Technocel PowerPakFeb 4th, 2010 | By Simon
In today’s technological world, there are so many charging solutions to consider. I have a cellphone, MP3 player, portable GPS and a PDA, and keeping all of that charged requires a 6 socket powerbar on its own! All of those devices also use a battery and more often than not I’m left with a dead battery on one of those devices while travelling. Technocel has come up with a way to keep all your devices charged and give yourself a bit of extra juice when the battery is drained. Today, we have the PowerPak™ for review.
The PowerPak is shipped in a plastic package with the battery and interchangeable tips clearly displayed. There’s a little bit of literature describing how the PowerPak works and what it can charge.
Once you open up the package you get a PowerPak unit itself, an instruction guide, a nice carrying case, the USB adapter and ten interchangeable tips to charge your devices.
The PowerPak is a fairly simple device. The front has a few LEDs to indicate the status of the battery, a fold-out plug and a single USB port. A new version of the PowerPak will come with a larger battery capacity for the heavy talkers and dual USB ports to charge multiple devices at once.
Specifications and Features
This ultimate universal charging solution combines a backup rechargeable battery pack with a rapid home charger. Providing the extra juice when you need it, the PowerPak™ will recharge your handheld device at the same time as it recharges itself via the wall outlet. If you’re a frequent or long talker who constantly runs out of battery in the middle of the conversation, the PowerPak was designed for you, providing up to 3 hours of extra talk time. For those who are eco conscious, this solution meets Energy Star requirements by drawing very minimal power from the wall outlet when no additional power is needed. The easy to read, LED indicator lights reveal the remaining capacity of the PowerPak™ battery reserve with the press of a button.
Interchangeable tips included in the packaging provide compatibility for 95% of all handheld USB devices. The PowerPak™ is also compatible with any other USB cable that might have been provided with your wireless device.
- Packaging includes:
- System USB Cable
- Micro USB (black) interchangeable tip for use with devices supporting a Micro USB connector from Motorola, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Kyocera, Sanyo and Toshiba
- Micro USB (gray) interchangeable tip for use with devices supporting a Micro USB connector from BlackBerry and Palm
- Mini USB (black) interchangeable tip for use with devices supporting a Mini USB connector from Motorola and Nextel
- Mini USB (gray) interchangeable tip for use with devices supporting a mini USB connector from BlackBerry and HTC
- Samsung compatible 520-pin interchangeable tip
- Casio compatible interchangeable tip
- Sony Ericsson compatible interchangeable tip
- Pantech compatible interchangeable tip
- Nokia compatible 2mm barrel plug / DC jack interchangeable tip
- LG compatible 18-pin interchangeable tip
- Quick Start Guide
Note: The PowerPak™ is also compatible with other USB powered devices such as the iPod™ and iPhone™. Please be sure to use the original USB cable which shipped with those devices (not included).
It’s incredibly simple to setup the PowerPak. The first thing to do is grab the correct charging tip for your device. The male end will thread into the female connector on the USB cable. The design requires you to push in and turn at the same time; while this is more work, it will ensure that a good contact is made and that the cable will not accidentally come off.
Once the cable is completely assembled, plug the USB cable into the PowerPak and you’re good to go. If the PowerPak is plugged into the wall it will charge the battery and charge your device at the same time. If the PowerPak is not plugged into the wall it will simply act as a battery for your device, powering and charging it as well. When the PowerPak is charging, one red LED will be lit. Once the battery is full, the single LED will turn off.
Once unplugged from the wall, you can press the power indicator and the number of lit LEDs on the PowerPak indicates the battery status; the more LEDs that are lit, the more capacity remaining on the battery. Once you hit zero, the battery has been drained.
When you’re done with the PowerPak, Technocel has included a carrying case with a draw string to keep the charger and all the charging tips together.
If the correct charging tip isn’t included in one of the ten provided by Technocel, you can use the USB charger provided by your manufacturer. This was the case for my Samsung P3 MP3 Player so I simply plugged the Samsung USB cable into the PowerPak and it was charging the battery. If your phone or device isn’t supported but also doesn’t use a USB charger, then you are out of luck. You will have to find the correct adapter online or stick to conventional charging methods. This was the case with my Nokia 8801 as it uses an AC charger and the included Nokia charging tip didn’t fit.
It doesn’t take very long to charge to start using your mobile device with the PowerPak. As a matter of fact, you can use it immediately once you plug it in. If you want to completely drain all the energy from the PowerPak to your mobile device I found it takes about 45 minutes. PowerPak claims the battery is rated for a 3 hr talk time on a phone. I let my Samsung P3 completely drain out and used the PowerPak to recharge the battery. The PowerPak was then able to give me just under 200 minutes of use, over three hours. I made the P3 play about five episodes of Flashpoint and each episode is between 41 and 42 minutes long.
The Technocel is a pretty handy device. It is capable of charging a wide variety of devices right out of the box. It has allowed me to extend the play time of my MP3 player and, for my friends, make a quick phone call when their original cellphone battery is already dead.
One feature I think I’d like to see will be a car charger addition. In many cases I’m not going to run out of power at home where I will need some extra juice. It’ll be when I’m on the road needing to make a call and after I’ve drained the PowerPak I’ll want to charge both the original battery and the PowerPak with my car.
I’m excited to see what the creative minds at Technocel come up with next as they’ve already got two more versions of the PowerPak, one with a 1600mAh battery and another with dual USB ports for charging multiple devices at once.
- Wide variety of adapters available
- Excellent battery run time
- Almost adapts to any device and completely universal, but to be fair this could take an infite number of charging tips
I’d like to thank Technocel for making this review possible.