Exspect Drop 'N' Charge for Xbox 360 review

Wireless charging is one of the buzzwords around gadgets at the moment, promising to do away with the hassle of having to connect a wire to charge your device, or even worse, remove the battery and place it in a separate charger.

With the Xbox 360 controllers not coming with built-in battery packs as standard, one of the first logical upgrades is to get some form of rechargeable battery, with plenty of options out there. Exspect bring wireless charging to the Xbox party meaning you don't have to remove the battery or plug in any cables.

In the pack you get a battery pack, which slots neatly into your controller battery bay. This battery is capable of wireless charging from the charging pad. It is simply a case of plugging the charging pad in to the mains and placing the battery on it.

So there is no confusion, the charging pad is edged with two LED strips. It glows red when there is nothing on it (or your battery is incorrectly placed), it flashes green whilst charging and turns solid green when the battery is fully charged. There are two charging zones on the pad, so you can charge two batteries at the same time.

We tried it out with a spare Xbox 360 controller – a pink one no less – and found that it did exactly what it said on the tin. Sit your controller on the rough patch of the pad and it is charging, ready for your next gaming session.

You only get one battery in the pack, with additional batteries available for £9.99. You can use the same pad to charge Xbox or Wii batteries, so if you have both consoles, you'll only need to fork out for one mat and then all the batteries.

The construction is solid enough and in terms of looks there is little to criticise. The pad itself measures 13 x 15cm and has foam feet at each corner to stop it sliding around.

So it all works well enough, but you'll find that the battery is only rated at 900mAh, giving 8 hours of play before it needs charging again. Compare this to rechargeable batteries out there offering 25 hours of play and you've really got to want to go wireless for this to seem like a fair trade-off.

Charging takes about 4 hours, compared with 2 hours for higher capacity Quick Charge Kit from Microsoft, so isn't that fast either.

Verdict

The Drop 'N' Charge does exactly what it claims, but in the pursuit of a flash solution, you might find yourself with only a third of the battery life of cheaper alternatives.