Ever since Apple launched its Magsafe one of the most popular mantras in the charging field has been magnetic docking devices. Few now seem to remember that until a while ago the real focus of innovation was multi-device chargers. This was the result of the trumpeted and then aborted AirPower project. Apple’s idea of a system capable of charging several products at the same time is miserably shattered because of technical difficulties but has left behind a series of experiments aimed at the same goal. One of these, or rather some of these (plural of obligation as we shall see) is the Modular Series by Zens.
What is Modular Series?
Zens is a European brand (the company is based in Eindhoven, Germany) of which we have already spoken in the past when we reviewed the Dual Aluminium, a double desktop charger, and when Attiva brought in Italy the Modular Series.
We have already said what it is: it is a multiple charging system capable of charging more than one device at the same time. What must be said is that we are not faced with one of the classic multiple chargers seen and seen on Amazon. What we are talking about is an original system “modular” built around a basic module to which you connect depending on our needs other different chargers.
As we explained some time ago the basic components of the system are three. The first is the Dual Charger (€ 99.99), a charging system that can handle two devices simultaneously. It is based on Qi technology and is optimized for Apple and Samsung devices and offers fast charging to two devices. A second basic module is the Single Charger (€59.99), with design and technical features similar to the Dual Charger, including fast charging, but dedicated to a single device. Finally, the last basic component is the Stand Charger (€69.99), also with features similar to the two previous ones but with a stand design that makes it extremely convenient for charging.smartphones.
Buying one of these modules is the starting point. Only having one of them you can connect the power supply that allows charging. And it is from this power supply connected to the base module that the other modules get energy.
Each of the basic components can in fact be extended with the addition of extra modules, up to a total of 4 in series, which are connected magnetically and receive energy through the connectors. At the moment the choice is between two different extensions: a Single Charger (€ 39.99), which despite lacking the system to collar a power supply in terms of functionality and features is superimposed on the analogous basic module, so it can be used to charge an iPhone, an Android phone, Airopods or any other device with wireless charging, and the Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension (€ 49.99).
Let’s see the features of each of these accessories
Modular Dual Wireless Charger Main Station
The Modular Dual Wireless Charger Main Station can be seen as the main product. It is a base made of recycled plastic and aluminum, of excellent workmanship, capable of charging two devices simultaneously. In the Android world charges at 15W each of the two phones, in the Apple world, for the known limitations imposed by Apple to all wireless systems that are not compatible with MagSafe technology, the charge goes to 7.5W. In the package we find in addition to the platform, a 65W charger with international plugs. Up to 4 extensions can be connected to this main base.
The Modular Dual Wireless Charger Main Station, one of the three “active” modules of the Modular Series of Zens
Modular Stand Wireless Charger Main Station
The Modular Stand Wireless Charger Main Station is a charger with a vertical stand. Obviously here you can only charge one device even if, as in the case of the Modular Dual Wireless Charger Main Station, you can connect 4 other modules to it. The energy is supplied by the 65W charger which is always included in the package.one.
The Modular Stand Wireless Charger Main Station serves to charge a single phone
Modular Single Wireless Charger Main Station
The Modular Single Wireless Charger Main Station is the third accessory in the Modular series that can operate independently and support other “passive” modules. It is a traditional flatbed charger capable of serving a single phone. In the package there is always a 65W charger as for the two products that we have described above and also here the charge can be up to 15W (Android world) or 7.5W (iPhone).
Modular Single Wireless Charger Main Station, also recharges a single phone in a horizontal position
Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension
As the name implies, the Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension is one of the two Zens products without a charging input. Instead it has to use the magnetic connection to one of the main modules to give power to a single device (up to 10W if we’re talking about an Android phone or always 7.5W if we’re talking about an iPhone). It should be noted that the Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension also has a USB-C output to recharge with cable another accessory.
<img src=”//www.w3.org/2000/svg’%20viewBox=’0%200%201200%20826’%3E%3C/svg%3E” alt=”Zen Modular Series Charger Review: One for All” width=”1200″ height=”826″ />The Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension is a passive item, it only works with a main station
Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension
The Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension, apart from the modular concept that distinguishes the entire range, is perhaps the most original product. We’re talking about a platform with a central USB socket inside which we can insert a certified charger for Apple Watch that holds the watch in the classic “bedside mode”. In this socket, however, we can also power any device with USB-A cable. On the back we find the same USB-C socket of the Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension.
The Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension charges an apple Watch, but it also has a USB-A socket.
Appearance and materials
Finished the long but indispensable description of the various models of the Modular Series, we must say a few words about materials and aesthetics, completely different from the competitors you know. The plastic is the result of a recycling process but is of excellent quality, the structure is made of metal. We really liked especially the charger for Apple Watch made of steel assembled with precision. The overall impression is generally of an excellent build quality, very different from everything that is generally found on sites like Amazon where they prevail very attractive products from the point of view of the price.but certainly not fascinating in terms of design or exemplary in terms of materials. The magnetic attachment system in all accessories is also well thought out, precise in its connection and has a powerful magnet.
How it works
The modular system works very simply. You compose your “trim”, a very simple operation thanks to the magnetic coupling, you connect the charger to the socket and that’s it. Recharging takes place within the prescribed time, the same as for the “single” or double chargers that we used for a long time before the launch of Magsafe. Contrary to other competitors with multiple charging we didn’t find any heating problem even when we put in series as many modules as possible, this is probably due to the excellent engineering, the good balance of power input and the grid design of the base that contributes to cooling. From this point of view, as said many times, the Modular Series by Zens represents something original and appreciable.
Too bad for the fact that here as in many other wireless chargers and unlike Magsafe that has a precise attachment with the phone, you have to maneuver for a few seconds to find the exact charging position to charge the phone.
The comparison with the magnetic accessory produced by Apple in this case is losing, the Modular Zens also loses in terms of charging power, the iPhone receive only 7.5W against 15 of the accessory of Apple. But this isn’t Zens’ “fault” but Apple’s decision to limit this performance in all accessories that aren’t part of the Magsafe platform.
In conclusion, the Zen Modular Series is a well-made accessory in many respects: design, quality of materials, flexibility. Those who have many devices with wireless charging find in the product of the German company an answer to the need not to multiply the accessories and keep in order their desk: just one cable will be enough to manage, for example, two iPhones, an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods. Those who want to buy this modular system, however, must take into account two main limitations.
The first is in the performance that are not different from those of a common wireless charger at a cost that on balance, however, runs the risk of being significantly higher than that of competitors less elegant but that work the same way.
The second is that like all chargers not “multi-spire” you run into the annoying need for constant movement before finding the correct charging position.
Pricing and Availability
Zens’ Modular Series products range from £39.99 to £99.99 depending on the model. They are also on sale in bundles at a reduced price. Zens products are distributed in Italy by Attiva. You can find them on sale in Juice stores and Euronics big stores.