New options for powering gadgets while commuting

By , Network World |  Hardware, gadgets

The scoop: Summit 3000 rechargeable power bank, by MyCharge, about $80.

What is it? The Summit 3000 is a 3000mAh lithium polymer rechargeable battery that can recharge several different portable devices. It includes a built-in cable for Apple devices like the iPhone, iPod and iPad (at least the older Dock Connector models, not the new ones with the Lighting port). Another built-in cable is for micro-USB devices, which include several Android phone models. A USB port also allows for recharging devices if owners also have their own USB cable for recharging (this could be used, then, in theory, for iPhone 5 and iPad fourth-generation owners).

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In fact, you can recharge three devices simultaneously (via the Dock Connector, USB port and micro-USB cable). However, there's a small issue: If three high-powered devices are connected at the same time, the Summit 3000 assigns priority charging to the Apple Dock Connector, then the USB connector, then the micro-USB cable. If you plug in lower-powered devices (such as an iPod Nano or iPod classic), simultaneous charging can occur.

Why it's cool: While the unit comes with its own USB cable for recharging the device off a laptop (like the Sojourn 1000 model), the extra cool part here is a fold-out power outlet prong, which lets you plug the Summit 3000 into a wall or power strip for super-fast recharging of the battery pack. Also cool is the voice notification feature: When you plug the unit into the wall, a pleasing voice tells you that it's charging. The voice also can tell you how much battery life you have on the recharger -- press a button and it will say things like "Battery is almost full." Cool!

Fully charged, the device can offer up to 13 extra hours of talk time for a phone (over a 3G network), and up to 10 hours of data time (again, over 3G -- Wi-Fi usage is likely less). If you want to use this unit as a synchronization bridge between an iPhone/iPod and a computer, you can do that as well.

Some caveats: At $80 it might seem a bit pricey for a rechargeable battery pack, but the ability to charge many portable devices at the same time (including a Bluetooth headset and an e-reader, for example) make this a great device to have in your laptop bag of gadgets.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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