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Kanex Sydnee Smart Recharge Station for iPads

At Macworld | iWorld 2012 in January, Kanex showed off a unique charging station called the Sydnee that not only had an otherworldly appearance, but could charge up to four iPads at once. Sydnee ($149.00) is a great way for families or small offices with multiple iPads and iPhones to keep their gear charged up and organized at the same time.

Design

Sydnee is definitely one of the more different-looking charging docks you'll ever see. While I was talking to the Kanex team at Macworld | iWorld, they told me that the design is based on the shape of the Axiom spaceship from the Disney-Pixar movie Wall-E. Whether or not that story is true, Sydnee's shape makes it possible to hold and charge three iPads at once. There are two internal slots for iPads as well as one external prop. If you have a fourth device, it's going to be laying on the desk or counter next to Sydnee.

Sydnee plugs into a wall socket for power, and comes with three Apple-compliant USB to Dock connector charging cables to plug in three of your devices. There are four 2.1A USB ports, but you get to supply your own cable for the fourth device. Sydnee has cable management slots built in, so those charging cables remain out of the way and aren't scattered hither and yon on your desktop when not in use. There's also a cable wrap on the back for taking up the slack on really long cables.

There's a Sydnee for whatever your taste in iPad and iPhone. The unit comes in black and white, with the cable management slots in yellow on both.

Functionality

With the 2.1A output of the USB ports, your devices will charge quickly. Setup of Sydnee is extremely simple -- just find a place to put it and then plug it in. Plug in the included USB cables and your fourth, self-supplied cable, and you're ready to go.

For this review, I only had access to a pair of iPads and a single iPhone, so I decided that it would be a good time to charge up my Kindle Fire / Mac Plus / Newton MessagePad as well. It uses a USB to micro-USB cable, so I plugged that into the fourth port for charging.

One thing you'll notice in the photos is that Sydnee has room for thick iPad cases. The devices go in sideways with the Dock connector pointing out, and even my wife's rather hefty Fu-Design case fit in the charging station with room to spare. This will be handy for medical offices that use protective carrying cases, although you may want to be sure that the cases will fit in Sydnee before buying one -- my measurements show the usable dimensions to be about 3/4" thickness by 7.5" wide.

Plugged in, all four devices immediately showed signs of charging, so Sydnee certainly has the capacity as advertised. It also has surge protection, a built-in circuit breaker, and comes with UL, CE, and FCC certification.

Conclusion

While those with large iPad installations will still need a much more robust solution like NewerTech's $379.00 GripStand Station (which also requires purchase of one $30 GripStand case per iPad), Sydnee is a reasonably-priced and attractive charging station that can handle up to four iPads at a time and doesn't require a special case.

If you're looking for a way to organize and charge your iPads and other devices, Kanex's Sydnee is definitely worth taking a look at.

Pros

  • Power capacity for four new iPads
  • Well built, attractive design
  • Doesn't require a special iPad case
  • Can accommodate iPads using a number of third-party cases.
  • Good short circuit, and overvoltage protection.
  • Only uses one standard wall outlet
  • Includes three Apple-compliant USB to Dock connector cables

Cons

  • More expensive than just using four iPad AC adapters on a power strip

Who is it for?

  • Anyone who wants an attractive and compact way to simultaneously charge up to four iPads

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