Combining together different USB ports, Atom Studios has developed a plug which might prove useful.
It is surprising how easy it is for your collection of devices, whether portable or not, can build up in even a short time period. When checking through your various devices that make use of USB technology for their data and power transfer, you will probably find a range of different USB standards. My own personal collection of such devices produced candidates that were of the Type A, Type B, mini, micro, USB 2 and the latest USB C type connection.
As out collections of rechargeable devices increase, so does the required ability to charge them.
News has just reached me regarding the launch of two new products from Ugreen. For those who may be unfamiliar with Ugreen, I should explain that this is a company, established in 2012, to provide revolutionary hardware and digital solutions. The company's products range from charging devices, phone & computer accessories plus home and automobile accessories. The two new products are the 100W Desktop Charger and the 65W Desktop Charger.
Mobile power is something in demand, did you charge your phone last night and even if you did will it last all day? Here is one solution that may get you out of a hole while out and about a charge station charge point, or you could just buy it all keep it with you, it has both iOS and Android connections built in.
If you opt for rental then you pay £1 for an hour of charging once your use gets to £3 you then get the rest of that day for free. This continues till you get to £30 when the Charged Up unit becomes yours to keep. Alternately you can get it from the website. It is 14.5x7.5x1.2cm and weighs 168grams. The left side has a groove for the hard wired 10cm long double ended micro USB and USB ‘C’ adapter. The same on the right side for the iPhone connector.
A new name to me and without a visit to the Amazon Christmas event it would have probably stayed that way. This is a portable USB lead that has USB or USB ‘C’ on one end a coiled lead to fit into a small carry case and three different ends to make sure it has a fitment to suit whatever you need to charge, so wherever there is power so do you.
In fact there are six different combinations so three for each of USB and USB ‘C’. The outer box measures 9x9x2.5 and the inner one round at 6.5cm and 1.5cm thick; there is a rubberised loop to fit over a finger or more likely a belt. The weight is less than 50 grams. It has a clear top the flip open container has a black coiled lead 9cm long – fully coiled to over 30cm uncoiled. The ends are white, as it arrives USB on one end and micro USB on the other end.
The Allroundo from German company Vonmählen is a USB charging cable kit that is pocketable and offers a useful way of connecting one’s Apple or Android phone or tablet to an appropriate power source.
Available in a range of colours it is 65mm in diameter and 19mm thick with curved edges so that it is shaped rather like my grandfather’s pocket watch and weighs just 46g. It has an elasticated belt loop on it which rather increases that similarity. Opening the hinged lid allows access to the curly cable and the associated adapters. The cable is black in colour and neatly fits around the inside of the shell. One end has a USB-A plug and the other micro-USB.
When you need to draw power from a bank, a Varta product could help.
It has been said on more than one occasion, and will probably be said many more times, by myself, that power bank units come in a range of sizes, charging options and capacities. You just need to balance your current and future needs of your lifestyle with the price being asked for your favourite shape, weight and size of product to suit your pocket. For example lets take a look at the next power bank product which comes from the Varta catalogue of power delivering offerings.
Although not providing sustenance for the body, the ThumbsUp avocado can power other devices.
Moving on from an animal basis (mythical and real), ThumbsUp remains in the field of nature with its next product for review. In this case, arriving from ThumbsUp is an Avocado. This is, as you might expect, an electronic rather than natural and edible version of the avocado which is some areas is referred to as an alligator pear or button fruit.
This is a more unusual power bank in that it has two outlet ports that charge at different rates. It is also more like a character rather than just a device to let you slurp power when away from mains power for whatever USB device.
Instead of providing food and transport assistance, this llama has a charging facility.
The llama is a domesticated South American camelid that is widely used as a meat and pack animal by Andean culture since the Pre-Columbian era. In their natural habitat, these creatures can grow to a height of 1.8m and weigh between 130 and 200kg during their lifespan of up to 20 years.
Cygnett are an Australian company – now with a base in the UK - and they have been around for a number of years, they tend to concentrate on things that allow other devices to work more efficiently and this device is one of those to let you charge your phone more quickly, while some phone companies produce their own devices to do this, those tend to be device specific.
