintendo DS, Silman ran both of his units' batteries down and plugged one into the regular wall charger and the other into the Power Mat.

"The one in the wall charged in about an hour and a half," Silman said. "It took almost four hours to charge off the Power Mat."

It may not be faster with the mat, but Silman likes having all of his items charging in one place. However, the mat's iPhone adapter will add some bulk and weight to a slim phone. You can also buy the Power Mat Universal Power Cube, which comes with all kinds of adapters, including one for the Silmans' Blackberry.

"But once you pull the phone off, it may not be at a full charge," Silman said, worried that if you leave the phone on the charging mat for too long, eventually your phone's battery will wear down more quickly.

Silman says both of his phones ran out of charge faster off the Power Mat than when charging with their normal adapters in an outlet. He says some might find it a tad easier just to plug in a charger, whereas with the Power Mat you have to hit the exact spot on the mat for it to charge. It will make a sound when it's correct.

"Overall, I'd probably give it a C-plus," Silman said. "I drop it down because you don't have a full charge at times, I feel. Plus, the cost of it is outrageous."

The Power Mat itself runs $100. It's another $100 for the Travel Mat, $30 for the universal charger adaptor, $30 for the Nintendo DSI plug and $40 for iPhones.

Still, Silman says it may be worth it for some people. 

"It's convenient and it eliminated a lot of cords, which is nice," he explained. "Plus, it's easy for kids to charge their gaming devices with this rather than plugging in a charger."

Silman says he is willing to pay for that convenience, at least with the travel mat.

So, if the price was bundled and lower, the Power Mat would get powerful reviews from us, although we're still unsure just how well it charges overall. We like the concept here though. So, for now, the Power Mat earns an above average C-plus on this Does it Work test.  You can find it at Target and Best Buy.

Copyright 2009 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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