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We have had our Wii games console for a few years now and it is still well used, especially by my two daughters. Within a few months of getting the Wii we had already gone through packets and packets of batteries for the controls, and it was beginning to cost me a small fortune. I was discussing this problem with a friend and they recommended buying a Wii Charging stand. So I headed to Amazon in search of one.
There is an array of Wii charging stands to choose from. They vary dramatically in price, the cheapest one being around £3 and the more expensive costing around £30. I read many Customer reviews on Amazon which really helped me decide which to buy. It seemed to me like you get what you pay for with this type of product. Many of the cheaper stands had negative reviews and I got the impression that they were false economy products. I decided that there was no point in buying something that was not going to work well or last very long. In the end I decided on the Duracell charging stand as it was a reputable name and had fairly positive consumer reviews. It was, and still is, one of the more expensive charging stations costing a little over £29 (free super saver delivery is available). It is only available in two colours, white or black, i chose the latter.
A few days later the usual brown Amazon box arrived upon my doorstep. The product itself was securely packaged in a plastic cover, I needed scissors (and a fair bit of patience) to open it up. The packaging contained the stand and two rechargable battery packs. I was immediately struck by how stylish and neat the product looked, it was sleek and stylish. The stand is rectangular in shape, there is a slot for the console and two spaces for storing and charging the remote controls. There is also a compartment which charges two AA batteries. This is a nice added touch and something which I have found quiet useful, afterall its always handy to have a couple of freshly charged batteries to hand. Finally there is a slot to store one nunchuck, which is a bit odd. I have never used this slot as I find it rather pointless, we have three nunchucks and so store them together with other various bits and pieces for the Wii. I wonder if this space could have been better utilised, maybe using it instead to maximise the battery charging space to accommodate 4 AA batteries instead of two. The battery packs are of a simple design, they easily Click into the back of the controller where the batteries would normally go. The packs fit securely and stay in place. The controllers fit in the stand well and the whole set up looks impressive. However, I do feel it is worth noting that the controllers are not motion plus Compatible. Skins also need to be removed, but the handstrap can be kept on. Although I have never found this to be a huge a problem, it can be a bit of a pain removing these peices before placing the remote in the docking station. The battery packs need to be charged up before first use but they will hold more power the more often they are charged. When the controls are placed in their compartment correctly the unit will illuminate. Red means it is charging whilst green means it is fully charged and therefore ready to be used. This is clear, consice and an easy concept. The batteries charge fairly quickly and the power lasts quiet a long time.
Set up was extremely easy, infact it took less than five minutes. As the original Wii consoles power adaptor is used there is no need to purchase any additional cords or adaptors. Clear instructions are given but it is a very simple plug in and go product. The power adaptor is inserted into the back of the stand. There is a on and off switch on the back of the stand. When switched on a small blue light on the front will be displayed along with the red or blue light on the control slots. One of the key features of this stand, compared to many of the cheap alternatives, is that the console itself does not need to be switched on in order for the controls to be charged. The convenience of this cannot be underestimated.
We have had this charger for about a year and it is still going strong. When my children finish playing with the Wii they return the controls to their slots where they sit and charge until they are next needed. No more searching aimlessly for spare batteries or for the Wii remotes themselves for that matter. Whilst it was one of the more expensive charging stations I still believe it was excellent value for money. I cannot even begin to imagine how much I would have spent on batteries had I not purchased this charger and think it has already paid for itself in that respect. I do have a few niggles which I mentioned earlier, for example the nunchuck slot and the removal of the motion plus. For these reasons I have deducted one star.
This docking station looks good and more importantly works brilliant. If you have a Wii and use it often I would certainly recommend this Duracell charging station.