Leaving a charger plugged in to the wall for your mobile phone can seem convenient, but it has two disadvantages: you can end up with a bunch of chargers lying around and looking tangled and ugly, and your chargers will draw a small amount power even when there’s nothing connected. Belkin’s Conserve Valet charger station is a neat way to solve both problems.
The Conserve is a charging station with four USB ports, so you can connect and charge any four devices which can connect to a USB cable. (It comes with one mini- and one micro-USB cable in the box; you should also be able to use your supplied phone sync cable for charging.) You can wrap cables around the central column to avoid excess and stop them tangling with each other. One USB port is on the side for easy access if you want to connect a single device in a hurry.
When your device is attached, you press the green button at the top to activate it. Once every attached device is fully charged, it shuts down automatically, and draws zero power when not in use.
My only minor criticism is that the indicator light for when it is active could be a bit brighter. Belkin says this was a conscious design decision to fit in with the low-power ethos of the unit, but in a brightly-lit office, it can be hard to tell whether it’s operating or not. However, that’s a fairly small quibble.
The Conserve Valet is $49.95, and definitely worth looking into if you charge a lot of devices regularly. Given how many test phones pass through Lifehacker HQ, it has proved itself as an essential pretty quickly.