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Multiple tablet charging cases are a compact and portable solution that let you charge and sync multiple tablets and provide a convenient means of transporting and storing them. Here we examine some important things to consider before buying a multi-tablet charging case.
If you have ever tried to charge or sync multiple Apple iPad devices or other tablets without using a case, you'll know how awkward it can be. Charging and syncing are ongoing tasks for almost everyone who manages multiple tablets and keeping all devices safely up together can be tricky.
Tablet charging cases are designed to make these tasks simpler while also protecting the tablets in storage and transport. With new cases appearing on the market all the time, it can be difficult deciding what to get - so what are the things to look out for?
If you are looking for a multiple tablet case, the first thing to decide is whether you want it to be able to charge and sync the tablets inside. Not all multi-tablet cases offer this, and if you just need a storage and transport solution, then something like an iPad Transport Case should do the job perfectly well.
Tablet transport cases don't, by themselves, contain any charging or syncing technology although you will usually get some space to store cables and chargers. For the most part though, it's worth seriously considering a tablet charging case (sometimes referred to as a 'charge and sync case'). It can save you time and space and can even help to reduce your longterm charging costs.
An obvious consideration for a multi-tablet charging case is: what are you looking to charge? Full size iPads? iPad Minis? Google Nexus 7? Or even a completely different type of device such as a camera? You can find multiple charging cases dedicated to each of these devices and more.
Some cases are what's known as universal - they support more than one type of tablet at the same time. Some even charge tablets with their covers still on. If you have a particular requirement and you're not sure whether or not it's supported, just check with the manufacturer.
On that note, there are some case companies that offer a bespoke service alongside their existing range, meaning that they'll design and build you a case specifically to fit your device type. If your requirements are a little different, don't be afraid to ask.
You are looking to charge multiple tablets, but how many? Common case capacities are 8 or 16 tablets. There are cases out there that store as many as 32 tablets but these can quickly end up too heavy to manage, undermining the very important aspect of 'portability'. If you are looking to manage more than 16 tablets, you might want to think about investing in two or more separate cases, or even - if it's suitable for you - a tablet charging trolley.
The case itself should be as tough and protective as possible on the outside, and cushioned on the inside. The best cases are shatter-resistant, crush-proof, airtight, waterproof and dust proof. Your case is going to be carrying a lot of tech so don't scrimp on protection. This is particularly important if you think you might one day take the case outdoors. Even if you only foresee the case being moved from room to room, it pays to choose one that will do a good job of protecting what's inside.
On the subject of moving the case, you will want to make sure that it comes with adequate handles. Generally cases all come with side handles, though the level of comfort can vary considerably. Soft grip if obviously preferable. If you have more than 8 tablets, then a case with a retractable 'telescopic' handle and wheels is advisable as this will let you wheel it around like a luggage case, taking the weight for you. It goes without saying that multiple tablets can end up quite heavy, so if the case itself is lightweight, all the better.
You might want to look closely at the hinges and latches. On tablet charging cases, these can vary in their quality quite considerably. Some of the cheaper makes and models can be awkward and, over time, become misaligned. (Don't forget to check that the case comes with a reasonable warranty!)
Like many devices, tablets tend to charge at different speeds depending on what they are connected to: faster if connected directly to a power source, slower if connected to an intermediate powered device such as a USB hub or laptop. A good charging case will (a) charge tablets as quickly as if each was individually connected to a power source, and (b) charge all of them together in roughly the same time as it would take to charge just one. Not all charging cases offer these speed benefits so keep an eye out for this feature as it can bring significant time savings.
Syncing is the other task likely to be carried out by anyone managing multiple tablets. Generally this involves connecting a laptop to the case with a USB cable and launching your syncing software, be it Apple Configurator, iTunes ®, or something else. All good multi-tablet charging cases should offer simultaneous charging and syncing which is useful if you want to leave your devices to charge and sync overnight. Also look out for a case with some way of indicating the charge and sync status of each tablet. LED lights are a common and useful way to show this.
Would you like the flexibility of being able to charge tablets with the case's lid closed? You might need to do this if, for instance, you have limited space or if security is an issue. Due to overheating, not all tablet charging cases permit closed-lid charging, however the better models out there will have factored this in and will offer ventilation to allow it. There is no right or wrong answer to this. Some people prefer charging with the lid open, others prefer it closed. If you're not sure, look for a case that offers both.
Power bricks - nobody likes them! Power bricks are those external AC adapter blocks that you often find built around the power cord of games consoles, laptops, and so on. If you can, choose a case with a simple power cord and no clunky power brick to cart around. Otherwise you'll need to factor this into the overall weight and portability of the case.
Another thing nobody likes: untangling cables. With over a dozen tablets, this can quickly become a time-consuming chore - so look out for a case with in-built USB cable management.
When looking to buy a multi-tablet charging case, consider the following:
Multicharge specialises in Charge & Sync cases, trolleys and cabinets for multiple tablets such as iPad and other USB devices. To find out more about a tablet charging case, give us a call on 01275 858 477 or fill in the following form: