Portable power packs for Apple’s iPhone, iPod supply extra juice in a pinch

“It’s late in the day and again my iPhone 3G’s battery is running low,” Eric Benderoff reports for The Chicago Tribune. “That makes this an apt time to take a fresh look at an increasingly important part of our gadget portfolio, those portable charging devices that provide a shot of juice in a pinch.”

“The iPhone 3G magnifies such issues. The Wi-Fi connection, the faster network speeds and GPS features all strain the battery. So for the last week, I’ve been using a few portable chargers to keep the iPhone and some other gadgets ready to go,” Benderoff reports. “‘It provides a supplemental charge,’ Ken Klarfeld, iPowerRush president, said of his portable charging device, one of the first targeting the iPhone 3G. ‘You’re on a plane, watching a movie and your iPhone goes dead? What do you do?'”

“With the iPowerRush [US$30, iPowerRush.com], you should be fine—as long as the six AAA batteries it needs work,” Benderoff reports. “The iPhone battery was nearly dead when I plugged the iPowerRush into the iPhone. About 45 minutes later, I had enough power to make it home, a 30-minute commute, playing with the iPhone all the way.”

“Another approach is a portable charger with multiple connectors, or ‘tips.’ These tips are made for iPods, various mobile phones, digital mobile phones and countless other gadgets,” Benderoff reports. “One of my favorites is the Powerstick, a $70 device (Powerstick.com) that includes nine tips. I’ve used them for many of my own gadgets, as well as those I review. It always works—and sure enough one of the tips it ships with worked with the iPhone 3G.”

“Again, the iPhone was nearly empty when I connected the Powerstick. It didn’t fully charge the device, but it provided a longer charge than the iPowerRush,” Benderoff reports. “You recharge the Powerstick via USB, so when it’s empty, you simply plug it into a computer’s USB port. A recharge takes about 30 minutes.”

More details and info about other iPod-only portable chargers here.

14 Comments

  1. iPowerRush (the one with the six AAA batteries) sounds really really stupid. Who thinks of these things? Ecologically speaking, they are definitely Part of the Problem.

    Strange that he doesn’t even MENTION the best one, FastMac’s iV (http://fastmac.com/iv.php). This one unanimously won Editor’s Choice for Macworld 2008 Best of Show Award.

    Shoddy reporting, I say.

  2. I am using the Kensington Mini iPhone Charger (amazon.com $38)….terrific portability and it will give me a quick 3/4 charge in about 15-20 minutes. I then recharge that in any computer. Hoping to make it all the way to London from Honolulu using just my laptop for charging up the Mini.

  3. My car charger takes care of my on-the-go charging needs for me. $10 at RiteAid. Wall chargers at home and at work for the rest.

    On an airplane or camping are the only two situations I can think of that I would need more. And I think there are chargers available for the airplane.

  4. I’ve got to go with Sum Jung Gai’s favourite the iV.
    It’s elegant, a better fit than the others, charges in a standard iPhone dock with the iPhone inside and gives you a Flash for your camera. I mean, what more do you need for goodness sake?

    And the option to be able to charge up any USB device at the same time is sweet. Not got a bluetooth earpiece yet but if it charges through USM then that’s the whole thing sorted right there.

    These other chargers just look like they are a basic charger with an iPod connector. The iV is a sleeve for the the iPhone so it takes the pressure off the connector. I hope the 3G version is out soon as I am upgrading my iPhone over the next few weeks and I would love to get an iV to go with it. Nice ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    Thanks for the heads up SJG ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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