Xtar MC1 Plus “ANT” Li-ion Battery Charger
The MC1 Plus Charger is the latest portable USB mini charger from Xtar and features a 1A maximum constant current. In comparison to their original MC1 charger, you can now charge an 18650 as well as other lithium-ion batteries at twice the amperage. The MC1 Plus features the ability to automatically detect the battery being charged and chooses the most suitable charge current at either 0.5A or 1A. The MC1 Plus makes a great upgrade to the MC1 charger but is not a direct replacement.
Xtar MC1 Plus features
- Automatically selects most suitable charging current for batteries (0.5A or 1A)
- Reverse-polarity and short circuit protection
- Three-stage charging and 0V battery activation
- Micro USB port to supply power for the charger
- Adopts IC temperature monitor to avoid over heat
- Compact size and portability
- Low heat design
Compatible Battery Types
- 10440, 14500, 14650, 16340, 17335, 17500, 17670, 18350, 18500, 18650, 18700, 20700, 21700, 22650, 25500, 26650
What’s in the box?
- 1x Xtar MC1 Plus charger
- 1x Micro USB Cable
- User Manual
Xtar MC1 Plus build quality
The MC1 Plus is lightweight and easily carried around since it is highly discrete in terms of overall size. The hard plastic construction on the whole is decent and what I would describe as fairly robust. The main charging bay features a single spring-loaded sled that holds the battery securely and is compatible with a wide variety of different types. In addition the correct battery orientation is clearly marked so you are unlikely to make a mistake. The MC1 features a small LCD display which illuminates when the charger is powered.
The charger has a single Micro USB Port and only by connecting this to a suitable source via the included cable does it create the necessary power to charge your battery.
Ease of use
After fitting the battery you wish to charge and connecting the charger to a suitable source such as a Laptop via the included Micro USB cable the main display will illuminate. The current charge level is shown as individual bars which number five in total. As the battery charges the bars flash before turning solid. Once all five bars are solid, charging is complete and you can remove the battery and unplug the cable.
Xtar MC1 Plus performance
Providing you only real use devices that feature a single battery this charger might be very useful since it is small, lightweight and easily carried around. The fact that it features USB charging eliminates the need for a large power cable.
To test the charge time of the MC1 I used a drained Sony VTC4 battery and started charging at 5.35pm and by 11.05pm the battery was fully charged. Now from my personal point of view I thought this was far too long since I actually charged four Sony VTC5’s on my external charger in about four hours. However in fairness it does depend greatly on your requirements and providing you are not desperately needing to charge that battery fast it is less of a concern.
The MC1 Plus does work as intended and is very simple to use and does an efficient enough job of charging but you might of course ask yourself why you simply do not connect your device via the Micro USB port to a suitable power source such as a laptop and charge the battery while it is still in the device. I don’t feel this charger resulted in a faster charge than that particular method but for those with safety concerns it may be preferable since there are people out there who prefer not to charge batteries while in their mods and it will certainly remove the risk of wear and tear on your device’s Micro USB port.
The SX Mini ML Class is the only own device I own now which requires a single 18650 battery but since the SX Mini’s Micro USB port has a shorter warranty than the device itself it does suggest that you don’t want to chance ruining it so a charger like this might be worthwhile if you don’t currently own anything else. One useful feature of this charger is that it does support a large 26650 battery which might be valuable depending on what device’s you currently use.
All in all I think this may be a handy little charger for some users who have a very specific reason to need one and it’s a nice enough idea to go for an entirely USB based charger but for anyone else I think are probably better off either charging the battery in your device or investing in some form of powered external charger (perhaps just a simple one or two sled) since USB charging is painfully slow.
In my opinion the Xtar MC1 Plus makes a very serviceable budget USB charger which works well, is decently put together and might be ideal for anyone who does a lot of travelling and doesn’t want to carry a larger and more bulky charger around with them. It’s only real negatives is the time it requires to charge and the fact that you are limited to a single battery slot.
I think for many that single slot will certainly limit appeal so if you regularly use dual or triple 18650 devices then this charger will be of little value to you.
If you are interesting in picking one of these chargers up they are currently priced at around £7.99 you can find more information on the XTAR site here http://www.xtar.cc/products_detail/productId=62.html.
Many thanks to Xtar who kindly sent this product to Planet of the Vapes for us to review.