So what exactly is a charging pad? It’s a mat that conducts electricity to charge several handheld devices so you can charge them all in one convenient location. The charge mat (another term for the gadget) itself has to be plugged in (technology hasn’t come that far yet!). Each device you want to charge needs to have a receiver attached to it. The receiver is a small inductor you place next to your battery. If you have a device (like the iPhone) that doesn’t allow access to the battery compartment, then you get a special case or sleeve to slip over it that contains the receiver. You don’t need to keep that case on your phone all the time if you don’t like the feel of it (I like something protective around my expensive phone); you can just slip it off & keep it by the pad.
What’s the advantage of a charging pad? If you’ve only got one phone or mp3 player, there is none because all you need is one wall outlet. But, if like the people in my house, you have more than one cell phone or iPod, GPS, Blackberry, Nintendo Ds (Lite), the charge pad really comes in handy. We keep it on one end of the kitchen counter & now we never hear “Did you move my phone, ’cause I was charging it and it’s not there.” Before we got the charging pad, we had a multi-outlet adaptor that had 3 plugs, which left 3 cords tangled on the floor (the convenient outlets all had other stuff plugged into them).
Where you really appreciate a charging pad is when you travel. There are ones made just for portability that fold up for easy toting. It’s great if you’re in a motel room where all the outlets (what few they have) are already occupied. But whether you use on at home or on the road (or both), you’ll love coming in and just laying your phone (or whatever) on a pad & walking away. No more looking for your power cord. Another point: I have a friend with an Android-based phone (whose brand shall remain nameless) who’s been through 4 (FOUR!) power cords on a phone that’s less than a year old. A couple of us chipped in & bought her a charging pad for her birthday & she loves it. (And we weren’t even trying to hit on her!)
Bottom line: if you’re a gadget geek/own more than one PED (or share an apartment/house with someone else who has a phone, etc.), like convenience, dislike clutter–get yourself a charging pad.