When it comes to charging multiple devices, honestly, I normally just give up and throw the tangled cables into my bag with a 6 port USB charging hub. I mean, I have a decent dock for my iPhone 7+ and Apple Watch that has a USB to charge my iPad, and there are many of those options available on Amazon. But there’s a new kid on the block, and OS Power Box brings something else to the table; a USB Type-C 60W charger and the ability to fold flat for travel.
Nomad Base Station
OS Power Box is currently on Kickstarter, though it has been fully funded and now is just basically taking pre-orders. The OS Power Box aims to replace all of your chargers with just one, in a convenient fold-flat package. This unique dock brings MFi certified chargers for both the iPhone and Apple Watch docks, a USB-A plug capable of outputting 2.4A (enough to charge an iPad), and a USB Type-C output putting 60W of power out. MFi certification means that it is safe to charge your phone and Apple Watch, and the USB-A port really just sends power down the USB cable you plug-in What makes this dock unique is that they give you a 60W USB Type-C port for charging different devices.
Being a 60W charger, this will charge the 13-inch MacBook Pro (2016/2017 models) no problem, but the 15-inch MacBook Pro normally takes a little more power. The 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with an 87W power supply because of the amount of power the computer consumes when in use. 60W will trickle charge the computer when in use, and when under heavy use it will likely only help it maintain charge (or just discharge slowly). If you keep the computer off, however, and charge it overnight, you shouldn’t have any problems. Please note though, we do not normally recommend using third-party chargers for MacBooks, as Apple puts their own chargers under extreme scrutiny and holds them to a very high standard. Using a third-party charger could cause damage to your computer.
Starting at $110, the OS Power Box is more expensive than other iPhone docks, but remember, it brings that powerful Type-C charger. You don’t have to use this port to charge your MacBook though, it can be used to charge any device, and even can be used with Apple’s Type-C to Lightning to charge your iPhone, iPad, or any other iDevice.
If you go up to $135, you get their “Travel Set” which includes the OS Power Box and a travel case to keep everything nice and tidy when traveling. This is where the OS Power Box really shines, as my current iPhone/Apple Watch dock is huge and takes up tons of room when traveling.
If you do travel a lot, or really want a good external battery, for $210 they currently have what they call their “OS Power Travel Set”, which includes the OS Power Box, the travel case, and their Power Cube. The Power Cube is a 26,800 mAh battery (it’s under 100wH so it can be brought on a plane.) The Power Cube also brings USB-PD with 60W Type-C to charge your MacBook or other devices, as well as two USB-A ports with Qualcomm Quick Charge support to charge other devices.
In the end, the OS Power Cube is a really awesome idea that I hope takes off. The only thing that I am waiting to check out is the Type-C. I have reached out to the team behind the OS Power Cube to get more information on their USB Type-C and what testing it’s gone through. But, for $110, you will likely be hard-pressed to find another dock that folds as flat as the OS Power Cube and brings the features it has.
Like all crowdfunded projects, back at your own risk. Just because it’s reached its funding goal does not mean that they will actually ship.