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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mobile Device Chargers - Power Options Come In Many Shapes & Sizes

by Joanna Clay - PC Today - January 2011

mobile device chargers mobil tips and trick
No matter the power capabilities of the mobile devices you use regularly, it is inevitable that you’ll have to recharge sooner or later. The biggest question is, however, how many recharging options do you have? Quite a few, really. And, they’re diversely innovative.

But before purchasing just any charger, there are some general buying guidelines you’ll want to consider.

Charging Counsel
Charger capabilities go far beyond the simple device-to-wall outlet connection. This is all the more reason to do some research about which devices any given charger can support, what type of power the charger is harnessing, and in what ways it’s utilitarian.

Compatibility. Multidevice chargers can rejuvenate more than just a few mobile devices; some can charge upwards of 3,000 products (when you consider brand and model specifications). If you’re in the market for a charger that will support your basic trio of mobile phone, MP3 player, and camera (or maybe even 10 devices), there are a plethora of options. However, beware that some chargers are purposed specifically for Apple’s line of mobile devices or specific smartphone brands or models, as well.
Power. The charging capacity for a mobile charger is largely contingent upon the source of the power: AC power, PC, solar panels, wireless connectivity, or kinetic energy. Some wall-charging models can
simultaneously charge internally while also charging a connected mobile device. Other PC-oriented chargers will charge your laptop and several other devices. Solar-powered chargers aren’t going to boost your mobile device quickly, but they are nice for eco friendly charging (and no overcharging).

Bracketron PHV-200-BL Grip-iT Mobile Device Holder (Black)
Bracketron PHV-200-BL
Grip-iT Mobile Device Holder (Black)

Wireless charging capabilities have yet to become ubiquitous, but there are several wireless chargers that are making a difference. (Refer to “What’s New With Wireless Charging” for more on this subject.) Kinetic based chargers have been around for a couple of years, and because they utilize small-frequency forces produced by human movement, harvesting kinetic energy isn’t complicated for the user, although the technology behind it is Convenience. It seems ideal that mobile device chargers should be just as mobile as the devices they charge. Fortunately, many of them are, but some are designed to be primarily stationary. Other types of chargers could be considered useful on a situational basis. For instance, you might use a solar powered charger as a last resource. Or you might only pack a multidevice charger if you’re going on a week long business trip. No matter your situation, it comes down to user preference.

AT&T Zero Charger

The AT&T Zero Charger ($19.99; www.wireless.att.com) won’t draw power if you don’t connect it to your phone, so it won’t consume energy even in standby mode. AT&T sells compatible Zero Charger charging cables ($6 per cable) for the Apple, Ericsson, LG, Pantech, and Samsung products. If you only want to purchase charging cables for the devices you own, then the AT&T Zero Charger is a good choice that’s also nice for the wallet.

Chargepod V2
If you’re looking for a gadget that will easily charge a host of mobile devices and your full-featured notebook, then check out the Chargepod V2 ($199.95; www.callpod.com). One side of the tri-sectioned device is dedicated to charging a PC or Mac; another side can simultaneously charge as many as three small devices (including eReaders and GPS units) along with a portable DVD player or digital camera; and on the third side, you can use the three-port USB 2.0 hub for connecting peripheral devices to your laptop.

iGo Charge Anywhere
The pocket-sized iGo Charge Anywhere ($49.99; www.igo.com) will recharge your devices and recharges its built-in battery when it’s used as a wall charger. The two USB ports allow for dual charging wherever you take the iGo, and it’s universally compatible for international travel. At minimum, the iGo supports the following devices: smartphones, Bluetooth-enabled headsets, MP3 players, portable gaming devices, digital cameras, and GPS devices.

nPower PEG
Powered by kinetic energy or “vibration harvesting technology,” the nPower PEG ($149.99; www.npowerpeg.com) can be used to recharge cell phones, iPods, and more than 3,000 other mobile devices. The nPower PEG generates power as it harnesses energy from ambient vibrations that occur when you are walking, riding a bike, or commuting on the subway.

Powermat 3X Mat With Powercube
On its own, the Powermat 3X ($99.99; www.powermat.com) is a wireless (RFID) charging mat that can charge three devices at once via the individual access points on the mat. The Powermat produces a sound and has an indicator light that confirms your device is charging correctly. When you add the Powercube, a universal wireless receiver, you add the capability to charge a host of devices from Apple, Nintendo, Samsung, Sony, and LG. And if you want to charge other portable devices, you’ll simply need to interchange receiver “tips.”

Solio Mono
The Solio Mono($59.95; www.solio.com) runs on renewable power from the sun. After you perform an initial charge with the Solio Mono via USB, the solar-powered mode should take no less time to charge your portable device than if the Mono were connected to a wall outlet. And according to Solio, the Mono can charge more than 3,200 devices. The charger also includes interchangeable adapters, so you can use it with a variety of Apple, Samsung, Mini-USB, and Micro-USB devices. ▲

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