A perennial problem for flashpackers and location independent professionals is running out of juice on the road. A bevy of backup battery solutions exist to help remedy this problem, including Technocel’s PowerPak. We tested their most recent model – the PowerPak U8USBTC to see how it stacks up.
Works with or without an AC outlet – anytime, anywhere
Easy to read, LED indicator lights reveal the remaining capacity of the PowerPak battery reserve with the press of a button
Included interchangeable tips provide compatibility for 95% of all handheld USB devices
Compatible with any other USB cable that might have been provided with your wireless device
Considering this is intended to be an all-in-one solution, the size is perfect for travelers. It’s roughly the same volume as, and just a touch heavier than, a deck of cards. It easily fits into a pants pocket or the side pocket of a laptop bag.
The matte finish and minimal exterior of the main unit won’t attract attention. It’s all business with only a fold-out AC plug and four indicator lights to reveal the remaining capacity.
Our all-in-one combo pack also included a variety of USB power tips. Simply choose the few tips that you actually need to power your particular array of gadgets, and go.
The backup battery functionality is a nice feature that will get you from point A to point B confidently with a little extra juice. Our tests revealed at least a few extra hours out of an iPhone 3G. But, as with any such solution, your mileage may vary.
All-in-One Charging Solution
The real win here is the ability for travelers to take just one charger with them, instead of the unwieldy bundle of seventeen different cables required for one’s digital camera, cell phone, GPS, portable espresso maker, et. al. As a minimalist traveler, I relish any solution that cleverly lets me take less while providing more.
Our inside source reveals that new models should be available next month, featuring increased battery life and a dual USB port version. Both versions should retain their battery charge for at least 6 months without being plugged in.
The all-in-one charging functionality alone is worth the price tag. Couple that with a decent internal battery with enough juice to supplement your electronic/media needs on any medium-length flight or train trek and we solidly recommend the PowerPak as an essential part of any traveler’s gear bag. Highly recommended.