Moshi Symbus Q Review: The Swiss Army knife of Chromebook accessories

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Every year, Chromebooks change into thinner and extra transportable, however this sadly comes at the price of once-indispensable ports like HDMI and Ethernet. Some units, just like the Pixelbook, don’t even have a lot as a full USB-A port.

These can, in fact, each be replaced with a separate dongle, however many Chromebooks have solely two USB-C ports, which might make it unimaginable to make use of two dongles and cost concurrently. The Moshi Symbus Q, which plugs in with simply one USB-C port, is ready to substitute all of those dongles, cost your Chromebook, and wirelessly cost your telephone concurrently.

DESIGN

It’s no secret that we right here at 9to5Google are followers of Moshi’s {hardware} design. Their “Q” line of wi-fi charging equipment specifically, as additionally famous by our Damien Wilde in his evaluate of the Moshi Porto Q power bank, options darkish grey cloth that’s harking back to the Google Dwelling Mini.

This cloth is equally distinguished on the Moshi Symbus Q, masking the highest aspect of the system, and it’s overlaid with a classy sample of rubber materials. This, past simply wanting good, helps preserve your telephone from sliding whereas on the wi-fi charger. The physique of the dock options brushed aluminum, which not solely seems very glossy, but in addition helps dissipate warmth (extra on that later).

On the entrance of the dock, there’s what Moshi calls a “Smart LED” indicator, which is presupposed to be a great way to inform at a look whether or not your units are charged or actively charging. In case your laptop computer is charging, the sunshine is orange, and modifications to inexperienced when full. When your telephone is receiving a wi-fi cost, the sunshine strobes gently. Sadly the indicator’s utility could also be restricted, because it appears to get caught on the unit I reviewed after a day or two.

Total, the Moshi Symbus Q is a beautiful accent that I’m very happy to have on my desk.

FUNCTIONALITY

The Moshi Symbus Q has a veritable laundry checklist of options and capabilities that might seemingly be finest offered by an As Seen on TV salesman shouting “but wait, there’s more!” To simplify issues, we will break down the options into two classes, ports and energy.

Ports

On the entrance aspect of the Symbus Q, you’ll discover two commonplace USB-A ports, one in every of which may also be used for charging a tool. These are each USB 3.1 appropriate, and are excellent for plugging in some further storage, or doing a little Android development work.

Across the again of the dock is a Gigabit Ethernet port and an HDMI port that may output as much as a 4K/30FPS sign. I skilled no points in any respect whereas utilizing the HDMI-out, and really noticed a really minor velocity enhance whereas utilizing Ethernet as a substitute of WiFi on the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook.

Whereas none of those options, individually, are too thrilling, mixed collectively they may give any Chromebook the complete “desktop” expertise. By connecting a keyboard, mouse, and monitor to the Moshi Symbus Q, you’ll be able to in a short time flip a Chromebook right into a Chromebox.

Energy

Certainly one of my private favourite elements of the Moshi Symbus Q is that it replaces two units that might usually every want their very own wall retailers—a laptop computer charger and a telephone charger. The only, consolidated energy supply for the Symbus Q is a conventional plug on one finish and a barrel jack on the opposite, with a brick within the center. Admittedly not the prettiest association, however for a tool that’s meant to be a extra everlasting set up, it’s definitely acceptable.

The barrel jack plugs into the again of the dock, and simply beneath that’s the USB-C connection which gives as much as 60W of energy and extra to your Chromebook. This cable is about [18 inches] lengthy, which is greater than lengthy sufficient to let you shift your (literal) desktop round whereas leaving the Moshi Symbus Q in place. In case your laptop computer solely has one USB-C port, you’ll virtually definitely must preserve the dock on that aspect of the system.

The highest of the Moshi Symbus Q, as with all different members of Moshi’s “Q” line, is a fabric-covered wi-fi charging pad. This gives as much as 10W of wi-fi charging to any Qi-compatible system, together with 10W to Samsung units and seven.5W to iOS units. The beforehand talked about rubber sample grips your telephone regular, and in my (crude) testing, I used to be capable of tilt the Symbus Q to the aspect by 45° earlier than my uncased Pixel Three started to slip.

Moshi Symbus Q wireless charging

The largest situation with the Moshi Symbus Q solely arises when it is advisable cost each your laptop computer and your telephone concurrently — that situation is the warmth. Wi-fi charging, by itself, already tends to create a bit of warmth, and when you’ve ever touched the Pixelbook’s energy adapter halfway by a cost, you already know precisely how sizzling USB-C charging will be.

The Moshi Symbus Q’s aluminum chassis does its finest to dissipate the warmth. Regardless of this, I nonetheless discover that charging each a Chromebook and a telephone concurrently makes each the dock and your telephone fairly heat. I wouldn’t say dangerously heat, however definitely hotter than what I would like. One factor I don’t know for positive is whether or not these temperatures have something to do with the Pixel 3’s compatibility points with 10W charging.

A be aware to Pixel Three house owners

In my time testing the Moshi Symbus Q, I usually used it to wirelessly cost my Pixel 3. One very attention-grabbing facet that I famous is that unlike almost all other standard 10W Qi chargers, the Symbus Q is briefly capable of cost the Pixel Three at a full 10W fee.

This was even mirrored on the lock display which indicated “Charging rapidly.” After a couple of minutes, the telephone switches again to 5W (or typically 2.5W) charging, with the lock display indicating that the telephone was “Charging slowly.”

I reached out to Google they usually confirmed that, in contrast to some other Moshi accessories, the Symbus Q is just not a Made for Google licensed product and shouldn’t be able to wi-fi quick charging, even briefly. What precisely this implies for Pixel house owners continues to be unknown, however we’re protecting tabs on the state of affairs.

For now although, I can’t but suggest the Symbus Q to Pixel Three house owners in search of a wi-fi charger, as, whereas it typically expenses the Pixel rapidly, more often than not extra warmth causes charging to be drastically slower.

Ought to the Symbus Q get correct certification for 10W charging for the Pixel 3, it will change into an simple advice in my e-book.

Must you purchase the Moshi Symbus Q?

If you happen to usually use your Chromebook (or any USB-C charging laptop computer) at a desk, then the Moshi Symbus Q is a really worthy buy — regardless of its excessive price ticket. Merely put, the Symbus Q can do the job of three dongles and two chargers, all whereas wanting good doing so. The Moshi Symbus Q can (and will) be yours for $165.


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