Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: Nitecore Intellicharger I4

I'm not going to do a full blown review because you really need to be an electronics engineer to dissect the capabilities of a charger like this one. But as someone who charges batteries every day, I do know a thing or two about what makes a great charger, and I'm going to focus on what I know.

My Nitecore Intellicharger I4 was purchased from Amazon.com.

Product Description


Chargers with spring loaded charging bays have been around for a while now. But they only charged
Lithium-ion batteries only ... until now. This charger has 4 separate slots, each with its own smart charger that will automatically detect the type of rechargeable battery, and determine the best rate to charge it at.

Nitecore Intellicharger I4 In BoxThis is a nice advancement, because now I can for example charge the wife's e-ciggy 18650 li-ion battery at the same time I'm charging a couple Eneloops. Also, this charger can be used in a vehicle with an optional 12 charging cable, which the product description on Amazon incorrectly states is included. Luckily, I already had one lying around.

Charging Bay


The charging bay has 4 spring loaded slots, that can accept pretty much any rechargeable cell that fits in a slot. I have used it personally to charge 10440, 14500, 16340, 18650 lithium ion cells and all manner of AAA and AA NiMH and Eneloop batteries.

Nitecore Intellicharger I4 With CordOne observation I have after about a week of use is that the spring-loaded contacts have to be pushed more or less dead-on or there will be lots of resistance, which doesn't give it a great feel. In my cheap Trustfire

charger, I can kind of just jam the cells in and the spring loaded tabs just move. The I4 is a little more precise, but I think it feels fine now that I am used to pushing the contacts a certain way.

Charging Indicators


The I4 basically gives a charge level indication from 1 to 4 or each channel of the charger, and each channel is completely independent. When a battery is inserted, the bottom light will start flashing, showing the lowest level of charge. Since each channel will continuously test the battery, the charge indicator can to go full really fast if a newly-inserted battery is charged or almost charged.

Nitecore Intellicharger I4 With Various Batteries Build Quality


The build quality is a couple steps up from the typical xFire chargers I've been using for the last few years. It's still not what I would call premium quality, but hey, it was only 24 bucks. I've seen other reviewers complain about the quality of the cord, but mine is acceptable. The cord is a little on the cheap side but I seen no reason for concern.

Conclusions


It feels a little cheap but so far it has held up well, and exceeded my expectations. I have a large household and for the most part we use only rechargeable batteries. And that's not even counting all the hobbyist things we do, so there's always a battery charging in our house.

So far, the I4 has fit in nicely into our routine. It also seems to charge my larger capacity 18650 cells a little faster. I like it, and as long as it holds up, it's my go-to charger.


No comments:

Post a Comment