Price: $50Bottom line: Hard Cider Labs has produced a viable alternative to Apple's AirPower. You can charge your iPhone (8 or newer), Apple Watch, and AirPods (with the wireless adapter case) or a second smartphone rapidly together with this one efficient charging mat.
18w total fast charge
Flexible for multi-device use
Must place devices correctly
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Do you want to get rid of that tangle of cords on your nightstand or desk? Check out Hard Cider Labs' SliceCharge. This slim mat charges up to three devices including any Qi-enabled smartphone, Apple Watch, and AirPods (you'll need to add on the charging case for $20 more) rapidly and simultaneously.
Due to a growth in orders, some of our readers have experienced that Hard Cider Labs has been unable to meet appropriate shipping deadlines. Because of this current situation, we recommend holding off ordering the SliceCharge 3in1 until further notice. We'll update this article when we have more solid information. (Dated 6-12-19)
Does the job
SliceCharge: What I like
We were pretty excited when Apple first announced AirPower. What a great idea to have a single mat where you could set down your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods for wireless charging, without having to mess with all those wires and plugs. But in the long wait for its release, other companies jumped in to fill the void. Hard Cider Labs has done that beautifully.
SliceCharge is a slim, unassuming mat constructed from aluminum and covered with an anti-scratch, anti-slip fabric. The fabric looks and feels like a sturdy canvas. It comes in three colors: Frosted White, Carmine Red, and Indigo Blue so you can match it to your devices and/or your decor.
It has three charging areas. The center spot is for an Apple Watch. The left and right spots can charge any wireless-enabled Qi protocol phones, such as the iPhone 8/8 Plus/X, iPhone XS/XS Max/XR, and Samsung Galaxy S9/8/7. The left and right spots can also be used to wirelessly charge AirPods by using the Hard Cider Labs' ElectroLeather AirPods case, which costs an additional $20, but now you have a protective case for your AirPods case!
The total output for the SliceCharge among its three charging areas is 18w. Each of the outer phone spots is 7.5w. It comes with an 18w QC 3.0 power adapter (type A/B) which has over-voltage protection, temperature control, and foreign object detection for safety purposes.
I did not run speed tests, but each 7.5w charger is purported to fully charge an iPhone in 3.2 hours, which is about a half hour faster than its competitors. In my experience, the SliceCharge just works as expected.
Place with precision
SliceCharge: What I don't like
You can't just slap your devices down anywhere on the mat. The charging areas are specific, so be sure to place your devices in the right spot and check to make sure they are charging before you walk away.
As I mentioned earlier, if you want to charge your AirPods on the SliceCharge, you do need to make an additional $20 purchase of the ElectroLeather AirPods Wireless Charging Protective Case. This is actually a nice solution on Hard Cider Labs' part to a limitation in the AirPods' technology, but it is an additional purchase you need to be aware of.
SliceCharge: Bottom line
This unobtrusive mat can replace up to three chargers on your desk or nightstand. Fewer wires and plugs to deal with is always a good thing, both logistically and aesthetically. The SliceCharge is a quick and efficient way to charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods (or a second smartphone) simultaneously.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.