One of the ongoing complaints about Xbox controllers, at least the standard non-Elite vanilla versions, is the lack of any sort of rechargeable battery. Even after all these years, Xbox Wireless Gamepads still use AA batteries for power. Archaic? It depends on your point of view.
The oddity has its advantages, however, in that you will never need to replace an entire controller if the internal lithium-ion battery deteriorates, and that’s because there is is no internal lithium-ion battery. If your PS5 DualSense stops charging, it’s probably time to fork over an extra $ 70.
On the other hand, single-use batteries are quite a waste in comparison, especially if you do not dispose of it properly, and it can be very painful (and extremely expensive) to keep exchanging new AAs.
I will generally only use AA for my Xbox controllers in a pinch, and try to invest in separate rechargeable battery kits for most of my accessories when I can. That’s why I was very interested in the recently released Razer Limited Edition Forza Horizon 5 Universal Fast Charging Cradle, which the peripheral company sent in for review. It costs $ 49.99, an extra $ 10 from its siblings that comes with less limited controller color schemes.
The device is exactly what it looks like – a combo display and charging dock for pretty much any modern Xbox controller, though this one ties into Microsoft’s recent racing mega-bit and its limited-edition gamepad. that accompanies it.
Inside the box you’ll find the charging stand, a decent quality USB-A to USB-C cable, a rechargeable battery, plus two separate battery covers to fit an Xbox One controller or Xbox One controller. an Xbox Series X | S controller. You can plug the cradle into just about anything with a suitable USB port, including an Xbox console or gaming PC.
The device itself is nice and sturdy, with a noticeably weighted base and a soft underside that won’t scratch your desk or shelf. In general, it shouldn’t slip too much as there is a touch of textured grip.
The USB cable easily connects to the built-in USB-C port, and once you’ve installed the battery on whatever device you want, it’s ridiculously satisfying to put a controller in the holder. The magnets ensure the fit is precise and snug, although I wish there was padding in the cradle that contains the gamepad. It’s just smooth plastic, which isn’t great, but I would have preferred a fine lather to soften the fit.
Regarding the function, there is an LED on the holder that lights up orange / red until the controller is fully charged, after which it turns completely white. Not sure if there is a risk of overcharging or if the media stops supplying power once it detects a full battery.
I haven’t timed it specifically, but the kit’s battery seems to charge relatively quickly when attached to the holder. I was also able to play for at least an acceptable amount of time before I had to wind the controller up. Definitely longer than I would on AA, that’s for sure. Hopefully Razer will offer replacement batteries in the future, as as we all know these rechargeable units tend to degrade over time.
You can buy the charging stand in all kinds of themes including Robot White or Electric Volt, and even one to match the new 20th anniversary Xbox controller. My particular review unit brilliantly complements the Forza Horizon 5 gamepad, showcasing a tasteful continuity of color between the two devices.
The translucent yellow signature lets you see into the mount, while the blues and pinks start at the base of the device and sort of diffuse towards the controller. It looks like Razer and Microsoft have worked closely together to make sure all the plastics and tints match exactly, because as far as I know everything is perfect.
If you’ve invested in a Forza Horizon 5 controller, I think this matching charging stand is a no-brainer. I’m not exactly thrilled with the $ 10 Limited Edition Tax, but the paired aesthetic is gorgeous. Plus, you’ll save AA money, probably enough to pay for the booth in the long run.
I don’t envy controller collectors in 2021 as companies have certainly captured this market and produce items accordingly. Nowadays, it’s not enough to just buy the one-of-a-kind special controller – you also have to grab the matching awesome charging stand to go with it.
Do we need all of these extras? Probably not, but hey, at least they look cool.
Disclosure: Razer has provided a review product for coverage purposes.