I use a lot of batteries. I have batteries for my smartphone. I have batteries for my camera. And indeed, I have tons of batteries for my video game controllers. Up until now, I've largely been using rechargable AA NiMHs for most of my gaming controllers, but the Nyko Charge Base S could prove to change at least part of that picture.
Features at a Glance
You might remember when we paid Nyko a visit during CES 2011 earlier this year. While there, we were introduced to the Charge Base S. In effect, they took the older Charge Base and updated it to fit better with the current Xbox 360 S. You see the glossy black with chrome accents? Yeah, exactly.
The main idea is pretty easy to understand. You drop your Xbox 360 controller into the base, it charges the batteries, and you're ready to game at your next session. Beyond that, you'll notice that it has a bonus USB port (covered by a flap) that lets you charge other devices, like a smartphone.
As far as charging your Xbox 360 controllers goes, you'll see that it has slots for two of them. Charge one at a time and you'll get fully topped up in two hours. Charge two at a time and it'll take twice that. At full charge, you can expect to get up to 25 hours of juice, which is more than ample. After all, you'll just plunk the controller back into the base after each session anyhow.
What's Included in the Box
So, looking inside the box, what do you get? There's the Charge Base S itself, of course, with an attached power cord for plugging into a wall outlet. Also included in the pack are the quick startup guide and two rechargeable batteries. This is a great bonus, when you consider that some of the alternative charging solutions might only include one battery pack or no battery pack at all.
The battery packs completely replace the battery compartment on standard Xbox 360 controllers. That's because they have the charging connectors on the back of them that latch onto the corresponding section on the Charge Base S. Just find somewhere to put those OEM hollow containers (but do keep them just in case) and you're good to go.
User Friendly Design
From there, the controllers naturally slide into the two corresponding compartments on the Charge Base S itself. Just drop them in and they'll recharge in a couple of hours. Since the product uses a regular wall outlet for power, it also means that you can keep the Charge Base next to the couch if you want. You don't have to get up off your butt to grab a controller.
The bonus USB port in the front is a convenient extra, but I didn't find myself using it all that much. That said, it's also a great place for charging a cell phone, but note that it is only a 0.5A port. This means that it's not enough to charge an iPad or a Flip camcorder, among other similar devices.
Does It Really Work?
In short, yes it does work. I really like the subtle indicator lights in the front, which disappear when your controller is fully charged. This makes for a much sleeker appearance than the constant glow we got from the Nyko Charge Base IC for the Nintendo Wii. I like this a lot better.
Naturally, your battery life will vary based on your use. Also, just like other rechargeable batteries, they will lose their charge from sitting idle too. That's why it's in your best interest to use the Charge Base as a docking station. Always return your controller there and you should be just fine.
MEGATechie All Your Charge Base Are Belong to Us?
It's not groundbreaking stuff, to be sure, but the Nyko Charge Base S does everything that it needs to do and it does these things quite well. The compact design is quite versatile, the build quality is pretty good, and there are no troubles with fit. The batteries fit into the controllers without a hitch and the controllers fit into the base with no worries at all.
Considering that this product lists for a mere $24.99, you're getting a pretty great deal. Those two batteries should keep you entertained for hours on end. Too bad I can't use them for my Rock Band guitars and Street Fighter arcade sticks.