Gelid Zentree USB Charging Station Review

Introduction


As our lives increasingly revolve around portable and mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, wearables, and handheld gaming – so our homes become invaded by a tangle of accompanying cables. Thankfully, most devices – even with a proprietary connector on one end – are USB compatible, encouraging the rise of USB charging stations that can centralise the power needs of your many devices.

Unlike many other USB charging stations on the market, though, the Zentree from Gelid Solutions not only provides a single hub into which you can plug up to four devices, but also a series of nubs – the 3D Tree Array – covered by a removable green silicone rubber top, into which you can neatly stack your devices while they charge.

While the 3D Tree Array is the Zentree’s most visible identifier, the station’s real selling point is its Smart IC chip, which auto-negotiates the best power output for each device that is connected to it, and cuts off power to a device once its battery is full. Gelid boasts that the Zentree can charge four iPad Pros simultaneously in the same time it would take to charge one using the proprietary cable.

The Zentree has been specifically tested using Apple’s iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch, a wide range of Android smartphones and tablets, plus the Pebble smartwatch, various Bluetooth headsets, and portable power banks. The kit includes four USB-to-Micro-USB cables, but any USB cable can be plugged into the four ports.

“Zentree provides a carefully designed docking surface, 3D Tree Array, which supports multiple gadgets of different sizes: iPhones, iPads, androids, tablets, phablets, smartwatches or really any other USB device. The top is made of a soft silicone rubber, it protects your smartphones and tablets from scratches and slip-off. The Smart IC, a core part of Zentree Charger Unit, auto-negotiates the best output charging power for your gadgets and ensures truly safe multi-device charging.” – Gelid.

Specifications

  • 4 Ports
  • 4A per Port
  • 48W total Power Output
  • Active Mode Efficiency: >87%
  • Dimensions (l)x(w)x(h): 224mm x 159mm x 95mm
  • Idle Power Consumption: 0.04W
  • Weight: 590g
  • Smart IC for Safe and Efficient Charging
  • Smart IC Auto-negotiates Best Charging Current for Your Device
  • Smart IC Auto Cuts Off Power when Battery is Full
  • Supports iPhones, iPads, Androids, Tablets, Phablets or Really any other USB Device
  • Individual Surge-protection
  • 3-Dimensional Tree Array
  • Non-scratching
  • Anti-slip
  • Seamless Cable Management
  • Eco-friendly Materials

Tested Devices

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
  • PlayStation Vita
  • Poweradd Pilot X7 power bank

Packaging and Accessories

Our review sample of the Gelid Zentree arrived in a plain, unbranded box.

Upon opening the box – revealing the Zentree’s bright green 3D Tree Array poking out of the packaging – I must admit that I was a little daunted, having no idea what the product looked like before I began the review process.

The Zentree includes an IEC C8 power cable, four USB-to-Micro USB cables, and two hooks with adhesive pads on the back. I was happy to find that the USB cables are flat, which is great for preventing tangles.

Zolt Produces “World’s Smallest, Lightest, Smartest Laptop Charger” @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Travelling around the world often requires a huge array of cables due to different power outlets and cable sizes used on different laptops. As a result, it’s quite inconvenient to find the correct adapter and adds a great deal of weight to your backpack. Thankfully, Zolt has engineered an ingenious solution which contains three USB charging ports, fold out prongs, and up to 70 watts of charging power. Furthermore, the device is compatible with the majority of laptops on the market including Acer, Asus, Compaq, Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM/Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Toshiba, and others. You can also refer to the Compatibility Checker for specific models.

The unit is incredibly small and measures a mere Zolt 93mm in length, 34mm in diameter and weighs 100g. This is a third of the size of most laptop chargers. In terms of pricing, the Zolt charger is currently available for $99.99.

Stormtrooper Chargers Were Rolling The Streets of New York

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is probably the highest anticipated motion picture of the year, even tho it barely makes it in with a launch date set for December 18th. With such a high-profile movie coming out, the advertising and PR departments are turning and coming up with ideas to promote the movie and its associated merchandise even more. Dodge provided eight Chargers, including a Hellcat, for a Hot Wheels promotion with Uber on Friday in New York that coincided with the toy car maker’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise.

