Most people that have an iPhone have at least one more portable Apple product, be it an Apple Watch or AirPods. Many people have both. When it comes time to charge them, the jumble of cables can be a hassle. To keep your desk or nightstand neat and your cable in order, consider an Elago 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 Charging Hub.
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Apple Tech Talk Scorecard
|Silicone base won’t scratch surfaces||Lightning cables tend to pull out of holders|
|Lightweight but well balanced|
|Built-in cable management|
Elago Charging Hubs – Unboxing
The Elago 2-in-1 Charging Hub is made of a soft silicone ruber. The base is more flexible that the top section which holds an Apple Watch, and either an iPhone or an AirPods charging case.
The area above the oval base is made from the same silicone but is a stiffer texture to hold your devices.
The base measures about 2.8” (71mm) front to back and only slightly bigger side to side. From bottom to top it measures about 2.6” (67mm).
The front has an opening for the Apple Watch charging cable. Directly behind it, and slightly elevated is a molded cradle for the iPhone or AirPods case and an opening for a single Lightning Cable.
The Elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub is similar is design and has the same soft silicone base.
The top part of the hub has a slightly different configuration.
The location of the Apple Watch charging cable is the same as the 2-in-1 model. But where the 2-in-in can hold either an iPhone or Airpods case behind it, the 3-in-1 model has a cup that is designed to only hold the AirPods case. The iPhone has its own dedicated holder next to the Apple watch and AirPods area.
The front-to-back measurement of the 3-in-1 base is the same 2.8” (71mm) as the 2-in-1 style but is obviously much wider at 3.07”. The height of the 3-in-1 is almost identical to the 2-in-1 model.
Both models are designed so that you can coil any excess cable into the base and there are 2 or 3 thin slots on the rear of each base to hold the cables in place.
Elago Charging Hubs – Set-up
Set-up of both hubs was quick and easy. We started by installing the Apple Watch charging puck. We inserted the USB-A plug through the front opening and into a cut-out in the base. By pulling the cable through, we just needed to apply slight pressure on the face of the puck to seat it into the opening on the front of the hub.
Installing the Lightning cable is the reverse process. From the underside of the hub, we inserted the Lightning tip of the cable up into the opening in the base of the hub. Unlike the Apple watch puck, we had to exert a fair amount of pressure to get the Lightning tip into the opening. Once seated, we slipped both cables into the recesses on the bottom of the base to hold the cables in place.
The 3-in-1 model has the same technique except there is an opening for the second Lightning cable and the rear of the base has three slits rather than two.
We did notice on both models that we had to adjust the height of all the Lightning cables after we installed them. In most cases, we had set them too low into the hub opening to make contact with the respective port on the iPhone or AirPods case.
Elago Charging Hubs – Test Results
We found the Elago Charging Hubs to be very stable on whatever surface we had them on. We have tested some hubs that got top-heavy when holding an iPhone. The Elago hubs were solid and never tipped, even when we accidently knocked into them. Even the Apple watch was secure when resting on the Elago hub.
We moved them around quite often, even after loading them with our Apple devices and they never scratched any of the surfaces.
Our only complaint is with the Lightning cables. Knowing how tight it was to insert the Lightning tips into their respective openings, we were disappointed to find that when trying to remove our iPhone Xs from the hub, the Lightning cable would often lift out of the hub, still connected to the iPhone jack. We would then have to push the cord back into the opening, only to find later that we have pushed it in too far, and now it wouldn’t connect to the iPhone when we placed it back on the hub.
We had the same issue with the AirPods lightning cable in the 3-in-1 model, although not as often.
At this point, when the Lightning cord comes out, we pretty much disconnect it from the phone and leave it in that position. At the end of the day, we plug the cable back into the phone and push the cord back into the slot until the iPhone or AirPods case is resting on the hub.
Elago does state that you should only use the Apple OEM cables, which we did.
The Bottom Line
Overall, we liked both the Elago 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 hubs. The soft silicone design soft enough so ensure it will not damage even the finest of desktop surfaces, yet sturdy enough to hold all your Apple devices without fear of being top-heavy and falling over.
We like that the base can be used to store excess cable and that would come in very handy is those location where the USB outlet is mounted on the desktop or in an area like a kitchen counter.
We were a little disappointed that the Lightning tips on the Apple cables did not sit more securely in their respective slots. Other hubs we have tested had an actual locking mechanism for the tip, to prevent this type of movement.
Even so, for us, the overall performance and value of the Elago Charging Hubs makes it a strong contender as your hub of choice.
Both Elago hubs will accept any Apple Watch Series and size and any iPhone with a Lightning port.
The Elago 2-in-1 Charging Hub is available in Black, Classic While and Dark Gray. The 3-in-1 model is also available in those colors but adds a Jean Indigo (Blue) as an option.
Both models, in all colors are available from Amazon.
Prices do not include the Lightning or Apple Watch cables.
We would like to thank the folks at Elago for providing the Elago 2-in-1 Charging Hub and the Elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub for our testing and review.
What is your favorite style of charging hub for your Apple products? Why not joint eh conversation and leave a comment below.
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