~ Auto Buzz ~: TaoTronics TT-DL043 Review – A New Rival To Lamp/Wireless Charger Hybrids

Thursday, 14 June 2018

TaoTronics TT-DL043 Review – A New Rival To Lamp/Wireless Charger Hybrids



TaoTronics takes the boring desk lamp and makes it exciting again with fast wireless charging built-in. 

TaoTronics latest product is a wireless fast charger also happens to be a very versatile LED desk lamp, and it’s one product that really deserves a closer look. Sold under the model number TT-DL043, the TaoTronics LED Desk Lamp with a Fast Wireless Charger is exactly what it sounds like. That is to say, it’s equal parts charging device and desk lamp. However, the company has gone a bit further with the design of its lamp than what might be apparent at first glance. In fact, it wouldn’t be altogether unreasonable to suggest that this $50 lamp is the one to buy for at least two categories of customer. The first of those is anybody who happens to own a smartphone and is looking for a new desk lamp. The other is anybody in the market for a wireless charging device to be placed on a desk or bedside table.

That’s not to say the TT-DL043 necessarily ships with anything more than might come with a standard lamp. Opening the box reveals the lamp itself, a DC charger rated at 12V/3A and the user manual with a warranty extension card. All of that is neatly packed in foam to prevent damage during shipping. The cable on the DC wall charger is just over five feet in length, which should give plenty of options for placement. However, there’s more than meets the eye on the lamp itself. The light is comprised of an LED bar which shines at a maximum 410 lumens and sits on the end of an angle-adjustable arm on a circular base. It’s not the smallest lamp on the market at around sixteen inches tall with a light bar length of approximately fourteen inches. The base is 7 inches in diameter. However, it is adjustable at the base of the lightbar and the base itself. The base is capable of being rotated by around 90-degrees and the arm can be swayed back and forth by nearly 180-degrees. The light bar adjustment can be swung by 135-degrees as well and can swivel 90-degrees.

That entire package is effectively made of plastic due to the fact that the base actually houses a wireless charger too. But TaoTronics’ LED desk lamp with fast charging doesn’t feel at all brittle or weakly-made. It is lightweight while the joints and swivels sit solidly in place with no wiggle and that doesn’t seem to change after hundreds of adjustments. So any adjustments require a hand to be holding the base, in addition to a hand on whichever arm or joint is being moved. Meanwhile, using the built-in charger doesn’t cause any excess heat whatsoever and the head of the lamp remains relatively cool even after being on for a somewhat extended period of time. That all adds up to make the lamp feel much more premium than it might otherwise be, despite its comparably low price point. The use of minimalist whites and silver accents also adds to that premium feel quite a bit, as does the bright blue LED indicator on the lamp adjustment controls. That’s the only color option this lamp currently ships in.

With regard to light output, the lamp can be adjusted across five different light temperatures from a very warm 2700K to daylight at 6000K. The CRI rating on that is greater than 80, so that’s pretty accurate. The LEDs in the light bar have an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours, too. That’s nearly six years of continuous lighting. There are seven different levels of light, ranging from very bright to help fill a room to a more dim setting which feels nearly perfect for writing. The dim setting seems as though it would also be well suited as an ambient light on a child’s desk. All of that is controllable via touch on the lights base, with simple swipes or taps to control the light level and a tap to control the color tone. LEDs indicate the current light level and the lamp remembers the previous settings as long as the lamp remains plugged in. The power button uses the same touch-based input and each of those works consistently and intuitively, returning to the previously used settings every time it’s turned on.

 

Setting aside the primary function of this lamp, TaoTronics has seen fit to include both wireless and wired charging. Wired charging is possible via a USB-A port on the back of the device but it’s worth noting that there’s no cable in the box. That makes sense since so many devices plug into a wall adapter through USB but don’t use a universal standard on the device-side of the cable. The output on that is rated at 5W – or 5V/1A with iSmart technology to help manage the flow of power. The port won’t, as a result, charge most fast charging devices and isn’t at all well suited for charging a laptop. In fact, there are even some smaller Android tablets that it won’t charge very well. But for most devices, the port is serviceable in a pinch or for overnight charging.

On the wireless side of the charging equation, the TaoTronics LED fast-wireless charging desk lamp is equipped with RAVPower’s HyperAir technology. That equates to better heat dissipation than is found on many wireless chargers, thanks in part to dedicated temperature monitoring and adjusting on-chip. It also means that any handset that supports Qi wireless charging protocols should readily work here. Output ranges from a more standard 5W up to quick charging protocols which require 7.5W or 10W. That’s also managed by the chip to keep temperatures down and the charging process safe. One downside to that is that there’s no indicator light on the lamp to show whether or not a given device is charging. That’ll all be managed by the device itself and its own indicators. However, it’s hardly a deal-breaker and the lamp’s charging works as advertised.

Better still, both charging and wireless charging can be used simultaneously without any adverse effect on the lamp. The only caveat is that, as with all wireless chargers, no metal objects should be laying on the base of the lamp while charging is happening. That also means no metal on the device’s case, although TaoTronics’ lamp will easily charge through an advertised 3mm worth of case material. It goes without saying, that has become a fairly common feature in a wide variety of wireless charging docks and stands. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a nice touch on TaoTronics’ part to include it and makes everything a lot more convenient.

Presumably, since TaoTronics opted to use RAVPower’s wireless fast charging technology, the chip will also shut down charging if it senses metal in the immediate vicinity. However, that’s not something we tested. In any case, HyperAir is a newer technology which is reliable and has plenty of safety features built in. Moreover, RAVPower poured a massive amount of resources into optimizing the tech for speed and it does charge at a more consistent rate than typical wireless chargers. So the charging should be as quick as possible for any given device as well as being reasonably safe, within reason. There’s no waterproofing or any other ruggedization since this is a desk lamp and it’s probably not a good idea to use it in circumstances where water might present a problem.

Taking all of that into consideration, it is not really a question of whether or not TaoTronics model TT-DL043 LED Desk Lamp with Fast Wireless Charger is a worthwhile purchase. That’s going to vary from person to person and the white-hued minimalist look isn’t going to suit everybody. Bearing that in mind, the lamp can often be found at a discount – it’s currently on sale at Amazon for $50 instead of $60 – and serves three purposes all in one. Its long-expected lifespan and versatility as a lamp are only made better by the fact that both wireless and wired charging are also supported. Moreover, that price point already sits at right around the cost of a great wireless charging dock or pad – or a decent lamp. That makes this particular product, at a bare minimum, worth considering for anybody who may be looking for a new charging dock or lighting solution.

Buy the TaoTronics TT-DL043 Lamp

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