Gizmo Watch: A futuristic, magnetic power trip

The Anker 3-in-1 Cube with MagSafe is a power bank for i-devices that has your back in case of charging emergencies

By Anirban Bagchi

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Published: Wed 13 Dec 2023, 12:36 AM

Calling all i-device users: If you want to feel apocalypse proof, a new gadget is just the ticket.

In today’s world, there can be few things as apocalyptic as your iphone running out of juice. These slim devices, that have become so vital it seems they have a stranglehold on our very existence, are also extremely power hungry, needing daily, if not more frequent, charging. And life seems to come to a standstill if your iphone, Airpod or Apple watch runs out of battery and there is no charging point around. It’s the definition of an apocalypse descending on your life.

But fear not, Anker has a solution: a power bank that's so delightful, it makes charging your devices feel like a whimsical carnival ride! Enter the Anker 3-in-1 Cube with MagSafe – the Swiss Army knife of chargers.

The Anker 3-in-1 Cube looks like it's been crafted by a team of futuristic elves with a PhD in minimalism. It’s very nearly a perfect cube in its shape, measuring 6.34x6x6cm; it's sleek, it's compact, and it's got that smooth matte finish that makes you want to caress it like a newborn kitten. And, of course, the pièce de résistance – the MagSafe feature. It’s a magnetic attachment that you flip up like a lid from the Cube, tilting it upwards to a 60-degree angle. It’s the charging surface to which iphone can stick, juicing up inductively, while seemingly defying gravity.

This is one of three inductive charging surfaces on the Anker 3-in-1 Cube, and the sight of an iphone stuck to it like its fall down a slippery slope has been arrested mid-slide is so satisfying, it's like the charger is whispering sweet nothings to your phone as it effortlessly snaps into place magnetically.

But wait, there's more! The cube doesn't just charge your phone — it's a magician that appears to pull power out of thin air and supply it endlessly to your iphone accessories — a portable charger that's as powerful as a caffeinated superhero.

When you flip up the top of the cube like a lid to charge your iphone, what it reveals beneath is another inductive charging pad with a nook perfectly designed to fit your AirPods. Place the buds in their box and put the box on this surface and you will have your buds charged up in a jiffy.

The third inductive charging surface is tucked inside the cube on its side. There is a rectangular shelf-like panel on the side that is spring loaded and fits flush inside the cube. Give it a press and out it pops, revealing another inductive charging surface, like a shelf, designed to hold and charge your Apple Watch.

What the three charging surfaces can do is charge your iphone, AirPods and Apple Watch — all together, at the same time. This is enabled by the enormous capacity of the power bank. Its total output is 30W, and it offers 15W fast charging for iphones from series 12 and above, while the tray offers fast charging to series 7 and above but will still charge older Apple watches. For the earphone charging tray, since we did not have the real AirPods, we took a chance to charge a knock-off model, and found that this, too, got tanked up quite quickly and smoothly. As did our iphone 14 on the MagSafe flipped up slot. It was like the cube was hosting a tech party, and every i-device was invited!

The Anker 3-in-1 Cube is overall quite user-friendly. The cube has a USB-C port and comes supplied with a USB-C cable for filling up the power bank. The cable also comes in handy as a power outlet, offering a wired charge port: You can connect any device to it via the cables and USB-C ports to charge them up, not just Apple devices. And as a final wonder, the cube holds so much power that if you connect it to a laptop via the USB-C cable, it can even power your laptop.

It's like a tiny, loyal sidekick that never leaves your side. Need to make an important call? The power bank is there. Lost in an unfamiliar city? The power bank has your back. Stranded on a deserted island with nothing but your iphone and the Anker 3-in-1 Cube? Well, at least you can charge your phone while you wait for rescue.

And there are some safety features, too. Anker has sprinkled this gadget with a magic dust called "multi-protection", ensuring your devices stay safe from overcharging, short circuits, and the evil clutches of overheating.

So, with so much going for the Anker 3-in-1 Cube, what’s not to like about it? For one, the mechanism for lifting the top up and down, while really smooth and robust in operation — holding the slant in place strongly so it won’t start folding under the weight of your phone — is slightly snappy at the close. On one or two occasions, while collapsing the cube, I managed to pinch my finger under the snapping top’s last few millimetres. Naturally clumsy people like me need to watch out for this one.

Secondly, while the top is strong enough to keep your iphone held firmly in place at an angle that presses down on it, it’s tensile strength may perhaps erode over time with continuous opening and folding. This is not to doubt the overall build quality, which is exemplary.

And that build quality, in fact, contributes to the last negative about the device — its weight. At around 415 grams, this small cube definitely has some heft. Pick it up and you realise that its size belies its bulk. This means that while its size is conducive to being carried around as your saviour from the apocalypse, you will constantly feel its weight, especially when it moves around in your bag, as it inevitably will, given its shape.

That, however, does not detract from the fact that the Anker 3-in-1 Cube with MagSafe power bank is not just a charger — it's a technological masterpiece. It's the James Bond of chargers, the Wonder Woman of power banks, and the Gandalf of magnetic charging attachments.

So, if you want to inject a bit of magic into your charging routine and turn heads wherever you set it up, get yourself this gadget, which retails at Dh379 on Amazon. Your i-devices will thank you, and you'll feel like the proud owner of a little slice of the future — a future you can charge into apocalypse proof.

Anker 3-in-1 Cube with MagSafe power bank

Hits:

- Futuristic design

- Able to charge 3 devices at once

- Enormous power capacity

Misses:

- Weight

- Snappy top lifting unit

Price:

Dh379

Rating: 4.5 stars


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