We received one of snakebyte’s new Charge:Tower products recently for the Xbox One. This new charger also acts as a mini shelf to house game cases, and should be a great pickup for collectors of physical games if it lives up to what the company is advertised. So what do we get from this device?
It’s a simple plastic Charge:Tower which offers an ergonomic storage solution, neatly housing multiple games and movies to offer a neat solution to a cluttered gaming setup. This line of products come in 4 variants. A standard set of towers for PS4 and XBOX ONE, and another set called the Charge tower Pro for both systems.
We received one of the latter, The Charge:Tower Pro for the XBOX ONE
The Charge: Tower Pro adds even greater functionality than the standard tower. Featuring storage for up to 15 games and Blu-ray movies, as well as the twin USB ports featured on the standard Charge:Tower, what makes it different? The Charge:Tower Pro adds a detachable Charging Dock which attaches to the peak of the tower, storing and charging up to two controllers! Gamers purchasing the Xbox version also receive two 600mAh rechargeable battery packs, neatly slotting in to the official controller and providing up to five hours of continuous gameplay per charge. One of our batteries arrived with a broken part that prevented it from closing securely, but it still worked fine in practical use.
The charger also has an LED charging status indicator which lets gamers know instantly if their controller is ready for action, providing an all-in-one solution to clutter, connectivity and charging.
All that being said, this is not a product for gamers who buy primarily digital games. It’s mostly for players who collect plastic. Now most collectors will already have huge shelves for their games, so something like this would serve the purpose of housing their most recent acquisition. With only 15 slots for cases it’s more likely gonna appeal to more casual collectors. I personally only managed to fill 6 of the slots with 2 PS3 games, 2 PS4 games, One Blu-ray and a Nintendo Switch game. My classic GameCube cases were incapable of fitting properly in the tower so they were unfortunately left out.
The main purpose the tower served for me was as a charging stand for my XBOX ONE controllers. Putting it together was simple thanks to the groves on the base and top of the tower. The individual pieces of plastic that make up the tower felt cheap, however as a whole the product is pretty sturdy. When completed it has a little weight to it, and I have to admit it does look rather nice on my laptop table. I also love the fact that the XBOX ONE version comes with two rechargeable batteries.
The batteries fit perfectly in the controller and work just as you’d expect. As for their overall performance I’ll reserve that for a later analysis, as most third party batteries tend to go bad after a few months of regular use. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will not be the case with these, but the possibility is there. If something unfortunate happens I’ll be sure to update you on it.
Though I liked most aspects of this product there were a few issues with it. I’ve already mentioned the broken battery attachment, but there’s more. You see the charging base at the top is detachable, which ultimately is a good thing, but it doesn’t seem well designed. The base itself is great, and can be used as a stand alone product, but as an addition to the tower it seems like an afterthought. It sits on the top, but isn’t fastened to it.
The packaging came with two double sided adhesives, but that isn’t an elegant enough solution. Also for some reason there are no seamless grooves for the cable that powers the dock on the tower. Instead the manufacturer opted for some clips, or at least I assumed they did because the included manual offered little to no assistance. This results in a slightly messy looking cable running along the back of the tower. It’s not a deal breaker, but I wish it had a better design for the cable.
So should you buy this device? At $39.99 USD for the PS4 version, and $45.99 for the XBOX ONE version that’s actually well priced. The build quality may seem cheap, but it’s surprisingly sturdy. I’d even go so far as to say it makes more sense to buy this over the official XBOX ONE licensed charging kits, because they’re priced at $24.99 and don’t include a standalone charging station. All that being said this is mainly for fans of physical games. I struggled to fill mine with games, and if you’re like me you will too. If you buy digital and just want the charger and batteries then get a mate who wants a game case tower to split the cost, or just gift it to someone for Christmas. If you’re a fan of physical games then it should make a perfect addition to your setup.
The snakebyte Charge: Tower Pro used for this review was provided to us by its manufacturer, snakebyte.
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