Pros: Attractive, virtually flawless.
Cons: Hardly worth mentioning.
All I wanted was the perfect induction charger for my Wii remotes. Was that so unreasonable? Yet every charger I tried was flawed. Then I tried the Nyko Wii Charge Base IC, and while it may not be perfect, it comes so close that it makes me wonder; why could no one do this before?
Charger Basics: What They Do, What's Wrong with Most of Them
Like all chargers, the IC consists of battery packs (in this case 2) that replace the remote’s AA batteries and a charger that will hold and charge your remotes. Induction chargers charge not through a metal contact point but through a proximity charge. They are preferable simply because they will allow you to charge a remote inside of a silicone sleeve.
It sounds simple enough, yet no one seemed able to get it right. Tekno Creation’s InCharge made you remove peripherals like the nunchuk and the MotionPlus adapter from the remote, and indicated a remote was charged with an annoying flashing light. The Energizer Induction System’s indicator lights were buggy and battery packs charged so hot that it was somewhat uncomfortable to hold the remote when you first picked it up. Penguin United’s ElectroFlow was better, but once again used a flashing light indicator and was incompatible with some 3rd-party remotes.
The Good: Almost Everything
Then there’s Nyko’s IC. The prettiest charger since Energizer’s Induction System, remotes are cradled in a clear plastic sheath that glows blue for charging and green for charged. Remotes are held in place by a magnet, allowing them to float above the charge station base. The battery pack charges without unnecessary heat; there is only a hint of warmth. The IC even has a USB port with which you can charge any device that can be charged through a USB port.
The Bad: Nothing is Perfect
It is, in fact, difficult to find anything to complain about that isn’t incredibly niggling, but because I am a perfectionist I will offer up a minor complaint. Some battery packs have a small regressed button that can be pushed when you need to sync up the remote (if you’re using normal batteries you simply take off the cover and press the sync button, but if you take out a battery pack to sync up the charger it won’t work because then there’s no power). The IC’s battery packs have a hole leading directly to the remote’s sync button, and the charger comes with a little plastic wand that fits in that hole. It would have made sense to drill a little hole into the base unit to hold that wand, but instead I’ve just the wand lying loose next to the charger and will probably lose it sooner or later. It’s not quite a deal breaker, but it does seem like an oversight.
Conclusion: I Love This Thing!
Nyko’s IC is what I’ve been waiting for; a beautifully designed charger that is both pretty and functional. Is it unreasonable to expect perfection? Perhaps. But Nyko proves it’s not unreasonable to expect something close to it.