The Dodge Chargers take on the look of the Hot Wheels Stormtrooper cruiser and were a perfect fit for the event. In return that meant that meant that Uber users were able to ride in the Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper Chargers for free by using the promotional code HOTWHEELSFF. Riders in the Chargers also received an official Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hot Wheels diecast car.

“The Dodge Charger embodies the look and feel of the Hot Wheels Stormtrooper diecast car and is sure to turn heads when traversing on the streets of NYC on Force Friday”, said a Hot Wheels official while a Fiat Chrysler spokesperson said that it was a one-time promotion independent from the companies recently announced promotional partnership with Lucasfilm.

It is no real surprise that the event was held on Friday as it was the official day where Walt Disney Co. started to roll out the merchandise for the new movie on a global scale.

Thank You AutoNews for providing us with this information

Inateck MercuryBox Bluetooth Speaker & Mobile Products Review

Introduction


Inateck is a brand name I’m seeing more and more recently. While they don’t make a lot of big products, such as PC cases and graphics cards, which we see plenty of here at eTeknix, they do make a lot of smaller lifestyle products that many of use day-to-day. From mobile devices, to desktop computers, Inateck has an interesting range of accessories and products to help improve your usage experience. Today we’re going to be looking at their very promising MercuryBox Bluetooth Speaker, but Inateck were also kind enough to send us their new 2-Port Rapid Charger and a nifty waterproof bag (more interesting than it sounds).

First up, let’s take a look at those cool little accessories. The first is the Inateck 2-Port Rapid Car Charger, which is pretty much what it sounds like, it’s a car cigarette lighter adaptor that provides you with a couple of USB sockets; but there’s also a nifty little extra!

In the box, you’ll find a fairly straight forward Micro-USB cable, perfect for connecting your smartphone, SatNav, dashcam, etc.

The actual unit is really compact and the back is slim, so it won’t stick out of your dashboard too much.

The cool part, however, is that it comes with a hard-wired lightning cable, giving you room to charge an Apple device while keeping the two USB ports free!

Even better, both ports are rapid charging 2.1A ports, always a welcome bonus.

Onto the next funky accessory, the Inateck Waterproof case. This is a simple one, it’s a 100% waterproof sleeve, which is perfect for your smartphone, but Inateck also say you could use it for money, documents, medication and all kinds of stuff. This isn’t something you’re going to need every day, but if you’re on holiday and want to jump in the sea with your kids, it could be the difference between a soaking wet phone and a dry one.

It’s pretty easy to use, come with a neck strap and while it may not look like the coolest thing on Earth, it’ll get the job done. It’s also amazingly lightweight and slim, so keeping it in your bag shouldn’t be a problem.

Fusion Qi Wireless Charger With Apple Add-on Review

Introduction


We see all kinds of weird and wonderful products here at eTeknix HQ and while I’m no stranger to mobile devices or even wireless charging devices, this one is marketed with a twist that really caught my attention. The Qi Wireless Charger from Fusion is technically like any other Qi wireless charging system, so if you have a Qi compatible device, you can pop it on the base it provides, charge it and you’re good to go, review done, see you later.

OK, so there’s a lot more to it than that, a few add-ons that offer extra functionality, as well as some swish marketing that make the Fusion suitable for the visually impaired. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a fair few fights trying to line up either end of a USB cable, I doubt I would fare much better if I had impaired vision; we’ll get to how it helps with this in a moment.

Features

  • Dynamic Power Limiting (DPL) for USB and Limited Source Operation
  • Foreign Object Detection (FOD) in WPC mode
  • Fusion OTR technology
  • Ultralight weight & slim design only 55*78*6.5 mm
  • Ti (Texas Instruments) smart dynamic & overcharge detection

The packaging is pretty straight forward, and with that bright pink cover it certainly stands out! You’ll also notice the packaging comes with braille print on the front, as well as a sticker which reads “official sponsor – Taiwan guide dog association.”

