Although I am part of the last generation of children who can remember life before a mobile phone, I am not a technophobe and I absolutely love my mobile, I have an iPod, eReader and a Laptop. However, gadgets to plug in, add on, do the washing up and so on really do not appeal to me. And I find nothing more frustrating than getting a shiny new toy like an iPhone, then a new generation coming out within months - it's nigh on impossible to keep up with everything. Then there's different strains of gadgets like iPod, iPhone, iPad and to be honest it's all too much for me! So you can imagine my delight when I won a Proporta USB TurboCharger 3400 in a prize draw. I thought wonderful, who can I give it to as a Christmas present!
It didn't come in time for Christmas and when it did arrive I was having my evening-just-got-in-from-work cup of tea and I thought I would have a little look to see what it was all about. It came in minimal packaging, with a tiny instruction leaflet. In the box was a small velvety finish drawstring bag, the charger, expandable plug in and 6 different adapters. The charger is a black box with a USB out hole and a USB in hole. It has 5 LED lights on the top and a little button, it's around 2"(w)x4"(l)x0.5"(d) in size. The expandable plug goes in to the USB out hole and then you select your adapter which fits whatever you want to charge, plug in whatever you're charging and then press the little button on the top of the charger unit which will indicate how much power you have remaining by lighting up the 5 LEDs.
Did you read that right? No plugging in to a wall socket required! And everyone knows how maddening it is when you run out of charge! So if you're out camping, at a festival, on holiday around the pool, etc you can get charge for all your gadgets! Then basically, once the charger unit runs out of power, you use any generic USB lead plug it in to a computer and recharge it up!
A full charge on the unit lasts around 7-8 weeks (estimated based on my current usage against battery life used to date), depending on frequency of use. I tend to leave a charger for my phone for example at work so it can charge while I'm at my desk and I also have an in-car charger (I know, overkill, but I can't be without my mobile!!). But my iPod and eReader need charging on the go occassionally (probably every 3-4 days), my colleagues have used it a few times and one colleague used it to charge his iPad, which completely sapped power out of it and it's still got 2 LEDs worth of power. I guess this is because it works many times faster than the speed of a normal charger... and that's because... (obviously) it's a Turbo Charger! For example, to get a full charge on my phone I usually need to leave my phone on charge 2 hours to get to 100% battery. With the Proporta USB TurboCharger 3400 I can get 50% power within about 15 minutes from flat - absolutely excellent in my opinion.
Of course you have the danger of forgetting to charge the charger unit, but if you can remember to keep this one thing charged up (and lets face it, it only needs charging every month or two), then you can pretty much forget to properly charge all your other gadgets at least a couple of days each and still manage to use them! It doesn't damage the main battery either, as I know some dodgy chargers off Ebay and the likes can; so it's fail safe! It also comes with 6 different adapters as I mentioned, so it has one for Sony Ericssons, one for Nokias, one for Smart Phones (HTC, Blackberry, Xperia), one for Apple products, a generic USB for eReaders, portable speakers and cameras, plus an adapter for a DS Lite. It covers Sat Navs, PSPs, Samsung, etc too.
It's lightweight and comes in a lovely bag, which means it looks nice in your handbag, but because it's sleek and black would be fine in a manbag too! It's so tiny, you'll hardly know you have it with you - indeed I've forgotten a couple of times and looked on as my friends have panicked over battery - then 'lightbulb moment' and I remember I have it! It is really compact, but so powerful.
I must admit, despite initially planning to give it away I am so impressed and couldn't live without it now! When I was raving about it to my colleagues and showing them how it worked one asked me how much it costs - obviously because I won it I didn't know. I assumed it would be quite expensive as it's so wonderful, but when I looked online you can buy it for £29.95 (from www.proporta.co.uk), which I think is an absolute bargain, given that I bought an official wall charger for my eReader and that cost me £35 (and I later found out I could have used any PSP or similar charger, or a converter plug on the USB lead!!). It's really good value even if it gets you out of one or two scrapes where you can't get in touch with home because your battery has died, or you breakdown, or you're stuck bored on a train and you can charge your phone but not all your other paraphernalia without a PC and numerous USB leads. I would highly recommend getting one, and I'm sure you would find them cheaper if you trawled the internet!