Whilst gaming, there is nothing more annoying than your controller running out of power. With most of us gamers now using wireless controllers, keeping tabs on your controller’s power is a task so easily forgotten when your upmost attention is in the game. For me, it is good to have a play-and-charge kit tucked away nearby, but turning your wireless controller into a wired one is never preferable.
Slapping on a pre-charged rechargeable pack is the next best solution, but keeping those tanked up can also be forgotten about, unless you stick to a regular regime of making sure your empty battery packs are always plugged in and charging. A charging ‘station’ for your controllers would be the ideal solution here and there are many flamboyant controller charging stations currently available on the market. In this review I’ll be taking one such charge station through its paces, the Gioteck AC-1 DualFuel Ammo Clip Premium charging station – A small footprint charging station for up to two Xbox 360 controllers.
At first glance my biggest surprise when opening up the AC-1 DualFuel Ammo Clip Premium is its compact size – roughly the size and thickness of a game/DVD/BluRay jewel case. This means that storing the charging station is a breeze, and can be stored discreetly alongside your game library. Sadly though, the mains power adapter it needs to power itself isn’t small enough to be stored inside the box.
The AC-1 cleanly folds away into its DVD case-sized hardened box
Just like a DVD case, you open up the AC-1 like a book to reveal the two fixed charging arms that span the middle spine of the hardened outer case – a little like a popup book. On each side of the spine is a connector that plug into each controller, whilst you are not gaming. As soon as your controllers are attached to these ports they will begin to charge immediately. Two LED status lights can be found in the middle of the spine. During a charge these lights pulse Red and then turn solid Green when fully charged. Whilst charging, your controllers sit on each panel of the AC-1, whilst small indentations of the base cradle the sides of each controller to keep them in place.
In addition to the charging case there are two rechargeable packs that come included in the box. This is a great addition to the bundle and is something that I was not expecting to see. Plugging in these rechargeable packs into a Xbox 360 controller and connecting the pads to the AC-1 saw a charging time of just under two hours, which isn’t bad.
When connected, the Xbox 360 pads sits neatly on each side of the AC-1 case panels
The AC-1 is a great alternative to the official charging stations currently available, or even a trusty play-and-charge kit. Its small footprint and easy stowaway form-factor is a breath of fresh air alongside the more bulky and oddly shaped alternatives out there.
It is a shame that this Premium version of the AC-1 does not also include the additional option to charge via USB, as well as a the mains A/C adapter. The cheaper standard version of the AC-1 Ammo Clip does allow USB charging however, but it would have been nice to have this addition included in the Premium version of the Ammo Clip. Overall though, using an A/C adapter will provide faster charging over its cheaper brother, it just means you’ll need a power plug near by and if you decide to store the AC-1 away you’ll have to find a place for the wall plug adapter too.
It would also have been good to be able to close the case, when not in use, whilst still being connected to the power supply. As genius as its fold away case is, if it had a smaller cut out on the corner to allow for the power cable to remain connected it would make this device even better, as I can see it soon collecting up dust whilst being powered, open and unused.
With its tidy form-factor, its two included rechargeable battery packs and its relatively speedy charging times, if you are looking for a simple and discrete charging station for your Xbox 360 controllers then I would recommend that you take a look at the AC-1 DualFuel Ammo Clip Premium, and keep yourself in the game by having all your controllers well and truly juiced up and ready to go at all times of the day.