In the box, you’ll find a cut-out guide to aid with installation although anyone who’s half adept at sticking something to a flat surface likely won’t need it. There’s a large white sticker with high-vis pink letting and braille on the top, a 3M sticky pad, USB cable, two cable routing fittings with sticky backs and two screws; everything you need to install the system in a wide range of configurations.

The main power delivery unit is slim and nicely designed, so much so that it’ll look nice and tidy on your desktop as a direct “put your phone/tablet on this” style device. However, using the 3M pad you can mount it on the underside of a desk or table surface. Again, taking note that there is a little braille on the edge to show where there Micro-USB port it.

On the underside, there’s a nice flat surface, so it should be nice and easy to mount under a desk or table using that 3M pad. There’s also two screw holes, perfect for those that prefer a more permanent mounting solution.

The previously mentioned Micro-USB port on the end. This is for the main power input, you can connect the included USB cable to a USB plug, computer or any other compatible output.

A nice bonus is the Qi add-on, which can make any device wireless charging compatible. Of course, the grand irony here is that it comes with a cable, which seems silly, but there’s merit to be found here and I’ll get to that in a moment.

On the underside, you’ll find a gel-like surface which is tactile and will stick to glossy surfaces such as the back of a phone, SatNat, tablet, etc.

If the Micro-USB connector isn’t much good to you, a dual connector Apple adaptor is also included!

Tesla Demonstrates New Snake Like Charger

We’ve all seen the spaces, car parking areas with small rods sticking out the floor and a big sign saying “electric car parking space”. With electric cards on the rise, charging them is becoming more and more important to companies and their users. One of the big issues is the cable you need to plug in. Imagine leaving your car pumping fuel into itself while you went into the supermarket to do your shopping? Now imagine not having to plug your car in at all, instead it plugs itself in! Tesla’s new charger does exactly that.

Back in December, Elon Musk, product architect at Tesla Motors tweeted saying that they were working on a charger that “automatically moves out from the wall & connects like a solid metal snake”. Today, they revealed that project.

The actual design does look like a solid metal snake, and the way it moves just seems to be like it’s taken the concept from a creepy science fiction film.

Soon you may just have to park up and walk away as your car gets plugged into and charged while you’re doing your weekly shop, nothing could go wrong right?

Thank you to the Verge for providing us with this information.

Patriot, Luxa2 and Antec USB Battery Head-to-Head Review

Introduction


Smartphones, eBook readers, tablets, portable gaming devices and so much are vital to our daily lives. Ok perhaps not all the devices we use each day are vital, but they’re important to each user in their own way. One thing many of these devices, if not all of them, is that they run on batteries and these days you’ll find that most devices have a built-in battery that is charged via USB, or if you’re an Apple fan, a lightening cable. There’s nothing worse than being on a night out, away on a business trip, out camping, or even just relaxing at home, only to find out your battery is dying or has died. We’re not always within easy reach of a charging socket and carrying around the mains adaptor isn’t always the most practical solution. This is where mobile USB battery recharges come into play and today we’ve got three solutions to try out. The real question is, which one is best suited to your needs?

In the office today I have the Patriot Fuel+, the Antec Lifebar 10 and for something a little different, the Luxa2 PL1. Each of these is designed a little differently from each other, so let’s get right to it and see what they have to offer.

The PL1 was included in this test, as I loved the unique approach to its design. It doesn’t come in a leather pouch, it is the leather pouch.

The stitched design is really nice and it’s quite slim too, meaning it’s going to fit easily in your jacket pocket or handbag very easily. It’ll also look more stylish that a big hunk of plastic.

There’s a magnetic cover on one end, just flip it open and you’ll find the microUSB charging socket (in) and the standard USB charging socket (out). The PL1 is rated for 2800mAh.

The compact size is easy to hold in your hand and the overall quality feels very good.

The Fuel+ is a lot bigger than the Luxa2 device. It’s got a stylish white and red theme, but it’s quite clear that this is a big mobile battery. There’s a set of LED lights down the side to show you how much charge is remaining, as well as a master power button.

There are two charging ports on the Fuel+, a 2.5A and a 1A; perfect for charging a high power device such as an iPad, as well as a mobile phone at the same time.

