I used to get very frustrated with people who routinely forgot to recharge their cell phones. My wife was terrible at this, despite having a car charger, work charger, and home charger, her cell phone was almost always in its low-battery death throws. Mine, on the other hand, is always full due in large part to it’s overly compulsive owner. How hard is it to put your phone on the charger before you go to bed? Come on, people… this is not rocket science.
Well… it’s “Confession time.” I don’t think that way anymore. The truth is; companies have been developing more and more features that will chew up the battery supplied power on the hand-held devices that they sell. The new brighter hi-res screens look fantastic, but they suck buckets of juice… Meanwhile, battery companies have “hit the wall” with their technology and while rechargeable batteries are certainly convenient, they just don’t last as long as we’d like them to.
On my last trip, I was listening to my iPod Touch and playing one of the games I’d downloaded (If you haven’t purchased the “Snowball Runner” app yet, don’t, because you’ll be addicted), and after sitting contently on the plane for an hour, rolling over penguins and elves running loose from Santa’s castle, I got the “Low Battery” warning just as I was about to crush a group of Polar bears. I was forced to let them go and it dawned on me that if this device was also my phone (iPhones are cool), I would have lost my ability to call my wife, my client, the hotel if I needed to, the rental car company, etc, and suddenly, I felt very alone!
There are a ton of “battery backup” devices on the market and none of them has impressed me until now. They have problems of their own. While they do give you a boost of power, they’re limited in many ways; some of them are device specific, others operate on AAA batteries which they use up very quickly. I saw one that had to be recharged with an A/C power cord and STILL needed batteries.
I like this one. You can charge it up with the USB cord that you already travel with, it holds tons of power, and it can “run” or recharge any two USB devices at the same time. That means you can recharge your iPod and your phone from zero to “full charge” at the same time, you can recharge your iPhone three or four times, you can talk on your cell phone for 4 hours without it’s battery, AND its small enough to fit in your purse or your pocket.
This device is a dream for travelers, especially for ones that go from their hotel to work, lunch, the airport, the plane, to another city, and finally to the hotel without having any “quality time” with an outlet and/or time to charge their phone. It may even be a lifesaver if you live where storms cut your power.
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.