If you’re searching for a beautifully crafted, versatile and solid wireless charger, the NOMAD Base Station Hub Edition is well-worth the premium price tag. It oozes quality hardware, features a range of wireless and wired ports unmatched by alternatives, easily replacing all things power for your worktop or room. You’ll need a little patience if you’re charging two devices simultaneously to get those coils charging accurately, but thats reserved as a side note that doesn’t detract from this fantastic all-round power package.
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Inside the Box
The packaging is well-designed on the outside and well-presented on the inside; a slide of the sleeve reveals a brown card box with a topography map design. Lifting the lid reveal four distinct compartments that hold: the wireless base station hub edition, power outlet brick and cable, EU adaptor and UK adaptor.
The power brick is bigger than I expected, hoping to keep a compact footprint. While not as travel-friendly at first glance, it’s somewhat forgiven with the included travel plugs that cover 110-240v for global compatibility. The US adaptor comes off at a twist and pull, easy to take off an on. This makes the brick better packable. It uses a mains DC plug to power the Nomad base station hub edition. Finally, we then have the actual base station itself.
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Excellently-Crafted and Very Capable
The Nomad base station hub edition is actually one of two editions, the other being the Apple Watch Edition. That one includes a charging stand built into the base for the Apple Watch to rest on. There’s a slightly more expensive Hub Station Walnut Edition too that replaces the contemporary, slick aluminium for a nature-inspired, distinctive walnut. I opted for the standard hub edition but the walnut is definitely a looker.
The hub edition is one sweet-looking wireless base, measuring in at 2cm slim, 7.8cm long and 6cm wide. It’s definitely compact and packable for the road, built with aircraft grade aluminium and a black anodized finish, premium leather to rest your device and molded rubber feet to grip onto any surface without movement or play.
For charging, you have a total of four options to choose from, the leather base allows up to two devices to charge wirelessly up to 10W, an 18W fast-charging USB C port on the rear and a 7.5W 1.5A USB A next to it. That’s a handy selection of charging slots within one unit.
I absolutely love the quality of this thing. The edges are curved, while the depth tapers and rounds off beneath the plate beautifully. The black leather has a very fine, textured look and feel that makes placing devices a pleasure. The whole base station feels smooth and comfortable to grip your hands on, nothing sharp or edgy here. There’s a reserved aluminium space to appreciate the sleek design etched with the NOMAD logo. To finish, the back is made out of solid with no creeking.
It has a balanced and satisfying weight at 730g, light to take with you, but substantial enough to hold down. NOMAD’s tagline is ‘designed for adventures’ and this definitely feels like it. I just wish it came with a soft-carry sleeve like the Horween leather mousepad. It’s screaming for one because it’s compact and packable to bring.
Conscious Wireless Freedom
Now onto my experience using the NOMAD Base Station Hub Edition. This is a fantastic charging unit that offers a healthy supply of charging options with today’s charging performance standards. The 3 wireless coils make resting on it my Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus a breeze, detecting and charging within moments. The resting leather pad is sized perfectly for my phone to lay sideways, so response and wireless accuracy has always been perfect. You can also rest it on either side, letting you charge up to two devices in total. However, this is where it becomes less precise.
Compared to when I charge sideways, I have to carefully place and ensure it’s charging before I leave, taking more time to find those sweet spots. To help, there are three LED indicators on the front of the base station, showing which wireless coil is charging your phone or wireless earbuds. For one device, charging sideways is best for accuracy and reliability. If you’re charging two devices, it’s best to place towards the middle of your phone for the best detection. Accuracy to detect and charge could be better, but if you spend just a few moments more, they’ll work and isn’t much of a day-to-day hassle otherwise.
10W is a reasonable but typical charging rate, with Apple iPhones built to charge at just 7.5W, so the NOMAD Base Station Hub Edition has you covered. But phones are starting to come out with 15W wireless charging (Samsung Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30 Pro for example) so I hope Nomad follow suit on the next iteration for faster wireless charging times. For now, it’s in-line with industry standards and is one of the best designed wireless chargers to offer that.
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Contrasting Wired Charging Performance
The USB ports are very handy since I charge a lot of devices: my Sony A7 III mirrorless camera, wireless headphones, Sony NW-A45 MP3 player, power banks and Sudio Niva earphones capsule. There are fewer cables to tangle with thanks to the wireless options, with cables inserted from the back to maintain a tidy look. USB C performs superb, at 18W 3A for power delivery, fast charging smartphones that support it.
USB A is a bit disappointing at a standard 1.5A of charge. It’ll take longer to charge an iPad which supports 2.1A or any faster USB A connection, but if you’re charging overnight you won’t mind too much. It does make it difficult choosing the Base station hub edition over other USB A chargers at a higher rate but you lose the wireless convenience doing so and more cables to contend with.
To put that into perspective however, if you think about the range of wireless and wired, fast-charging and standard charging rates offered with the NOMAD Base Station Hub Edition, it’s a versatile wireless charger to have. It earns more points for deserving to sit on your office desk, considering it’s one of, if not the best looking wireless charger out in the market. Very few wireless chargers offer the extra set of ports found on the NOMAD Base Station, let alone more than two devices at the same time so we’re looking at quite a unique model here.
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Worth the Wireless Charging Premium
You may be paying a premium price well-above options on the market, but it’s justified in how beautifully crafted the hub edition is, the number of connections it can take and a solid charging package to suit the kind of devices and lifestyle you prefer to charge. If you can made do with the little details of needing more care so it detects both wireless devices, I highly recommend the NOMAD Base Station Hub Station. It looks super sleek on my worktop and offers effortless charging that’s easy to pack and take with me on my worldly adventures. Just include that soft-touch carrying bag *ahem*