GeekDad Review: RepliTronics Charge Machine USB Hub

Reviews

Most families could always use a few more places to charge their devices, so why not do it with a bit of classic geek style? RepliCade Amusements™ is a collection of fully-playable, arcade-art masterpieces by New Wave Toys and their most recent release is the Charge Machine.

The Charge Machine USB hub can be your nod to the arcade era of old while being highly functional at the same time (Image by Skip Owens)

What is the Charge Machine?

The Charge Machine is a USB charging station that is also a miniaturized arcade change machine replica. This unique combination of diminutive geek history combined with a bit of modern tech makes for a great way for you and your family to keep your devices charged. If you spent any time in an arcade in the ancient past you will instantly recognize the iconic profile of the dreaded change machine. Why “dreaded?” Because the darn things were always broken and out of order! Don’t worry, RepliCade has you covered there. In a nostalgic nod to our past frustrations, the “Temporarily Out of Service” light on the Charge Machine has been repurposed and is now an indicator that the USB hub has power and can therefore charge your devices.

You may recognize RepliCade and New Wave Toys as we have covered several of their products in the past here on GeekDad like the Tempest X and Street Fighter II RepliCade arcade games.

The back of the Charge Machine hub has 6 USB ports (one USB 3.0 and five USB 2.0)

Features:

  • Accurately reproduced iconic arcade Change Machine replica in sixth scale
  • Charge up to six devices at the same time (1x USB 3.0 + 5x USB 2.0)
  • Premium mixed-media cabinet appointments: wood, metal, plastic. & rubber
  • Temporarily Out of Service LED indicator with OFF/ON button
  • Input: AC 100-240V,50/60Hz, 1.5A
  • Total 60W output: 
    • USBA1-5 Single port 2.1A Total 8.4A
    • USBA6:DC5/9/12V, 18W
  • Includes surge protection, over/even charging protection, overheating protection and short circuit protection

How I Have Been Using the Charge Machine

The Charge Machine is proudly displayed on the kitchen counter in my house, which is a central location where anybody in our family would likely congregate and normally be in need of a charge for one of their power hungry devices. Since all of the USB ports are on the back of the device to maintain the classic look of the arcade change machine, I am able to use short USB charging cables and keep the cables tucked up behind the Charge Machine (so no unsightly clutter). I tend to keep a Qi wireless charging pad plugged in at all times as nearly everyone in my family at this point has a device or two that can charge wirelessly.

Verdict

As we have found with past RepliCade devices, the Charge Machine is a very meticulous reconstruction of the original. The wood paneling, the font for the word “CHANGE,” the coin return tray and the moving lever are all very nice touches that make this recreation even more true to form (granted the Charge Machine is based of off a very particular change machine, so depending on the arcade you used to haunt in your younger days you may remember a different looking contraption). Also, the inclusion of 6 USB ports (1 of them being a USB 3.0 port) makes the Charge Machine an extremely versatile charging hub as it provides just about as many ports as any geeky family could reasonable use at any one time. The bottom of the Charge Machine has 4 rubber feet that grip the surface it sits on. The feet work really well on flat surfaces like countertops, wood shelving or just about any hard surface. The geometry of the Charge Machine is true to the original and you would think it would be easily tipped over, but the center of gravity of the device is low so it is actually quite sturdy. Speaking of weight, the Charge Machine has a nice heft to it so it isn’t something you are going to accidentally pull of your counter if you overzealously grab a device and forget to disconnect the charging cord.

So in summary, the Charge Machine is a winner. If you are looking for a versatile, high-quality USB hub with an original style the Charge Machine is an excellent option to consider. The Charge Machine is available now for $59.99 from either New Wave Toys directly or from Amazon.

The Charge Machine USB hub and the Tempest arcade game look great together since they are built to the same scale (Image by Skip Owens)

Disclaimer: I was provided Charge Machine review unit for the purpose of this review, but RepliTronics had no input into the review content.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links.

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