I have too many cables. Well okay let’s face it, I have too many devices that need cables.
Still the point is, I have too many cables.
Ever since Apple announced (and never released) their AirPower charging mat I’ve been fascinated about what the future of charging might be. Like many, as I accumulate more and more devices the mess of cables just becomes a lot to deal with, particularly when it comes to traveling. Every night I attach my iPhone to my MagSafe charger, drop my AirPods Pro on a wireless charger, charge my Apple Watch, plug in my iPad and plug in my MacBook. At this point it’s part of my nighttime routine just like brushing my teeth. However I’ve noticed the more I travel with my devices that it’s not fun to lug around cables and charging bricks everywhere I go.
So to solve that problem, Anker made a 3-in-1 Cube with MagSafe that I’ve spent a couple weeks with now, here are my thoughts:
Design & Functionality
Anker knocked it out of the park with this charging dock. Measuring only 2.5” x 2.5”, this charging hub is compact! The signature “cube” design which I’ve been seeing all over social media looks slick on my nightstand.
The 3-in-1 Cube unfolds up and pops out to reveals its charging ports. On the side of the cube, a push button Apple Watch charger is located. On the top, a hinge flips up to reveal a Qi wireless charging pad (typically used for AirPods or AirPods Pro). The top hinge then is in place and connects to your iPhone (iPhone 12 or newer) via MagSafe. The build quality of this cube was top-notch. The magnets are strong, the hinges are strong and the block itself has some heft to it. Overall, it’s clear that Anker put time into the details with this one and I’m always a fan of details.
One feature I would love to see in future Anker chargers would be an external-battery feature in which the cube or hub could act as a power bank (like Satechi did with their charging hub I reviewed). Perhaps not necessary for this product’s use case but would be another feature to an already very capable charging hub.
Anker not only designed a functional product, they clearly designed the 3-in-1 Cube with consumer needs first. According to an Apple Insider report, they claim that 30% of iPhone users use an Apple Watch. On top of that, the likelihood of an iPhone and Apple Watch user to own AirPods is even higher. It’s clear Anker did their homework with this piece. Why solve one problem with a product when you can solve up to three problems with that same product?
While the charging of the 3-in-1 cube is a bit slower than a 18W USB-C to Lighting cable, from my testing the slower speed was negligible. Plus, if you’re like me and you’re using this charging hub, most likely it’s for charging overnight so speed is less of a priority.
One thing to note is that when charging your iPhone and AirPods be sure to take off your non-MagSafe approved cases to charge them. While it is possible to charge your iPhone on this stand with a non-MagSafe case I noticed that it was spotty at times and not reliable. This is nothing new to anyone who’s used wireless charging or MagSafe in the past though but good to be aware of.
Coming in at $149.99, this isn’t cheap. If you were to buy an 18W power brick, a wireless charger, and an Apple Watch charger you could charge all the same devices for quite a bit cheaper. Yet if you’re like me and you’re on your second or third charging cable and over time they wear down and just never seem to connect quite right, this might be the answer. For anyone traveling, the Anker 3-in-1 is the perfect accessory due to its size and wide-ranging functionality. Additionally, often times when traveling, outlets are at a premium so the cube answers that problem by reducing the number of outlets needed. Gone are the days of the “charger scramble” as you make sure you get all your cables packed away for a trip. Pack the 3-in-1 Cube and you’re set for your next adventure. Anker’s 3-in-1 Cube with MagSafe is the one stop shop for charging.