While we largely associate Unitek with their Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck docks, one of their biggest sellers are charging stations. We previously had the opportunity to use their Fast Charging station, which features a more modern design. Unitek 60W 6-Port Charging Station is largely based off earlier designs, just with a sleeker look. While this is great on paper, does it meet the expectations of the average user, or is it a product you should avoid?
Unitek went in an interesting direction with this products packaging. It features the same basic red and white design we saw with the previous station, with this one lacking all the unique elements. In their place are two stickers, that briefly explains what it is on the front, along with a barcode on the back. I’d wager this is going to be their design going forward, or possibly across lines as this charging station is based off their 120W version from a little over a year ago.
Regardless, it’s an eye catching design that accomplishes the same overall goal. Inside you’ll find the charging station wrapped in plastic, along with an arrow indicating the bottom panel can be removed to find all the accessories. Each of these are wrapped in a protective plastic that is separated based off type/function.
As part of this packaging you’ll receive eight dividers (five tall, three short), a watch charger holder (baffle), and a True Wireless headphone holder. While the listing does not mention it, two 3M rubber strips are also included. They’re meant to go between the panels to protect your device from touching the plastic. It does not include any wires, besides unfortunately a separate power supply. However, there are some changes between the dividers included with this, and the one we previously reviewed.
Solid Black Dividers Make for Less Noticeable Damage
Most of these changes likely stem from this unit being based on an older design. The biggest change is using black dividers instead of a clear plastic. I much prefer this as any imperfections will be apparent on a transparent divider. The sides are not rounded, making each piece feel somewhat sharp to the touch. There is also a uniform square design that removes the slight dip that made it easier to grab your favorite device. One welcome change is both sides are exactly the same. This means you don’t need to pay attention to how you’re inserting the divider.
Unfortunately, this is another product that is designed with Apple in mind. As a result, its overall usability with different products will vary. While it was a big annoyance with the last charging station, I can confirm my Fossil watch fits better with this baffle. It still flops around, not to mention is not held in place by anything, but the overall design works better.
Even with a Case AirPods Fit
All my other watches are through Fitbit, which lack standardization. That said, I would trust it with non-Apple pucks provided they’re the same basic size or smaller, and you don’t mind a less visually appealing wire management system. While I understand the issues in making a universal baffle, along with iPhone making up nearly 50 percent of the US market, these considerations don’t hold true for headphones.
Over the years I’ve done several True Wireless headphone reviews, with my current collection having 15 models. Of these 15 headphones only five work in the included accessory. One is obvious AirPods themselves. The second generation fits even inside a LifeProof case. I can’t confirm AirPods Pro, or their third generation or later will fit.
It Fits… Right?
The other five headphones are a long discontinued LG Tone Free, iLive True Wireless, 1More ComfoBuds, and Pamu Z1. Of these five, only the iLive, and 1More fit well. The other three stretch the plastic a fair amount. Hard to say if it will break long term, especially since each pushes the plastic differently, though it’s bad enough where I would avoid using with most options.
Another common problem is going to be the design itself. Every True Wireless case I’ve seen either has the charging port on the bottom, or back. Whatever the arrangement is, you need to have the port facing the opening due to the sides lacking a gap. This will make the fit even harder, as it further limits space.
Fast Charge Station vs 60W 6-Port Station
As for the charging station itself, this model is slightly smaller than the Fast Charge version. While that version is about 7″x5.3″x1.3″, this one is 7.3″x4.4″x1.3″. Along with that, it’s a lot more versatile device. Instead of having fixed space between each slot, there are a couple mm gap so you can safely place practically any item. It also more securely holds devices, preventing previous concerns about weight eventually damaging the divider.
Two sides and the bottom feature vents to help with heat, with pointed feet to give the charging station slight elevation. Around the front is a space grey metal band that looks really nice compared to plastic counterparts. I’m also happy to report Unitek placed their branding on the side with ports, which you likely won’t see under normal use.
That said, I’m disappointed to see this unit uses an external power supply. This limits portability, along with being a lot harder to replace. If that is a deal breaker I would consider giving the Fast Charge station a look, since it uses a non-polarized power cable.
So Many Options
Build quality is also pretty good for the price. Outside of the aforementioned metal band it’s a matte plastic device that has some weight to it. I wouldn’t expect it to survive being tossed, but dropping on the carpet would likely be fine. The rubber feet are on the thin side. This doesn’t prevent them from working, there is just a higher chance of one peeling off. Even the vents look good as there is enough fill to prevent the inside from being visible.
The biggest advantage to this model is addressing concerns about future proofing. While some will be put off by the USB-C ports, there are three 5V 2.4A USB-A ports, two USB-C 20W ports, and a single USB-C 45W port. This gives a fair amount of versatility without too many trade-offs. Something like a phone is in the <20W range giving fast charging, with the others being perfect for older/less frequently used items.
Performance is going to depend on your actual situation. I used my Chromebook X2, Pixel 7, AirPods, and a couple iPhones with minimal issues getting them all to charge. In fact, most normal usage will likely be fine. Where you might run into issues are multiple tablets. An iPad is 20W alone, with something like a Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 hitting 45W. These can hit the 60W ceiling rather fast, which makes the choice between this, and the superior 120W version a lot easier. Especially if you need a 60W port for a MacBook Air or similar device.
Given all the talk about ventilation, I was surprised heat wasn’t much of an issue. I connected enough devices to hit 60W, checked back after an hour of use, and for my table was barely warm. This might be a bigger concern on the other model, though on this one I wouldn’t worry about it.
Unitek 60W 6-Port Charging Station Review Verdict
For the most part I actually like this charging station. In terms of function it will get the job done with minimal issues. Including USB-C ports with higher wattage will also make this ideal for usage in the future. There are also USB-A ports for dated products, or the growing number of products that include an adapter with it. There are some slight annoyances, like I’d like to see the protective silicon/rubber included, or at least more than two strips, though that can also easily be corrected. So if you were looking for a charging station, this, or the 120W version are safe bets.[Editor’s Note: Unitek 60W 6-Port Charging Station was provided to us for review purposes.]