The Fuel+ is rated at 900mAh.

It’s not very big overall, as you can still hold it in the palm of your hand, but it is quite thick, meaning it’s not going to be suitable to fit in your pocket.

The Antec Lifebar is the largest and the heaviest of the three devices and comes with a metal exterior that not only looks great but also makes the unit feel more durable than the others.

Like the Fuel+ it has two charging ports, a 2.1A and a 1A.

There’s a small power button on the end, which could be a little better in terms of quality if I’m honest, but there’s also an LED light that can be used a torch if you double tap the power button. There’s also four small LED lights above the charge (in) MicroUSB that show the current charge remaining.

The Lifebar is slim enough to hold in your hand, but it’s length and weight make it a little too much to keep in your pocket.

Arctic Releases 5-Port 8A USB Smart Charger

When it comes to charging your smart devices then you got a whole lot of options. You can use the adapter you got along with the purchase, you can connect the USB cable to any kind of host devices such as your computer, smart tv, router, and more or you can use a smart and dedicated charger.

There aren’t many homes with just one device that needs charging, I know I’m looking at two smartphones and two tablets right now that all need to be charged regularly and be full of juice when I need them. With individual chargers, I take up a lot of power outlets and with my computer or other USB port I might get a slower charging result; if they deliver enough power at all.

That is where Arctic’s new Smart Charger comes into play. This isn’t the first of it’s kind, but it looks like a solid choice. The Arctic Smart Charger 8000 packs every protection feature you’ll want and it also provides enough juice to charge your devices as fast as possible.

With 8,000 m, the Smart Charger delivers even enough output to charge three tablets and two smartphones with high speed at once. The integrated voltage stability and overcurrent protection ensure furthermore that the charging is not only fast and smart but also safe.

  • Smart charging technology to guarantee maximum compatibility
  • Intelligent detection of the connected devices for maximum charging speed
  • 8 A total output
  • Voltage stability to ensure lasting fast charging
  • Over current protection
  • Functional and portable for the perfect use in office, at home and while travelling
  • 1m AC cable for the perfect use for out of reach sockets
  • 83 % efficiency minimum
  • Fully compliant with CE safety requirements

The Smart Charger 8000 is now available now for at a special price of £18.99 through Amazon. The normal MSRP is £29.99.

Get Your Geek on with These Star Wars Goodies

With the latest Star Wars movie coming later this year, a lot of retailers are getting ready for people who are looking for some Star Wars goodies. Surprisingly, there are a lot of cool things already on the market.

We can’t dig into every crazy gadget or contraption out there, but we can show you some of the best Star Wars goodies out there. Take this R2-D2 USB car charger for example. Is your phone running out of juice? Why not have R2-D2 ready to help you out!

Still not impressed? Well, since it’s summer, we all want to head over to the beach. So why not head over there with your own shiny new Death Star ball? I know I want to! How about you?

Too old for going to the beach? Ok then, maybe you have your family and want to go out on a trip with them. So why not show how strong the force is in your family on the rear windshield of your car? I bet your neighbours will be so jealous!

There are even toys for your young ones or collectible items for you to show off on your desk at home or at work, such as the ones you see below.

One of the best things I’ve found so far is something that you can share with your loved one. Want to propose in the future? Is your anniversary coming up? No matter the excuse is, these fine ‘I love You / I Know’ rings will make your day something to remember for the rest of your geeky life.

There are so many crazy cool goodies that we don’t even know where to go from here. Spanning from clothing, key chains, earrings, cups and other crazier accessories, you really have a wide variety to choose from. One of the places you can find the above is ThinkGeek, but other retailers are bound to have something similar sooner or later. Enjoy!

Images and video courtesy of ThinkGeek

Portable USB Wall Charger Roundup

Introduction


Quite often you’ll find yourself traveling to another city, state or country and be met with the all-too-common sinking feeling when presented with your hotel room power point options – only one or two annoyingly placed ports. If you’re like me, not only have you forgotten a power board, but you’ve got multiple devices to charge via USB ports. Furthermore, if you’re heading on a holiday or business trip – it’s likely that you’re carrying a myriad of battery-powered devices: a smartphone, tablet, smartwatch and GoPro being just the beginning of a very long list.

