RAVPower Puck3

Featured Review: RAVPower RP-WCN12 Qi Wireless Charging Puck

April 2, 2014 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

I’ve used some great wireless chargers in the past, and I’ve used some so that are not so hot. The RAVPower RP-WCN12 is different in its form, even though it functions the same as other Qi wireless chargers. It’s shaped like a hockey puck. As a hockey fan, I was immediately drawn to it. But how does it stack up in a world full of Qi wireless chargers?

RAVPower did a fine job with the packaging. When you first slide open the RP-WCN12 box, you noticed that the device itself is nestled in soft foam padding. It’s snug so you know that the unit was safe in transit. Removing the charging puck, we find a manual and a wall adapter. I was pleasantly surprised to find that RAVPower includes a charging adapter. Quite a few companies are failing to include this crucial piece of the puzzle. I guess they assume you have plenty of wall chargers lying around. Something that was noticeably missing was a micro USB charging cable, but we’ll get into that in a little bit.

RAVPower Puck1

The circular puck itself is small, at only 7cm in diameter. This form factor is perfect for travel or just keeping out of sight until you need it. I have a Qi wireless charging plate from another company that is fine on my nightstand, but it’s a bit big to leave out on the counter or shelf. It’s certainly easier to tuck the RP-WCN12 into a backpack or travel bag when you’re on the go. The micro USB cable that I thought was missing is actually attached to the unit itself. It wraps around the outside of the charger and the USB plug tucks into a slot on the bottom. Again, this makes the charger very easy to store and travel with. The downside to having the charging cable hardwired to the unit is that if the cable goes bad, you’ll have to replace the whole device. This wireless charger seems well built, but we all know how finicky these cables can be sometimes.

As for actual performance, the RP-WCN12 was just as good as any wireless charger I’ve used. The top of the unit has a rubber ring on it, preventing your device from sliding off while charging. Two things I absolutely loved were the sound and light indicators. When you first place your device on the charger, it will beep once the coils are lined up properly. This is a genius way to let you know that your device is properly charging. RAVPower backs this up with a light that glows red when the unit isn’t charging your device, and flashes red and green when it is charging. This flashing light was a bit annoying at night when I was trying to go to sleep, but it’s one of the few times that I’ve used a Qi wireless charger and been absolutely sure that the charging coils were lined up properly. Sometimes there can be a question. I like having that extra piece of mind.

RAVPower puck

The RAVPower RP-WCN12 suffers from the same slow charging issue that all wireless chargers seem to struggle with. It has a 1A output, which when compared to a newer 2A wired charger, seems like it takes a really long time to charge your device. This is a limitation of the Qi wireless charging standard, and it’s something you’ll want to keep in mind when you step into the world of wireless charging. It’s not a fault of RAVPower or the RP-WCN12.

Overall, this is a great wireless charger. It may be too small for use with a larger device like a tablet, but it’s perfect for use with your smartphone. It’s also easy to stow and easy to take with you when you’re on the go. I do wish that the charging cable were detachable, however. A simple micro USB port on the side of the puck would enable you to easily replace the cable if it ever goes bad. I really like that RAVPower includes a wall adapter with the RP-WCN12, and I love the sound and LED charging indicators. This is well worth the $29.99 you’ll spend for it on Amazon. Go get one.