Why I Want the New Zens $150 Charging Station

It promises to untangle my cords

Key Takeaways

  • The new Zens magnetic charging station looks good and promises to end tangled cords. 
  • At $149.99, the Zens is a lot to spend on a charger, but I’m hoping it will make my life simpler. 
  • Several other magnetic charging stations are on the market, including some that cost considerably less than the Zens.
Some searching for the right charger amid a tangle of cords.

SimonSkafar / Getty Images

There’s absolutely no reason to spend $149.99 on a charger, but I’m tempted to get the new Zens charging station anyway, simply because it looks cool and promises to make my life easier. 

The new 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger went on sale this week, and it's designed to work with Apple's latest iPhone 12 models. The sleek, minimalist-looking charger can juice a MagSafe-equipped iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, and a fourth device simultaneously.

"I’m caught in a black hole of different charging standards even though I’m pretty much an exclusively Apple gadget owner."

Untangling the Cords

The Zens is made from aluminum and comes in a black finish. For the iPhone 12 range, the left-hand side has a stand with a MagSafe holder that can charge devices in landscape and portrait orientations at up to 15 watts. There’s also a flat wireless charging spot for AirPods and Qi-compatible devices.

The right-hand side of the stand has a vertical USB-A port, which supports an Apple Watch in Nightstand mode. A USB-A port can connect to another device for charging. Unlike many less-expensive stands, the Zens comes with its own 30W adapter to power the whole contraption. 

I am trying to justify the expensive Zens charger because it could improve and simplify my setup. My apartment is a rat’s nest of disparate and tangled Apple charging cords. I put much of the blame on myself, but it’s not just me. 

I’m caught in a black hole of different charging standards, even though I’m pretty much an exclusively Apple gadget owner. How is it possible in 2021 that I’m left scrambling to find and use so many chargers? 

Let me count the ways. My MacBook Pro uses USB-C, while my AirPods use a Lightning connection. My Apple Watch Series 6 uses its own charger, while my iPhone 12 uses Lightning once again. Meanwhile, my iPad Air charges over Lightning, but my iPad Pro needs a charge with a USB-C connection. I need a map just to keep my chargers straight.

The Zens charging station for Apple Products.

Zens

All for One, One for All

There are many charging stations on the market, and I’ve tried a bunch, but they all have their fatal flaws. First of all, the more practical chargers, which are sturdy and come with many connections, tend to be so ugly that they look like they belong in a warehouse rather than a living room. 

My current charging stand is a delightful-looking bamboo item I bought on Amazon for less than $30. The natural wood look complements any decor and is soothing to look at. Unfortunately, like many charging stations out there, it’s a complete disaster to use. 

The lightweight bamboo material means that it’s prone to tip over. 

Of course, you have to provide your own actual charging cables and thread them through the various port openings. Keeping the cords where they are supposed to be is a continual exercise in frustration, as chargers tend to shift as you touch them. By contrast, the Zens station is heavily weighted and promises to keep cords in place. 

You may not need to spend $150 on the Zens to get similar features. There are quite a few charging stands available that offer magnetic charging and a minimalist design. Take this 4-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger, which looks a lot like the Zens but costs less than $50. Also up for consideration is the medical appliance-looking Intoval 3-in-1 Magnetic Wireless Charger for $39.99. 

Well-known accessory maker Belkin also offers a magnetic charging station, although its price compares to the Zens at $149.99. It’s got MagSafe technology and comes in a choice of black or white finishes to match your Apple devices. 

Despite my qualms at spending so much money on a charging station, I’ll be ordering the Zens 4-in-1. I’m looking forward to trying it out and sharing my thoughts. 

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