Being left with your standard issue 1-port USB smartphone charger won’t do you much justice, pulling out your bulky laptop isn’t always the best solution due to them being heavy and slow to charge – this is where USB power hubs come into their element. They’re also suitable for a home environment, offering between two and five handy USB ports to charge your devices overnight or while you’re sitting on the couch.

Thankfully for us, we’ve had a couple of wall USB chargers provided to us for testing. Read on for a quick round-up on these life-saving devices and what conditions we think they suit best.

The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

The Single Charger For Everything – The Zolt

CES brings a number of big product introductions, but it also brings a pile of little gadgety items like this – the Zolt wall charger. The Zolt promises to let you charge your laptop and two to three other USB-based devices at the same time.

The tiny three-inch long charger outputs 70 watts of power – around double that of the average laptop charger, giving you more power for those extra devices. It comes with a variety of adapters to fit a range of laptops from multiple manufacturers including Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba. An adapter for the MagSafe connector on MacBooks will be available once the charger is on sale.

While the US version looks small and compact, one wonders whether the UK version (if there will be one) will be anywhere near as elegant thanks to the clumsy four pronged plugs. Pre-orders start now at $80 and it’ll be $100 once available.

Source: Gizmodo

Use Your Own Batteries to Charge Your Phone

A couple of days ago, we reported on a new type of disposable battery for smartphones. A number of our readers pointed out that while being convenient, the batteries would probably end up being something very expensive that you inevitably throw away.

Well, now someone has what could possibly be a better solution – use your own 9-volt batteries to give your phone the energy boost it needs.

Meet the Plan V – a small, foldable device, that allows you to grab any 9-volt battery to give you up to an extra 4 hours of talk time on your smartphone. The product is part of a Kickstarter campaign aiming for $30,000 in funding.

The first version available uses MicroUSB, while an iOS compatible model will be available later. Backers can put forward $10 to reiceve theirs in February if the Kickstarter is successful.

Source: Gizmodo

Designer Creates Disposable Smartphone Batteries

A designer has created disposable smartphone batteries, described as a “vitamin for your smartphone”.

The small, cardboard encased batteries, allow you to get a little emergency energy boost when you need it. They come in 2 hour, 4 hour and 6 hour sizes, and are designed to be tossed away and recycled when you’re done with them.

Tsung Chih-Hsien, who won a prestigious Red Dot Design award for his creation, says that the batteries could be sold at convenience stores in perforated sheets, allowing you to tear off a battery when you need one.

We’ve seen a host of different back-up and additional batteries for smartphones – with the most famous perhaps being the Mophie Juice Pack. That product is rechargeable, but does require you to practically wrap it around your phone and costs quite a bit too.

The design of these batteries however allows you to keep charged up as and when you need it, and they should only cost just a bit more than your average Duracell batteries.

Source: FastCoDesign

 

Apple Recalls European iPhone Chargers Due to Overheating Issues

A new announcement from Apple has come to light informing user with European 5W iPhone chargers to check to model number of their charger in and in a large number of case to then to a replacement program that has been setup after it was discovered that a number of chargers with the model number A1300 were overheating, posing a huge safety risk to its user(s).

The adaptor in question was shipped predominantly between October 2009 and September 2012 with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S and additionally on its own as an accessory. Given the huge area the uses the European 2-pin plug, the number of chargers that Apple are referring to is in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

The replacement program which Apple have set up, asks users to look on the mains end of the plug and to check the details of the part they have. The faulty plugs are identified by a block grey ‘CE’ marking and above the right hand pin, the model number A1300 is printed. Users that have anything other than A1300 are not affected. Once confirmed, users should head to their nearest Apple store of authorised service center, where they can exchange their charger for free. Those who are unable to get to a store can contact technical support where a replacement can be arranged. In both instances the serial number of the corresponding iPhone is required for verification of the charger.

