The Xtar VP4C is the latest addition to the VP Series of chargers by XTAR. With a slightly industrial look, a different charger for a different user.
This product has been sent with the kind generosity of XTAR for the purpose of an impartial review. The thoughts that you find below are mine and are no way influenced by the fact that this was gifted.
The XTAR VP4C comes supplied in the typical XTAR white packaging with a usable battery list on one side, and basic features on the other. On the back are some more product information, warranty number, social media links, scratch and check authenticity. In the box itself is of course the XTAR VP4C, USB cable, instruction guide, but there is no pouch like those supplied with the VC series.
Important – The VP4C is a 3.6/3.7 V charger only, this will not charge AA type batteries like the VC4S. Nor is it suitable for protected 20700 or 21700 batteries. Protected batteries are longer and the charger has fixed length battery terminals. Non-protected 20700/21700 batteries will charge fine such as the Samsung 30T.
Construction of the XTAR VP4C is with flame retardant and fire resistant ABS and PC giving peace of mind in its use. The design of the VP4C is much simpler than that of other models that XTAR has to offer, but looks tougher as a result. However, it has one feature that stands out from the VC range from XTAR.
Firstly when we look at the layout the noticeable difference is the screen is smaller but longer on the front, detailing the charge state in volts. Better still the XTAR VP4C’s screen it is angled at 120˚. Making viewing of the screen and the current state of the battery charging perfectly easy, especially with the large clear font and battery icon. No more leaning over, or getting up to peer over it. I love this design, simple but it’s just one of those details that make life easier for a lazy person such as myself.
There is only one button to control on the VP4C and it has but one function. To change the amperage pushed to the batteries. You can choose 0.25 A, 0.5 A, or 1 A. Now only the two external battery compartments can charge at 1 Amp, so when you insert a third or a fourth then it will automatically drop down to 0.5 A. You can then still choose between either 0.25 A or 0.5 A. This allows you to trickle charge the batteries, whilst ultimately this takes longer, your batteries should have a better lifespan as a result. I personally charge at around 1 A or 0.5 A, as it a good balance between charging time and the life span of the batteries.
Now while it may seem not much going on with the XTAR VP4C charger, that’s far from the truth. It’s just all under the hood. The VP4C will automatically drop the charging current if you are using a less than idea charger. XTAR refers to this as over-current protection. So as an example if you are using a 1 Amp charger with four batteries you will only be allowed to charge them at 0.25 A. Protecting your charger and stopping the potential risk of fire from drawing too much current from the charger then it can supply.
The XTAR VP4C goes further and has temperature control of your batteries making sure they remain stable whilst charging. 0V reviving of over discharge batteries is always a god send when you accidentally taken your batteries a bit too low. Then there is the three stage charging that is also utilised in other XTAR chargers such as the VC4S.
List of compatible batteries for charging:
|3.6/3.7V Charging of Li-ion/IMR/INR/ICR||1.2V Charging of Ni-MH/Ni-CD|
|10440||NOT SUITABLE WITH THIS CHARGER|
It is important to remember to be careful when removing your battery from all chargers ensuring that the terminal does not catch and damage the battery wrap. The easiest way by far is to place fingers on the battery, pull them back all the way and lift out the batteries. Mitigating the possibility of damage.
The XTAR VP4C despite lacking discharge features is a solid performer and one that is worth getting. The two biggest bonuses with this charger is the viewing angle of the screen, it really does make a difference. Secondly being able to switch what amperage is being applied to the batteries whilst charging is a wonderful feature that I would have love to have seen on XTAR’s VC4S. It gives the ability to charge at a lower current for those batteries that are getting on a bit or that you have taken a bit too low than you would normally like.
Space counts, and sadly the two middle battery area bit too close together. Its a shame if only XTAR would give the extra space required for those middle bays. You can still fit batteries in but it’s a fiddle and you must ensure that they are in correctly otherwise they may fly off somewhere.