No matter how much battery power we seem to have for our gadgets, it’s often never enough. And while there are a plethora of chargers out there to keep us powered up, the majority only allow for refueling one gadget at a time. So Tekkeon, a company well known for their power solutions, has come up with a new addition to their TekCharge line that allows you to power and charge 2 devices simultaneously.
Dual Port Power
Appropriately dubbed the Tekkeon TekCharge MP1860A Dual-Port Power Pack, this portable gadget features 2 standard USB ports and a mini-USB 5V IN port for recharging its high capacity 4,400mAh lithium-ion battery.
While it’s iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch ready, we know how “standard” USB ports really are across USB devices. So like other Tekkeon charging solutions, it comes with an Apple Dock Connector cable, a retractable USB input/output cable as well as a mini and a micro USB tip. These tips are compatible with the more current models of BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson mobile phones. It will also recharge your ZUNE with its supplied USB cable. The tips can also be used with your Kindle2, Nook, MP3 players, PDAs and other 5V devices. It also ships with a USB AC adapter.
TekCharge MP1860A’s special circuitry and a built-in safety features will ensure your device gets the right output current – whether it’s 100mA or 2.1A and makes certain it doesn’t get overcharged or short circuited.
It’s nice and portable, measuring 3.5”x2.1”x1.1” and weighs only 4.5 oz. It has an unusual design, but not too way out there. It’s black with grey and almost half-moon shaped – rounded on the top, but not quite flat on the bottom. It’s made for easy gripping with a rubber ribbing on both of the longer sides as well as 6 rubber pads on the bottom, so it stays firmly, even on a smooth surface. The slide control is on the rounded top portion and the power and USB ports are on the shorter side. The other end has a mini LED that’s actually a built-in flashlight, which at first I thought it was hokey, until I dropped one of the tips and actually needed to use it.
The ability to charge 2 devices at once is great. In fact, if you plug your TekCharge into an AC socket, you can charge it as well as your devices at the same time too!
Yield from the battery will depend on the connected device and whether you are simultaneously charging multiple devices. You can expect to get about 14 hours of talk time over 3G on your iPhone 4 – like charging it twice. However on more power hungry devices like the iPad 2, you’d likely get about half of a full charge – but that’s still a decent 5-5.5 hours. On low drain devices like an e-reader, you’re likely good for up to 3 weeks – of course depending on your use.
There is one minor thing I did find a bit annoying. To use the AC wall charger, you need to plug the retractable cable into it, and then attach the micro USB tip onto it before inserting it into the 1860A. So if you plan on taking the entire kit and caboodle on the road, you’ll need to ensure you have all of the pieces along with you.
Nevertheless, It’s a nifty little useful gadget. And while Tekkeon refers to it in their literature as an emergency charger, perhaps because of the flashlight, it needn’t be just that. With all the gadgets we carry around the ability to charge or power more than one at time with a device that’s easily portable is a certainly a welcomed addition to any mobile warrior’s arsenal.
The Tekkeon TekCharge MP1860A Dual-Port Power Pack retails for $69.95US and is available on-line.
Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy.
Follow me on Twitter @gadgetgreg.