Since Apple launched its Magsafe one of the most popular mantras in the field of charging are devices with magnetic hooks. Few now seem to remember that until recently the true hub of innovation was multi-device chargers. It was the fruit of the much-trumpeted and then aborted AirPower project. Apple's idea of a system capable of loading several products at the same time is miserably collapsed because overwhelmed by technical difficulties but has left behind a series of experiments aimed at the same goal. One of these, indeed some of these (obligatory plural as we shall see) comes from the Zens Modular Series.
What is Modular Series
Zens is a European brand (the company is based in Eindhoven in Germany) that we have already talked about in the past when we reviewed the Dual Aluminum, a double desktop charger and when, in fact, Attiva brought the Modular Series to Italy.
We have already said what it is about: it is a multiple charging system capable of charging more than one device at the same time. What must be said is that we are not facing one of the classic multiple chargers seen and overwhelmed on Amazon. What we are talking about is an original “modular” system built around a base module to which different chargers are connected according to our needs.
As we explained some time ago the basic components of the system are three . The first is the Dual Charger (€ 99.99) , a charging system capable of managing two devices at the same time. It is based on Qi technology and is optimized for Apple and Samsung devices and offers fast charging to two devices. A second basic module is the Single Charger (€ 59.99) , with design and technical characteristics similar to the Dual Charger, including fast charging, but dedicated to only one device. Finally, the last basic component is the Stand Charger (€ 69.99) , also with features that can be superimposed on the previous two but with a stand design which makes it extremely convenient for charging smartphones.
Buying one of these modules is the starting point. Only by having one of them is it possible to connect the power supply that allows recharging . And it is from this power supply connected to the base module that the other modules draw energy.
Each of the basic components can in fact be extended with the addition of extra modules, up to a total of 4 in series , which are magnetically connected and receive energy through connectors. At the moment the choice is between two different extensions: a Single Charger (€ 39.99) , which despite the lack of the collar system, a power supply in terms of functionality and features it can be superimposed on the same base module, so it can be used to recharge an iPhone, an Android mobile phone, Airopods or any other device with wireless charging, and the Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension (€ 49.99).
Let's see the characteristics of each of these accessories
Modular Dual Wireless Charger Main Station
The Modular Dual Wireless Charger Main Station can be seen as the main product. It is a base made of recycled plastic and aluminum , of excellent workmanship, capable of recharging two devices at the same time. In the Android world it charges each of the two phones at 15W, in the Apple world , due to the known limitations imposed by Apple on all wireless systems that are not compatible with MagSafe technology , the charge changes to 7.5W . In the package we find in addition to the platform, a 65W charger with international plugs. Up to 4 extensions can be connected to this main base.
The Modular Dual Wireless Charger Main Station, one of the three “active” modules of the Zens Modular Series
Modular Stand Wireless Charger Main Station
The Modular Stand Wireless Charger Main Station is a vertical stand charger . Obviously, here it is only possible to recharge a device even if, as in the case of the Modular Dual Wireless Charger Main Station, we can connect 4 other modules to it. The energy is supplied by the 65W charger that we always find included in the package.
The Modular Stand Wireless Charger Main Station is used to charge a single phone
Modular Single Wireless Charger Main Station
The Modular Single Wireless Charger Main Station is the third accessory of the Modular series capable of operating independently and supporting other “passive” modules. It is a traditional flatbed charger capable of serving a single phone . In the package we always find a 65W charger as for the two products we have described above and even here the charge can take place at 15W (Android world) or 7.5W (iPhone).
Modular Single Wireless Charger Main Station, also charges a single phone in horizontal position
Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension
As the name implies, the Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension is one of the two Zens products without charging input . Instead, it must use the magnetic connection to one of the main modules to power a single device (up to 10W if we are talking about an Android phone or always 7.5W if we are talking about the iPhone). It should be noted that the Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension has a also a USB-C output to recharge another accessory with a cable.
The Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension is a passive element, it only works with a main station
Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension
The Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension , a separate modular concept that distinguishes the whole range, is perhaps the most original product . We are talking about a platform with a central USB socket in which we can insert a certified charger for Apple Watch that supports the clock in the classic “bedside mode”. In this socket, however, we can also power any device with a USB-A cable . On the back we find the same USB-C socket of the Modular Single Wireless Charger Extension.
The Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension charges an Apple Watch, but also has a USB-A socket
Aesthetic appearance and materials
After the long but essential description of the various models of the Modular Series, a few words about the materials and the aesthetic aspect are a must, completely different from the competitors you know. The plastic is the result of a recycling process but it is of excellent quality, the structure is in metal. We especially liked the Apple Watch charger made of precision assembled steel. The overall impression is generally of an excellent build quality , very different from all that is generally found on sites like Amazon where very attractive products dominate from the point of view of the price but certainly not fascinating in terms of design or exemplary for the materials. Also the magnetic coupling system present in all the accessories is well studied and precise., Precise in the connection and has a powerful magnet.
1 of 4 The connection pins to transmit power The high power charger Two elements connected by magnet The Modular Apple Watch Charger Extension is well built
How does it work
The modular system works very simply. You compose your own “set-up”, a very simple operation thanks to the magnetic coupling, you connect the charger to the socket and you're done. Charging takes place on schedule, the same for the “single” or dual chargers we used for a long time before Magsafe's launch. Unlike other competitors with multiple recharging we did not encounter any heating problems even when we put as many modules in series as possible, this probably due to the excellent engineering , the good balance of power input and the grid design of the base which contributes to cooling. From this point of view, as mentioned several times, the Zens Modular Series represents something original and appreciable.
Too bad for the fact that here as in many other wireless chargers and unlike Magsafe which has a precise connection with the phone, we must maneuver for a few seconds to find the exact charging position to recharge the phone .
The comparison with the magnetic accessory produced by Apple in this case is losing; the Zens Modular also loses in terms of recharging power ; iPhones only receive 7.5W compared to the Apple accessory's 15W. But this is not “the fault” of Zens but of Apple's decision to limit this performance in all accessories that are not part of the Magsafe platform.
In conclusion, the Zen Modular Series is a well made accessory in many respects: design, quality of materials, flexibility. Those who have many devices with wireless charging find in the German company's product an answer to the need not to multiply the accessories and keep their desk in order: a single cable will be enough to manage, for example, two iPhones, an Apple Watch and a couple of AirPods. However, anyone wishing to purchase this modular system must take into account two main limitations.
The first is in the performances that are no different from those of a common wireless charger at a cost that on balance runs the risk of being significantly higher than that of less elegant competitors that work the same way. The second is that, like all non “multi-coil” chargers, there is the annoying need for constant movements before finding the correct position charging .
Prices and availability
Zens Modular Series products range from 39.99 to 99.99 euros depending on the model. They are also on sale in bundles at a reduced price. Zens products are distributed in Italy by Attiva. You can find them for sale in Juice stores and in large Euronics stores