ChargePlay Duo PS5 Charging Station review – even better than the real thing
Accessories are a finicky thing, as they often try to do what is already done well, but somehow cheaper. The memes about third-party controllers for the friends you don’t like exist for a reason. As such, evaluating third-party peripherals can be a real challenge as you find yourself saying “It’s almost there, but not quite” all too often. A few prominent companies have really tried to break that mold, one being HyperX. Their keyboard and mice have given the devices twice the value for money. They’ve built a few chargers for previous generations of consoles, but now they’re trying to tackle Sony’s PS5-shaped charger. Could the ChargePlay Duo offer something worth skipping over Sony’s thematic power ports?
First things first, while PS5 first-party chargers appear to be little PlayStation 5 consoles turned on their side, they also have a few annoying bits worth mentioning. Controllers that sit in the cradle are effectively placed there, prone to falling out of charging position or just being knocked loose if you bump the table. I’m an unmitigated clutz, so it’s happened more than I care to admit. The other is the proprietary L-shaped cable that sticks underneath and connects to a large brick. Since I put my charging system higher up on a shelf, it means the power brick dangles precariously and pulls on the back of the charger – I have it attached between the wall and the shelf to prevent disaster. It has the looks, but the design could have used a little more time in the oven.
Unboxing the ChargePlay Duo, I can immediately tell that several issues have been resolved right out of the gate. There’s a significant amount of weight to the base – almost a pound, in fact, so there’s no doubt it’s going to stay. The saddle-like shape of the charging base also holds the controller in such a way that it does not move if bumped. Best of all, it uses a six-foot USB-C cable to power the device, and all without a giant brick to try and hide it out of the way. Just like that, three problems were solved, at once.
ChargePlay Duo has four plugs for power on each cradle, as well as a small plastic knob in the middle that rests in the microphone socket on the bottom. What a difference a few millimeters makes – the little knot secures the controller just enough without being obtrusive enough to get stuck when you pick up the controller, especially compared to the official device. These little things add up to a point where it becomes increasingly difficult to recommend the “real thing”.
The coup de grace for HyperX delivers the ChargePlay Duo with a 2-year warranty. Many such devices have a 90-day warranty, with Sony’s own DualSense charging station kicking in after a year. HyperX stands behind their device for twice as much. Even better, it does so at the same $29.99 retail price as Sony’s first party game. That officially puts a fork in the first party unit – they’ve been dethroned.
The HyperX Chargeplay Duo charging station does the impossible – it surpasses the official first-party charger in every way, and it does it at the same price.
Ron Burke is the editor-in-chief of Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and recently started tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a master’s degree in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his quest to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs – Pazuzu (Irish terrier), Atë and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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