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Thrustmaster T-Charge + NW Review
Written by James Hobbs

The Wii remote is pretty thirsty when it comes to batteries. After that first week where, presumably for most people, the Wii got the most use, I found myself replacing batteries at an alarming rate when clocking in far too many hours each day on the console. Nobody likes buying batteries, and it would seem Thrustmaster don't like the idea of people buying batteries either - hence the release of the bizarrely-named 'T-Charge + NW.'

T-Charge + NW T-Charge + NW

Acronyms aside, all you need to know is that the T-Charge does two things - it stores two Wii remotes and their corresponding nunchucks, and it also charges up batteries for you. Both of these features mean that, almost immediately, it's incredibly useful. Battery recharging capability means that you no longer have to worry about nipping down to the shop every few days - just make sure you have a spare set charged and you won't ever find yourself in a pinch. The storage is an added bonus - Wii remotes, much like their television counterparts, have an alarming tendency to get themselves wedged in highly improbable and irritating places.

However, once you unpack the annoyingly secure packaging, it becomes apparent that there's a bit more to the T-Charge + NW than meets the eye. Inside the shiny curvature of the plastic lies not only the two docks themselves, one in white, one in black: you also get 4 rechargeable 1600mah AA batteries. Two of those popped inside your remote should give you about 25 hours worth of power, and 4 of the buggers come free inside.

You also get a set of silicone skins: 2 remote skins, and 2 nunchuck skins, in a pair of black and white to match the docks. They are surprisingly comfortable, seemingly durable, and don't interfere with the operation of the buttons. It also means that the remotes are less likely to slip out of the dock, or slip from any surface upon which you might place them.

T-Charge + NW T-Charge + NW

The 'fit' of the the hardware in the docks themselves is adequate, if not perfect - whilst the Wii remote nestles snugly into it's forward cradle, the nunchuck has to settle for being wedged into a cavity in a rather ungainly fashion. It's not such a big deal, however, as it keeps the cables out of the way, and the sheer value of this package is rather astonishing.

It's also worth mentioning that this version of the T-Charge only sports one twin-battery recharger, and it does not charge via the remote itself - the batteries slot into the back of the dock, and are charged via USB. There's a couple of those on the back of the Wii itself.

T-Charge + NW T-Charge + NW

The few minor negatives are massively outweighed by the simple, functional value of this package. For 24.99, you could do a lot worse. Thrustmaster are soon to release an upgraded version, the T-Charge All NW, which charges the Wii remote batteries inline ( through the controller itself ) and promises greater functionality. In the meantime, however, if you're sick of running out of batteries, the T-Charge + NW is a simple, painless way to alleviate battery and storage problems.

The verdict:

Simple storage and recharging happiness that's excellent value for money.


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