Today I have in for review the XTAR VP4C, a nice little 4-bay charger, for li-ion cells only.
Official Specs and Features
These are available at aliexpress for $29.99.
This is a good 4 bay charger. Moderately expensive in my opinion for the feature set. I am not a fan of the barrel plug – why not just micro-USB, since it’s powered by USB on the other end. Still the charger works well.
Key Features (Official Specs)
• One Press for Multiple Current Shifting
• Intelligently Recognizing and Automatically Adapting
• Wide-view LCD Screen, Shows Real-time Charging Status
• Intelligent Detection Ensures Safety
• Multiple Protections Ensure Safe Charging
• High Precision, Auto Cut-off When Fully Charged
• Safe Material & Temperature Monitoring Design
• 0V Activation Revives Over-discharged Batteries
• Three-stage Charger Makes Batteries healthier
Manual and Packaging
Standard XTAR box. The front has one of these fun peel stickers….
The manual isn’t long but covers the use of the charger.
- XTAR VP4C 4-Bay charger
- Power cable (USB to barrel plug)
Build Quality and Durability
In hand this is one of the nicer XTAR chargers I’ve held in a while. It’s a very simple charger.
The connectors are usual. Note that the bays on the edges are bigger, allowing larger cells to be used. (All the way up to 32650 diameter!)
The input port is a 5V 2A port, with a proprietary barrel plug – proprietary in so much as barrel plugs are proprietary.
The other edges of the charger are generally featureless. (IE there is no USB out)
Something I like in chargers is also in this one – the bays have embossed into the plastic case what currents they are capable of. In this case, they’re all capable of 0.25A and 0.5A, but the outer two only are capable of 1.0A.
The channels (bays) are individually labeled but that’s not really useful info, since the bays have their own displays anyway.
The middle “CC” area displays the current being used for charging.
Officially: 147mm long, 115mm wide, 35mm high, and 200.5g.
The bays (at least the external two) are quite broad, capable of holding 32650 cells. The bays aren’t all that long however. They’ll charge 21700 cells – 70mm being the max length they can charge. This means they can’t fit protected 21700 cells. Probably not a huge deal; I can’t think of a single protected 21700 cell.
As stated above, the VP4C receives power from a barrel plug. The barrel plug needs ~2A of power at 5V to adequately run the charger.
A cable is included – it’d have to be right? The cable is USB to barrel plug.
Here’s a bit of testing on the charger. Since the charger only charges li-ion cells, I tested the charger with 1, 2, 3, and 4 bays filled. The charts are very unexciting, but that’s a pretty good thing for a charger. In every case, I’ve logged the bay that could have the highest current. Basically in every case, bay 1 was logged.
Even with all 4 bays in use, the charger goes at 0.5A.
User Interface and Operation
There’s one switch, and it’s just above the screen, right in the center. The cover is plastic, and it’s very clicky. It really only does two things – It can cycle through the charge current options, and it can turn the backlight on or off.
The channel displays don’t display all that much info – just the voltage, and if charging is active there’s a battery display moving/being filled. Also if charging, the “CH” LED above the bay will be red. When complete, this LED will be green, and the battery on the display will be steady.
What I like
- Solid charging
- Easy and simple UI
- Nice displays
What I don’t like
- UI doesn’t allow bays to be set individually
- Barrel plug
- Expensive for the feature set
- This item was provided by XTAR for review. I was not paid to write this review.
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