There are a ton of ways to keep your Xbox One controllers topped off, but Snakebyte's new Twin:Charge X solution has ascended to become one of my favorite ways to keep those gamepads powered.
Here's a run down of everything you'll love (and not love) about Snakebyte's Twin:Charge X.
What you'll love about the Twin:Charge X
My patience with third-party Xbox accessories generally isn't the highest, particularly when it comes to rechargeable batteries and docking kits. The vast majority on the market use cheap plastics, suffer from critical design flaws, or simply don't work very well. Imagine my delight to find that Snakebyte's new Twin:Charge X managed to tick all the right boxes.
The Twin:Charge X is a dual controller dock designed for use with the Xbox One, but you can just as easily use it for charging Xbox controllers via your PC as well. It's completely USB-based, and comes with two 800 mAH NiMH batteries. Snakebyte doesn't provide any information on the estimated amount of recharges you'll get per battery, but they do hit their target battery life of around 6-8 hours per charge, taking around 1-2 hours to fully recharge from zero.
The batteries themselves take up the full housing of an Xbox One controller, replacing the battery door. They're well-constructed and light, with contact pins and notches on the reverse side for charging while docked.
The design of the Twin:Charge X is truly on point, coming in both white and black flavors to match the Xbox One S and Xbox One X standard models. It has a good amount of weight, meaning it won't slide all over the place when you hook up that cable. The cable length is also very generous and should be adequate for all sorts of setups.
The logo and red/green charging lights are also quite minimalistic too, and won't stick out like a sore thumb in your media center, unlike some other gaudy "pro gamer" accessories.
What you'll love less about the Twin:Charge X
My main concern about the Twin:Charge X pertains to the batteries. NiMH-based batteries can be great, particularly Panasonic's Eneloop rechargeables, but off-brand ones can suffer from really poor shelf life. It's hard to tell what the situation will be like for Snakebyte's batteries without extensive, weeks-long testing, so I'll come back here and let you know the situation there a little later. Initial impressions on charge retention are good, though.
The battery capacity is also a little disappointing at 800 mAH. For streamers doing marathon sessions over 6-8 hours, this represents a restriction. The battery itself is designed for any generation of Xbox controller, but at least with the latest Bluetooth model, the fit is incredibly tight. I can see the plastic tab becoming damaged over time due to this, so exercise caution.
The battery also comes with notches to help you guide it into position in the dock, but it still doesn't feel particularly easy to get it into place. It takes a bit of practice to get it in and can be frustrating to figure out initially. They could have done a bit more here to make it easier, perhaps.
Final Thoughts: Snakebyte Twin:Charge X
While the battery capacity isn't massive here, the ability to keep your media center tidy while also keeping your controller batteries topped off makes for a really convenient solution.
I would have liked to have seen higher capacity cells, even if it meant a higher price point, but the fact you get a high-quality dock complete with two batteries for $25 represents truly great value.
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