It is 14x6.5x2cm and weighs 246 grams. The total capacity is 10,000mAh. This device has the advantage of being able to charge both wirelessly - for those items that accept wireless charge – and via the USB ports on the unit. There is yet another plus for this unit over others that give only vague indications of the amount of charge by LED lights this has a two figure number IE 84 to state the current percentage of power showing on the top front edge of the unit.
Mixing a mythical past with modern technology.
As a country we have been referred to, on many occasions, as being a nation of pet lovers whether the creatures be of the domestic or the more exotic variety. This affection for the companionship of animals does seem to be seeping into areas other than live-in pets and also widening the range of possible creatures, such as those normally regarded as mythical. Take, for instant, this next product under review. I have recently been sent a Unicorn to check out.
Cygnett’s ChargeUp Boost and ttec’s PowerStones Trio each offer a different approach to ensuring that you have backup power for you mobile when you need it.
A lot of devices say ‘fast charge’ however fast charge will never be achieved by plugging the device into a USB port on a PC or even a wall socket unless you have a special plug capable of getting more power to your device which means higher power.
A lot of the figures given with this device are for iOS offerings but more Android devices are now allowing power to be transferred faster and even if your current device does not yet offer it with this plug and lead as supplied by Cygnett you are future proofing. I recently attended a mobile phone launch where the presenter talks about wireless charging and then without pausing mentioned that X% of charge was achievable in Y minutes.
Providing battery power from your pocket is a device from Anker.
As our mobile devices have developed over the years with changes to their size, weight and functionality, one particular aspect has, perhaps, lagged behind with regards to customer appeal. We mostly love the increase in screen size with higher quality images and maybe a gram or two shaved off the weight.
Adding to the numerous battery chargers currently available is a device with Type C USB support.
Whether for home or business use, the PC computer system continues to evolve and be enhanced in different ways with new features. While these new features have been developed to make life easier for the user, they can, on occasions, cause a degree of frustration for those of us who possess more equipment than we actually need. Take for instance USB technology.
I did not know what the Omnia meant so I asked Google and now I have at least a dozen choices, none seem relevant to this tool I am looking at from Adam Elements, first it’s a plug for the three main regions of the world which then accepts plugs from all over the world and for good measure has a couple of USB outlets built into its body.
This small black box is a PowerBank to recharge all your USB devices, however it is also a digital clock and a temperature display, and for good measure an alarm clock and it is even stated to have a calendar so this is a true multi-functional device.
It is 8.5x5x2cm and it weighs 153grams. Firstly as a charging device it has 5Vinput and 2.1A output for mobile devices – called fast charge – if you charge your SmartPhone from a computer port the fastest you are likely to charge at is 1A. Within the 12 sides of this 14x9cm User Manual which covers ten languages three of the sides are in English.
When looking for an IT bargain, one place to check out is the Reichelt superstore.
Supplied by the online and bricks & mortar superstore, Reichelt, the VARTA powerbank is a device that can be used to recharge a mobile device when a mains power source is not available for carrying out the purpose. For those not familiar with the company VARTA, I should explain that this is a German organisation with 128 years experience in the development of solutions involving batteries such as this powerbank device.
When out and about exploring the wilds of the countryside, this next product could prove vital.
As part of the discussions relating to the design of a powerbank device, I should imagine that the balance between size, weight, capacity and functionality has a major role to play. While some users might consider the device’s size and weight to be top of their wish list regarding vital considerations, other might prefer the unit with the largest battery capacity.
Mobile device battery chargers continue to be a popular accessory. This next product is from Moshi.
Designed by Moshi, a company founded in 2005 to create simple, sophisticated accessories for users of mobile devices, the IonSlim 5K is a portable power bank product. Extremely simple in appearance, with a touch of style, the IonSlim 5K is an ultra slim slab encased within an anodized aluminium body that can be used to extend the life of a mobile phone when you are out and about with no access to a convenient mains power source. The unit has dimensions of 130 x 70 x 8.