Nomad Base One Max MagSafe Charger

Just a month ago, I reviewed the Base One, a high-end MagSafe charger from Nomad. The Base One elevates the utility wireless charger to something you’d be proud to have on display. It’s a substantial piece of anodized aluminum and glass with a raised MagSafe charging puck. It doesn’t just look good sitting on a desk or bedside table, the Base One offers all the features expected of a MagSafe charger. The only thing the Base One lacks is the ability to charge an Apple Watch. Nomad has just filled this gap with the new Base One Max.

Base One Max Unboxing shows a familiar design

The Base One Max box may catch you off guard with its weight. Wireless chargers are usually made largely of plastic, so they tend to be relatively lightweight. Not this one. It tips the scales at 2 pounds.

Open the box and you will understand why. The Base One Max uses the same design approach as the Base One, with a glass top on an anodized aluminum base. In this case, the base is elongated in width, but slightly narrower than that of Base One. It measures 7.4 inches wide by 3.5 inches deep. By comparison, the Base One was about 3.8 inches square. On the back, you’ll find the USB-C power port.

MagSafe, plus Apple Watch charging

The Base One Max’s extended footprint is due to the inclusion of an Apple Watch charging puck. The puck is covered with a soft coating to protect the Apple Watch and positioned vertically to take advantage of the Apple Watch’s Nightstand mode. Charging is at a maximum of 5W. It is compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and above.

On the MagSafe side, there’s a slightly raised puck (it makes it easier to grab your phone or device) that provides up to 15W of charging power. With an iPhone 12 and up, it perfectly aligns your iPhone and helps hold it in place. With Qi wireless compatibility, you can charge any Qi wireless device, including smartphones and AirPods with a charging case.

Bring your own USB-C power adapter

Like the Base One, the Base One Max comes with a premium 6.5ft braided USB-C to USB-C cable. And like the Base One, there’s no power supply in the box. You will need a USB-C power supply capable of outputting 30W to use the Base One Max. Nomad sells one for $29.95, but if you have an extra tablet or other device, you can use it.

How does this compare to Apple’s own MagSafe Duo?

Apple offers its own dual charger in the MagSafe Duo. As you can see in the photo below, the Base One Max eclipses Apple’s version. It also seriously trumps and uses USB-C instead of Lightning for power. Apple also requires you to provide your own power supply, although at $129 the MagSafe Duo is slightly cheaper than the Base One Max.

As a permanent bedside or desktop charger, I definitely prefer the Nomad Base One. It has a bigger footprint, but it looks much sleeker, its weight means it doesn’t move around, and it’s much easier to clean. Dust easily wipes off this sheet of glass. However, if you want a charger you can also travel with, Apple wins hands down. It can be folded up for easier transport and no one will want to lug a 2 pound charger around with them.

Recommendation Nomad Base One Max

There are plenty of cheaper dual charger options that can handle an iPhone and an Apple Watch at the same time. However, many of them come with Qi wireless charging instead of MFi-certified MagSafe. You’ll also be hard pressed to find one that looks this good on your nightstand.

If you have a MagSafe-enabled iPhone and an Apple Watch, there’s no more elegant solution to keeping both charged than the Nomad Base One Max. It is priced at $149.95 and available in silver or carbide.

Disclosure: Nomad provided a Base One Max for evaluation purposes, but did not contribute to this review.

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