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The Belkin Rotating Charger 2.1 + ChargeSync is for a) people who can never seem to have enough chargers around for all their Apple gear, be it iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and b) need plugs that can swivel and fit into any spare outlet that's available, regardless of how cramped they may be, or which direction they're in.
The 2.1 in the Belkin Rotating Charger 2.1 + ChargeSync signifies the amount of amps. That'll handle any iPhone, iPod, or iPad on the market, though the time it takes to charge will vary depending on the battery size of the device in question. The included Dock to USB cable is 4 feet, which is okay but not exceptional.
I originally thought, upon getting the Belkin Rotating Charger 2.1 + ChargeSync, that it would be the cable end that rotates. Since the USB to Dock cable is separate from the charger unit, and the charger unit is rather large, that would be a handy feature to have -- it would greatly reduce the chances for the cable becoming detached or the plug falling out due to torque or tension from handling your device on the other end. However, it's actually the prong assembly that swivels and then locks into position at 90 degree intervals.
It does come in handy when you have a powerbar already jam packed with plugs and the one free outlet, of course, isn't in the right direction to fit. Rather than unplugging and rearranging the entire strip -- which can be especially annoying if computers, TVs, gaming systems, and other machines that don't like being disconnected are involved -- you simply swivel the Belkin Rotating Charger 2.1 + ChargeSync into whichever orientation fits, and plug it right in.
Belkin markets the Rotating Charger 2.1 as a "ChargeSync" cable, which a lot of other companies do, but I find it irksome. Any USB to Dock cable is a "ChargeSync" cable because that's the kind of cable that can both charge over USB and sync with iTunes on the Mac or PC at the same time. The cable that comes in the box with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad does just exactly that. You know what Apple calls it? "Apple Dock connector to USB cable". Yeah.
So basically, you're getting Belkin's much bulkier version of that, with a more functional sounding name, and much bigger AC adapter that rather than simply fitting into tight spaces the way Apple's iPhone AC adapter does, it swivels to make up for its big, bulkiness. If you're looking for an iPad adapter, it's not as big of a size difference, but compared to the iPhone and iPod touch adapter, it's big.
And wait, it gets worse. The 30-pin part of the Dock connecter doesn't fit into the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad anywhere nearly as well as Apple's cable. On a naked device, it sticks out and is loose. On a case, the bulkiness greatly reduces the odds that you can plug it in at all.
The thicker gauge of the cable might prove more rugged and durable, but the sheer size of the Dock connector makes it a poor tradeoff. You can, of course, use an Apple cable -- or any other cable -- with the Belkin swivel AC adapter, but that kinds of defeats the purpose of the Belkin Rotating Charger 2.1 + ChargeSync combo. (And again, the AC adapter has chunkiness issues all its own...)
On the plus side, the prongs can also fold down to keep the safe and sound in a bag or luggage while traveling.
- 2.1 amps
- Prongs can swivel
- Connector is bulky
- Adapter is big
The bottom line
Unless you specifically need a heavier gauge iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad cable, or prongs that can fold away for travel, there's little reason to recommend the Belkin Rotating Charger 2.1 + ChargeSync over other options.
$24.95 - Buy now
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By Tammy Rogers