Look, I get it. Charging multiple Apple devices is annoying, and keeping Lightning cables around so you can charge your iPhone and your iPad and your Magic Mouse and your Magic Keyboard and your Apple Pencil can get a little overwhelming. That’s why accessory company I Love Handles has made Node (via Design Milk), a Lightning hub that lets you charge two Lightning devices at the same time, with a bonus Lightning-in port for charging up an Apple Pencil, too.
But Node seems like one of those good ideas in theory that might not translate as well to the real world. Sure, it sounds convenient, but I can’t look at the pictures of it in action and help but wonder how practical it really is. Do you really want to charge all your devices at sharp right angles to each other? Is that really an efficient use of desk space? To say nothing of the awkward propping up required to use it with a Magic Mouse (Although that fault is equally shared by Apple for the awful placement of the Lightning port.)
I’ve also got some technical concerns, too. Can Node really deliver enough power to efficiently charge an iPad, an iPhone, and a Pencil at the same time? What kind of power brick do you need on the other end to make this a viable alternative to just plugging in a second cable? And there’s no mention of any MFi certification, which is concerning to see for a charging gadget that only costs $19.95. (Or any iOS charger, really).
I don’t have answers to any of these questions (we’ve reached out to I Love Handles and will update if we hear back). And I’ve still got doubts that this thing is even remotely practical to use. But if you’re interested, I Love Handles will be shipping them on March 1st.