One of the great things about going on vacation in the “good old days” was the ability to completely unplug and unwind. But we are all so connected, and interconnected these days that it seems nearly unthinkable to be out of communication range with our cell phones, music players, tablets and eReaders. Alas, all of those things take power — and when you are traveling that might be in short supply. Even worse is that inevitable, sinking feeling you get when your cell phone or other battery-powered device that you have grown to depend on, is just about to die, and you are not anywhere near a charger. And who hasn’t been in a hotel or conference room where there just aren’t enough outlets to charge your electronics because everyone else has rushed to the outlets, first?
The good news is that are are gadgets to power your gadgets. Most are easily to use, affordable, and lightweight enough to put in a pocket or purse.
If not enough outlets are your problem, whether at home, at the office, or elsewhere, Energizer makes a single ($14.99) or dual ($19.99) Universal USB Charger that you simply plug into the wall to charge two USB-powered devices with one, fold-able for travel, plug. This wall port is a chunky square about the size of two ice cubes. There are two USB ports on the cube. Plug the charging cube into a wall socket, plug in the USB cords you normally use with your electronics, and easily charge two devices such as cell phones, MP3 Players, digital cameras, or anything that uses 5W of power or less. If you are in a car and don’t have access to a wall socket, Energizer also makes a Universal USB charger for the car with a single ($14.99) or double ($19.99) USB ports. These also charge devices using their USB cables. If you travel for business, and especially if you are traveling with a family, these little plugs no larger than a cigarette lighter, are a must-have. Energizer certainly knows a thing or two about batteries and powering electric devices. These also make great little gifts. Be sure to include one with any new electronic holiday gift that uses a USB cable for powering up. Learn more at: http://www.energizer.com
For those times when you are not near a wall wall and need to keep your electronic device running, a must-have for travel or businessw is the MyBlueBoost, at www.smartgeekproducts.co there are a number of these battery boosting helpers for various devices. the One I tried was for iPhone and Blackberry devices, and with both a cable for iPod/iPhone and one for the Blackberry. the MyBlueBoost plugs into a USB charger (perhaps your Energizer cube mentioned above) including your computer. Once charged, There is a place to plug in your phone on the cube. Flip the power switch and you’ve got enough juice to finish that phone call, make a distress call or just play some music. If you own an iPhone or Android, you already know that battery-sucking apps can leave you wondering where you can plug in, every place you go. But if there are no plugs in sight, MyBlueboost can save the day! The striking blue rectangular power boost is about the same wieght as a quad AA battery pack. Speaking of which, you can also change the battery in MyBlueBoost if you need to but the battery must be an 18650 PROTECTED battery. Also make sure the polarity is correct you can damage MyBlueBoost and remember that it takes 4-6 hours to fully charge MyBlueBoost. As soon as you plug in MyBlueBoost you can continue to use your phone (as long as MyBlueBoost is charged). As to how long you can realistically use your MyBlueBoost, it depends a lot upon your device and what you are doing, but a battery at just about 5% was touted as lasting 5-7 hours more (on the MyBlueBoost website). Obviously when your battery is nearly or totally dead, you should try to re-charge you electronic device it as quickly as possible, but if you are somewhere where you just can’t, one of these external battery pack devices can save you, literally. At $44.95 for the Blackberry/iPhone or $39.95 for Android alone, and $49.95 for a 10-plug unit that fits Android, iPhone or Blackberry, it is well worth the money for safety and pleasure!
*a note of caution: although the MyBlueBoost website claims that the unit is compatible with a lot of phones, apparently that is not so. It certainly doesn’t work with all Blackberry models. My TMobile Blackberry Bold 9900 apparently doesn’t work with MyBlueBoost. I was really disappointed that my phone won’t work with it. But the idea is still nifty.I have contacted the company and they are looking into the situation. I strongly suggested the website have a list all the devices that are (or aren’t) compatible with MyBlueBoost. Just be sure to check and see if your particular cell phone model will work with MyBlueBoost before you buy it. Meanwhile, there is an email form on the website where you can send a query. Just go to www.myblueboost.com. If your model of phone works, that’s great. If not, well…technology only takes us so far!