What’s the best way to charge multiple USB devices — particularly multiple phones and/or multiple tablets? A multi-device charging hub like the Zentree from GELID.
I know there’s a high-demand for these types of charging hubs because a roundup of 10 of the best that I made a few years ago remains one of the top articles on DailyTekk. And that makes sense: the number of phones and tablets in American homes continues to multiply. I’ve personally got two phones and a tablet that I use frequently — and that’s not even counting my wife’s phone and tablet. And the devices just continue to stack up for families with kids.
And as we continue to make our homes smarter the list of rechargeable USB devices in them is going to continue to grow. My Apple TV remote charges via a lightning cable. New Vizio TVs are shipping with phablets for remotes. Smartwatches are on the rise. You get the picture.
So charging multiple devices as conveniently as possible is a big deal.
Among the many solutions that exist in the wild, the Zentree uniquely appealed to me because of it’s clean look and unique design. It’s comprised mainly of a soft green silicon top which sits on a white plastic base. The overall aesthetic is clean and fresh and evokes a modern, plant-like feel.
And the Zentree is capable of holding up to five devices at a time. That’s five phones or five tablets or some mixture of the two. Pretty handy.
Plus, unlike other USB charging hubs, the Zentree doesn’t have partitions; instead it’s got little nubs poking up — aka “trees” — which let you situate your gadgets any way you’d like. Additionally, you could wrap your smartwatch around a tree or two for overnight charging as well. It’s a very versatile setup.
Underneath the surface lie some USB ports and some free space where you can corral excess USB cordage. There’s not a ton of extra space, however, so unless you’re using very short cables, it might be hard to cram more than two inside (one on each side). Fortunately the Zentree ships with several mini USB cords — though that won’t do Apple users any good.
Additionally, there’s no USB Type-C port inside the Zentree — so owners of several newer Android phones and devices will only be able to use the product as a stylish device holder.
Opening the top is actually kind of fun, though: press down on the left side and it unlocks and can be lifted up. Press down again when you’re done and the top locks back into place.
It’s worth pointing out that the charging cord for the hub itself is long enough that I can set the Zentree on the surface of my standing desk and it will reach all the way down to the outlet.
The Zentree has a few smart charging features. For instance, it won’t let devices overcharge as it can tell when a battery if fully juiced and will then stop feeding it power. And it’s powerful too: it’s capable of charging four iPad Pros at once.
So if you’re looking for a modern USB charging hub with a decent capacity and powerful charging that is made of eco-friendly materials and can’t scuff up your devices the Zentree is a great option.