TYLT is no stranger to crowdfunding, having a proven record of successful campaigns. When I first heard of TYLT in 2013, they were Kickstarting their TYLT VU wireless charger and they immediately caught my eye. I loved the design of the TYLT VU and still think it’s one of the best wireless chargers you can buy. I currently own three. Near the end of last year, TYLT crowdfunded a new product, the ENERGI Desktop Charger. Just a desktop charger? That sounds boring. But TYLT doesn’t do boring. TYLT knows how to kick it up a notch.
The TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger is a 5-port USB charger with a trick up its sleeve: One of its ports is also a removable battery charger. Four of the USB ports output 2.4 Amps with TYLT’s SmartDetect technology to deliver the optimum charging speed to whatever device is plugged into in. The fifth port, the battery, is a 3,200mAh pack that can output 5 volts at 1 Amp. Overall, the charger can output 50 Watts to 5 devices simultaneously, so your devices will never have to take turns charging again.
The design of the TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger is pretty interesting. I feel like the desktop charger design is a departure from typical TYLT designs that are bright, single-colored, and angular. The ENERGI Desktop Charger is fairly dull-colored and the design looks like it was inspired by Star Wars. It’s gray and a darker bluish-gray. In my opinion, the colors are dull compared to previous TYLT standards. I’m not saying the design and look is bad, it’s just different. The ENERGI Desktop Charger’s style is neither minimal nor very classy. It’s just unique.
The removable 3,200mAh power bank is an interesting touch. I mostly really like it. If you’ve ever read any of my past reviews, you know that I’m a huge fan of wireless charging. What I like about wireless charging is how my phones have a place that they live when I’m not using them. Whether I’m at my desk or in my bed, I have a specific place where I put my phone so that it charges wirelessly without me having to hunt for cables. The ENERGI Desktop Charger does not have wireless charging, not the inductive kind anyway, but the ENERGI Desktop Charger provides a power bank with a built-in home. It doesn’t require a cable. You can charge the battery with a with a micro-USB cable if you’re away from the Desktop Charger if needed, or you can just slip it back in the Desktop Charger.
My house is full of different power banks and my wife and I have misplaced most of them, but I make an extra effort to always place the ENERGI Desktop Charger power bank back where it goes. I think because it has a home. It’s nice that this power bank has a place that is goes and it’s nice to always have a charged power bank around. I like it. But there’s no reason why I can’t take better care of one of the power banks I already have. So, I like the 5th ENERGI Desktop charger port that’s also a power bank, but it’s not that much more convenient than just having a non-built-in power bank. Especially when the built-in power bank only outputs 1 Amp and there are higher amp and fast charging power banks out there.
There are a couple of issues I’ve run into with the removable battery on with the TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger. First, my toddler went running off with the charger and, until I found it, I was left with only 4-port desktop charger.
Second, the battery is made to go into the Desktop Charger in a specific orientation. TYLT has tried to design the battery-Desktop Charger combo so that it’s easy to know which way to put the charger in. There’s an arrow on top of the battery and a slot on the right side of the battery that should prevent one from putting the battery in the wrong direction, but it doesn’t. My wife somehow has the hardest time putting it in the right orientation. She claims she tries all the different orientations and they all feel the same.
In my experience, it’s very clear which orientation is the right one and when the battery is installed in the correct orientation it goes is very smoothly. However, on more than one occasion my wife or maybe a kid,has inserted the battery in the wrong orientation. Not only will the battery not charge in the wrong orientation, but it’s extremely hard to get out when forced in the wrong way. The first time I found it installed the wrong way, I thought it was stuck for good. However, I found that wiggling the battery up and down was a good method to break the battery free. So, my message to TYLT is that you made a good effort trying to help us users not put the battery in the wrong orientation, but you could have done better. I wish they would have made it impossible to put the battery in the wrong way instead of only making it a little more difficult than normal, which results in stuck batteries.
So, how does the TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger perform? Let’s check out the data. I’m comparing the TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger to the Lumsing 5-Port Desktop Charger reviewed here. For all tests, the Nexus 6 was being charged all by itself. As you can see in the figure to the right, the non-battery port on the TYLT charged at a rate of about 0.7% per minute, a tenth of a percent faster per minute than the Lumsing charger over the same time period. The 1-Amp battery port on the TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger charged at a rate of about half the other chargers at 0.3% per minute. Contrast this with Quick Charge 2.0 via the Motorola Turbo Charger that can charge my Nexus 6 that can charge at about double the speeds of the 2.4 Amp ports on the chargers used to build the plot to the right. So in conclusion, the TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger narrowly edges out a much cheaper desktop charger in speed and has extra features, but there are much faster chargers out there if your phone is Quick Charge-capable.
Overall, I think TYLT has produced another very functional device that has extra capability beyond what most desktop chargers provide on the market. Other than family members putting the battery back in the wrong way, the device has functioned perfectly and has been a great addition to my work space. It can charge several devices simultaneously and can also help you charge one device while you’re away from your desk. I haven’t seen another device out there that provides you this whole package. I think the look of the ENERGI Desktop Charger is neither classy nor flashy, but somewhere in between. I can’t think of many desks where it will fit in perfectly, but if nothing else it’s definitely interesting.
The TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger can be purchased from TYLT for $79.99. For whatever reason, I found it to be more expensive on Amazon. If you like the idea of a desktop charger setup with a power bank connected to it, I’m sure you could get creative and buy a cheaper desktop charger if you do a little searching and purchase a battery pack pack separately, and then you could both have quick charge technology and you’d walk away saving a significant amount of money compared to the cost of the TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger. Regardless, TYLT is a respected brand in the tech industry for producing quality products, and they offer a 1-year warranty with the ENERGI Desktop Charger.
What are your thoughts on the TYLT ENERGI Desktop Charger? Do you like the look of it? Think the package is worth the money? Or would you prefer a different desktop charging setup? Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts in the comments below.