tech: Qi2 is here! New stands, mats, and travel chargers

Qi2 is here with CES and all those $150 MagSafe 2 charging systems are getting cheaper. It’s pretty clear that Qi2 is going to be way cheaper, so let’s look at ways to put a full Qi2 system for phones, headphones, and watches in every room would

You can say that there are two form factors for doing this: a shelf stand and the other is where your computer is and lives on your desk. The ideal is that it has 15W Qi2, 10W Qi, and 7.5W Apple Watch.

Here is what we’ve used

There is no perfect charger, the main

Corsair MM1000 Qi Wireless Charger (don’t recommend this) has two USB A plugs and a low-power Qi charger that’s designed for a mouse. The main issues are that there is only one charger and it is basically 5 watts. There is a no-name version that I tried as well. The main issue is that without the magnetic parts of Qi2, it is hard to align them and there needs to be more than one charger. Of course, USB C is needed as well, but the basic thing is that it needs 15W phone charging, 5W for an AirPod Pro, and then one that works for an Apple watch (which is not compatible).

Belkin 3-in-1 MagSafe charger. (works fine) This has worked well for us, it is expensive at $150, but it does have 15W MagSafe, Qi charger for Apple AirPod, and a 5W Apple charger. So the main thing is the slower Apple charger. It’s actually on sale now at Amazon for $115 given the Qi2 version is coming.

ESR 6-in-1 MagSafe charger. (nice but expensive) More expensive at 180, I ended up buying two of these from Kickstarter. This has a 15W MagSafe, 5W Apple Watch, and then a Qi charger. It also has a pair of USB-C and a USB-A.

Apple MagSafe Duo Charger. This is discontinued and was expensive at $130 and the problem is that it doesn’t really work with the big bump iPhone 13 Pros and later. But it is very compact which is really important in travel.

Standalone MagSafe and Apple Watch chargers. These are quick but they are just too loose, you really want a stand.

Desk Mat chargers

Journey ALTI Wireless Charging Desk Mat. This is about $130 and the nice thing is that it is felt on one side and the charger has two wireless charging spots (it doesn’t work with the Apple Watch). It is nice that the unit looks and works like a desktop mat as this is the way to get it naturally to the desk. The main limitation is that there is no Apple Watch spot.

These are not flat units, but they make stands for your phone and mouse. There are quite a few choices here that work:

Nightstand stands chargers

Travel Chargers

Now that the Apple MagSafe Duo is out of production, figuring out the right way to get things charge on the go is easier in that so many more Qi2 vendors are doing this:

  • Native Union Voyage. This is a Qi2 and an Apple Watch charger, it doesn’t have an AirPod spot though and it uses any USB C charger
  • Anker MagGo Wireless Charging Station. This is a foldable but it is big enough that it makes more sense as something that stands up. It has a 15W Qi2 charger stand, an Apple AirPod place that is 5W, and then an Apple Watch charger in the back. It is currently $110 on Amazon.

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