There's always been one thing missing from my desk setup, and that's been a way to keep my iPhone and AirPods charged throughout the day if need be. I'll commonly find myself needing to charge one or the other during the workday due to my lack of charging them overnight.
So, when Nomad reached out about trying out their new Base Station Mini, I was very excited. I had been keeping an eye on the different kinds of wireless chargers that were good for a desk setup, but I hadn't found anything that I was really sold on yet. I also already use Nomad's Base Station Apple Watch Edition on my nightstand, which lets me charge my iPhone 12 Pro, AirPods Pro, and Apple Watch Series 6 overnight (if I remember of course).
While the regular Base Station versions are great for the bedroom, I don't need to charge three things at once during the workday, so the Base Station Mini seemed like a potentially perfect solution for what I was looking for. I've been using it as part of my desk setup for about a week now and have some thoughts.
Nomad Base Station Mini
Bottom line: If you're looking for a premium wireless charger for your desk or only need to charge one thing at a time at night, the Nomad Base Station Mini provides modern style with the performance to back it up.
- Premium materials
- Up to 15W charging speeds
- USB-C to USB-C cable included
- Does not come with a wall charger
- iPhone only charges at 7.5W
Nomad Base Station Mini: Price and availability
The Nomad Base Station Mini retails for $60 and is currently only available at Nomad's website. The 20W charger, which is also needed since the Base Station Mini does not come with a wall charger, costs $19 and is also currently exclusive to the Nomad website.
Nomad Base Station Mini: A mini station for your devices
The first thing you'll notice about the Base Station Mini is the design. The Mini, like the regular Base Station before it, follows the same design language with an aluminum chassis and a padded leather surface. It results in a sleek, modern, and minimal look that blends in well with the other elements of my desk setup.
When I unboxed the Base Station Mini I was pleasantly surprised to find that it came with a six-foot charging cable as well. A lot of products, for some unexplainable reason, tend to only come with a three-foot cable which is basically useless if you're trying to use it on your desk or nightstand. The cable is also braided, so it'll take a beating if need be.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that it came with a six-foot charging cable
The cable and Base Station Mini charger itself are also USB-C. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw this because, in this day and age, nothing hurts more when you open a new product and find that it's still packing micro-USB.
The charger supports the maximum charging speeds for the iPhone 12 Pro over Qi Wireless Charging as well at 7.5 watts. While some chargers have excessive lights to indicate charging is happening, the Base Station Mini's ambient light will actually dim itself at night.
Nomad Base Station Mini: No wall charger?!
The first thing I have a little bit of a problem with is the fact that the Base Station Mini does not come with a wall charger. While this seems more reasonable for products that charge through USB-A (as people tend to have those chargers laying around), there aren't many people using USB-C yet. I imagine there could be quite a few customers who buy the charger and, upon unboxing, realize they have another purchase to make before they can actually use it.
For the purpose of the review, Nomad did provide me with their new 20W USB-C Wall Charger, and it worked great. It charged my iPhone and AirPods at their maximum allowed speed. Nomad also recommends the charger, which costs $19, when shopping for the Base Station Mini.
The reality of wireless charging is still too confusing for the average consumer
The one thing I noticed, however, was that the 20W charger only enables wireless charging speeds up to 10W. The charger itself is capable of 15W, so you'll need to look for a 30W wall charger from another brand if you want to get the fastest speeds for your Android phones that support 15W wireless charging.
Another thing to note is that while the charger does support 15W wireless charging, the iPhone 12 Pro will only charge at 7.5W. This is a limitation by Apple, however, not Nomad. In order to get 15W wireless charging with the iPhone 12 Pro, you'll need to invest in a MagSafe charger.
This all goes to say that the reality of wireless charging is still too confusing for the average consumer and Nomad is not immune from these quirks.
Nomad Base Station Mini: The competition
There isn't a shortage of wireless chargers competing against the Base Station Mini, but Nomad certainly has a leg up on most when it comes to putting forth a premium-looking product. The company is meticulous about design and functionality, and that comes through when looking at and using the charger.
The company also made sure to pack in the fastest standard wireless charging speeds for both the iPhone (7.5W) and Android (15W). This is great, as there are many wireless chargers in the market that are still stuck at 5W charging speeds.
However, if the Base Station Mini or Nomad's other wireless chargers aren't the kind of design you are looking for, check out our list of the Best Wireless Charging Pads for iPhone 2021 or Best AirPods Pro Wireless Chargers 2021.
Nomad Base Station Mini: Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a wireless charger for your desk setup
- You only need to charge one device at a time
You should not buy this if ...
- You want to charge your iPhone at its maximum wireless speed
- You need to charge more than one device at a time
The Nomad Base Station Mini is fantastic as a single-device wireless charger. If you need to charge more than one device at a time, the Base Station Pro or Base Station Apple Watch Edition is a better match.
It's been really convenient to charge my iPhone 12 Pro and AirPods Pro during the day while I'm working. Even if I'm not charging anything, the Base Station Mini looks great on my desk anyway which is definitely something I can't say for some other wireless chargers.
After working on my desk for a couple of months, the Base Station Mini was definitely the final touch that brought it all together.
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