Pros: Small and very portable. Uses AA batteries. Can be recharged with rechargeable batteries inside.
Cons: cheap plastic
This is a relatively inexpensive portable USB power source. All you need is the usb cable, the device, and 4 AA batteries. Either alkaline or rechargeable.
Update: After a little over a year this died on me. I was surfing the net at Disneyland and I knew I had a little charger so I wasn't worried about keeping my Droid X charged for the day. Wrong. It died. Now I know I am rough on things but I really was expecting this to last 3 years. I am a little disappointed with 1 year. I don't know what the problem is.
It should also be noted that the back panel failed to tightly secure after about 6 months. My fear of it failing early came true.
It comes with the device itself and several adapters. If the adapter you need isn’t supplied, then you can to buy it for around 5 bucks. Kind of annoying. The adapter needed for my Droid X was not provided. I personally just use my usb cable for the given device. My only complaint is my USB cable is longer than I would like whereas the USB adapter that came with the unit is a spring-loaded wound-up cable. So the cable winds up on a wheel when not in use. And since the cable they provided is thinner, it takes up less space. I also don’t know what names to call these adapters but one is the pentagon shaped one that is quite common with several of my devices. I think another one is ipod compatible but I’m not 100% sure. If memory serves correctly, I got 5 of them.
I recharge my batteries with the energizer recharger but you can recharge them with a provided adapter. On the side is a female port shaped like a trapezoid. This port accepts the 5V current from any USB device so it can be recharged.
It has a slider on and off switch. There is also a light telling you that you need to recharge the batteries. No percentage remaining. No screen to read. Just three lights. One for full, one for used, and one for empty. Very simple.
So how much life does it give? Depends on the rechargeable batteries. My 2500 mH rechargeable (4)AA batteries recharged my Droid X to 70 percent power before giving up its ghost. It would easily recharge a simplier phone 1.5 to 2 times. If memory serves, it took a little over an hour to get depleted. Not very fast. I believe the internal Droid X battery is 3.7 volt lithium battery rated at 1300 mah
It also can use alkaline batteries so those should give you more power because of their higher voltage and/or amp-hours. So there really isn’t much juice provided from this unit compared to other more expensive rechargeable units. But the great thing is you can just put some fresh batteries in. And keep in mind though that this is also a smaller recharger than other units. It hardly takes up any space in my Camelbak when I'm going to Disneyland or….
There does not appear to be any complex circuitry which allows this to be cheap and easy to use. Hopefully less will go wrong with it over time because of this.
It is small and fits easily in a small container or regular pocket. This is portable. Very portable. And since it uses AA batteries, it is a great option for travelers that may not have easy access to a power outlet. Just buy some alkaline batteries and pop them in. Perfect for traveling. The biggest reason to get this USB device charger is because it uses AA batteries and you can get them virtually anywhere.
I could also see this as a great addition to a portable solar power set up if you need a battery recharger without much weight/space.
You can recharge the batteries with the supplied cable if you have access to a hot USB port. This would only be for rechargeable batteries. I personally don’t do this, I would much rather use the Energizer recharger I own and hope it is kinder on my batteries.
My biggest complaint is the materials it is made with. It is cheap plastic. It will break easily. So far I haven’t damaged in my year plus of owning it, but with me you never know.
The reason you want this is so you have a back-up option no matter where you are. You don’t have to charge this because you can put batteries in it. But you do have the option to charge the inserted rechargeable batteries.
I also like the compact design. It fits easily in a pocket. Now I just need a 3 inch cable for my Droid X.
One complaint is it does not recharge the phone as fast as my car adapter does. I actually have a rat pack made from the battery case of a dead CB radio. I soldered a female cigarette adapter to it and I use it for car adapter plugs. This adapter is bigger and bulkier, but it also charges faster and has more life (because it has 10 rechargeable batteries).
I just used it as Disneyland (again) on June 13th and I noticed something I didn't document. This sucker is hot. About the same heat from the medium setting on a heating pad. There is no form of energy transfer that does not produce heat (that I know of) but this heat seemed to be excessive. Since I haven't tried other types of USB rechargers I can't compare, but it is certainly a concern. So I changed the original score of a 5 to a 4 because of the latent observation.
Weight and Dimensions
Weight (dry): 1.75 oz
Length: 4.75 inches
Width: 2.55 inches
Height: 0.75 inch
Capacity: 4AA batteries.
The reason I give it 4 stars is because for its purpose it is perfect. It is lightweight, inexpensive, and can use AA batteries. If you start adding stuff then you sacrifice weight and cost. Ya you don't have the greatest charger out there, but it was never meant to be that. Yes Tekkeon does make better charger if you what to go that route, you will sacrifice something in exchange for that extra power and features.
But for someone what want an inexpensive AA USB charger, then this is the way to go.
© Alan Lake’s Kitchen
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