TL;DR: The Nomad USB Charging Hub is beautifully designed, discreet, and solves the issue of finding outlets or power strips for all your gear. Still, a tight fit for fingers and using the hub with a external battery holds the device back from perfection.
The Nomad USB Charging Hub is a solution to a problem I didn’t even know I had, because I just dealt with the reality of having a bunch of devices. It was just par for the course to hunt for an open outlet.
Now, that’s no more. And my wife is happy I can keep my dresser clear without a bunch of cables snaking across the surface when I’m not charging things in the bedroom.
I have never seen a Nomad product that doesn’t look handsome as hell. Everything from their branding to their design is classy, minimal, and useful, and the Nomad USB Charging Hub is no exception.
Like an oversized hockey puck, the Nomad USB Charging Hub sits flat on surfaces, covered in matte black rubber and plastic, complete with grippy feet on the bottom so it doesn’t slide all over the place. On the top front of the device are 5 hard-to-see (when they’re off) LEDs that light up orange for charging, then white for charged.
Flip the thing over and you have access to the 5 (or 3, depending on which version you buy) USB ports for your charging cables, and a place to plug in the power cord. The cords travel out a hole in the back of the device, which has a rubber trapdoor to keep things organized, but easy to round up. You just push your cable through or pull out out of the trapdoor.
Unfortunately, it was a little tricky to plug the USB ends of the cables into the ports, because of the limited space and my giant dumb fingers. Once plugged in, your devices have access to two high-powered ports (2.4a) and three standard ports (1a). In total, the base outputs about 27 watts, which is more than enough you power-greedy heathens.
As far as cable management goes, I’d say this does a great job — when you’re not using it. You can actually take all your cables an let them dangle behind the desk, dresser, or end table and just pull them up as you need them.
But once they’re out and you’re using them, while convenient, hoooo-boy does it get a little messy. But the convenience is worth it, and it makes everything look neat and tidy when you’re not using it.
I’m gonna be real with you — I did run into an issue when using the USB Charging Hub. That issue was when I used the hub to charge my 20,000mAh Aukey external battery. For some reason, when connected, it made all of the hub’s ports start and stop, constantly.
At first I thought it was the outlet surging, so I tried others. When I narrowed it down to the Aukey battery, I reached out to Nomad — and they said that a handful of people have reported the same thing when using large batteries like mine.
Solution? Just don’t use it to charge your huge battery. I don’t think it’ll damage your other devices or the hub, but you might as well avoid it anyway. Plus the constant sound of your phone buzzing as it starts/stops charging is annoying, so just don’t.
Otherwise, I ran into zero issues and love having it as part of my bedroom.
The Nomad USB Charging Hub is about convenience, a handsome convenience, and it succeeds. Despite a hiccup when it comes to using the base to charge large external batteries, I have had zero issues and use the base to charge my iPhone — and whatever other device I want — every night.
At $49.95 for the 5 port hub at the time of writing this, you might think that’s a little steep — but it isn’t. You don’t need a power strip that can fit all your power bricks, it keeps your desk tidy (unless you’re charging 5 different things), and it looks really, really great. Plus you can keep your individual wall chargers for you device elsewhere, doubling how many places you can charge your stuff at home
Also, I should also let you know that the review unit that was sent to me was considered a sample by Nomad, in exchange for this super duper honest review. All these thoughts and opinions are mine. MINE I TELL YOU.