I have used numerous Nyko products over the years with varying degrees of success. With over 20 years of experience making third party accessories, I was interested to see how Nyko’s latest offering on Xbox One would perform. Released late last year, the Charge Block Duo represents nearly three years of improvements upon the original charge base released by Nyko back at the launch of the Xbox One.
Specs and Special Features
The Charge Block Duo comes with two 1200 mAh batteries, two custom battery covers, two power docks and a micro USB cable with optional AC adapter. The power docks are modular; they can be disconnected and used separately, or up to four docks can be joined into a single charge base consisting of either Xbox One or PS4 blocks. Nyko states that to charge four controllers at once requires the use of a USB 3.0 port instead of the included AC adapter. I was unable to test this configuration for this review as I only had the two units. The life of the included batteries is quite substantial; I got five days of play time from a single charge using the console between three to five hours a night. Charging the batteries from a completely drained state does take a couple of hours so keep that in mind for long multiplayer sessions with two people. Two LEDs on the charge base lets you know the status of your charge. Flashing indicates that the battery is still charging and once the LEDs remain lit the battery is fully charged and ready for use. I tested the Charge Block Duo with a day one, redesigned, elite and new One S controller and found no incompatibilities with any.
Aesthetics and Build Quality
The Charge Block Duo is light weight but doesn’t feel cheap. The design is very angular and sleek. I especially like the how the lines look when a controller is placed on the dock. Controller are angled into a downward slant to keep them in place as they charge. It’s as easy to use as put the controller down on the dock and let gravity take care of the rest. The LEDs at the front of each dock are bright and visible and a micro USB connection on the front and back allows for the modularity this setup provides.
What it could do better
One thing that I wished the Charge Block Duo had implemented is the use of different colored LEDs. While the flashing, non-flashing charge system is easy to understand a red and green or white colored LED for charging and charged would have looked good. The other thing I would like to see an option for is a controller back that has the soft touch finish like the Xbox One Elite controller to keep the feel of the whole controller consistent.
For the asking price of $29.99 the Charge Block Duo is a great value. Getting two batteries and a dock you can further upgrade later as the need arises is more than worth the asking price. Despite some minor cosmetic issues I had with the unit, anyone looking for a battery solution for their Xbox Ones should strongly consider the Charge Base Duo.