This latest discovery adds yet another part to the growing list of recalls and replacement programs that Apple have had to set up, so whilst it is all and well jumping on to the Apple bandwagon, on the greater scale, their track record for faulty products doesn’t quite sway in their favour.

Source: The Verge

LUXA2 P-MEGA 41600mAh World’s Largest Power Station Review

Introduction


Power stations and rechargeable battery packs are becoming  necessity in this day and age, especially for those on the go such as myself. I’m an avid iPhone user and I maximise the full potential of my device in terms of using it as a phone, diary, email client, web browser, social media hub and much more. With this great amount of power in the palm of your hand, comes a great power loss in terms of battery life. While iPhones are notorious for their battery life, it’s Android and Windows devices too, and it’s happening on a larger scale as well.

The iPad is renowned for having amazing battery life, whereas other tablets aren’t as fortunate, and suffer with much poorer battery life, and while you’re on the go, it always seems to be that point when you desperately need to use your device, to find it’s about to get cut short. You can try the obvious of turning the brightness down, disabling Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, location services and such, but sooner than later; it’s going to die. When you are faced with this situation, you can buy a mobile battery charger, which range from the cheap Chinese knockoffs to the plethora of more expensive certified units on the market.

We’ve looked at them from a variety of brands in the past, and generally you’ll find everyone is making them including ADATA, Coolermaster Mobile, Patriot and more, but these generally hover around the 5000mAh mark. Of course there are smaller capacities, which demand a smaller footprint, making it perfect for handbags and pockets. Others can warrant a 9000mAh capacity but of course, with this, comes a larger, bulkier device. The question is; what if you want something for you and your friends?

Picture this if you will; you are off camping, and while you have the bright idea of taking  an in-car charger and relevant cable, you will generally only have one cigarette lighter point, and 5 of your friends want to charge their devices at the same time, as you all sit around the fire Whatsapping and Facebooking each other, though you are only 2 feet away. Luxa2 believe they have a solution to this socially awkward situation with the P-MEGA 41600mAh power station with its ability to charge up to 6 devices at once with 3 being able to give that extra juice at 2A for tablet devices in a relatively small form factor device.

This device isn’t for the faint-hearted and if you think that you mis-read, I will confirm that this is a staggering 41600mAh power station that can easily charge 3 tablets and 3 mobile phones concurrently, making this perfect for friends and family when your smart devices really are your livelihood.

The biggest issue with the P-MEGA is that every media outlet has exclaimed that it’s huge but looking from the dimensions above, for something with such a huge capacity battery, it’s pretty well sized. The box reflects this well and makes a big marketing stand to tell us that it’s the “World’s Largest Power Bank”.

The back of the packaging highlights some of the main features of the unit and also gives us a glimpse of how it can look when you have 6 devices connected to it.

Inside you get a handy leather bag to transport the unit, a quick start guide, power connector cord and three different plug faces including US, European and UK.

Silverstone SST-PB03 AA Emergency Battery Pack Review

Introduction


In our highly connected digital worlds, keeping on touch with everyone around us is virtually mandatory and as a result we find ourselves demanding more and more battery life from our mobile devices and smart phones. Naturally there is only so much power that can be crammed in to the shell of a smart phone and short of having a very bulky handset, the only real option for many of us is to stick near to a power source where we can give our phones a quick boost of power, although this is both inconvenient and unpractical. To keep us going, portable battery packs that allow us to charge our phones on the go have started cropping up through multiple vendors, making them a commodity for those of us that use our phones a lot whilst out on the go – myself being a prime example.

When it comes to selecting the right battery pack for your budget or needs, the number of options to choose from is huge and the vendors themselves know this. With the demand so high and the number of competing items growing at a rapid rate, every manufacturer is doing the best they can to set their products apart from the rest of the crowd, whether it be through design to suit a particular set of users, or through features and functionality by adding in additional features and accessories such as carry bags, torches, larger capacities and wireless charging capabilities. Whilst all off these products have a variety of designs and capacities, they all have internal batteries and when these come to the end of their working life, there is no option but to buy a new pack. Silverstone however believe they have to the solution to the problem of battery life, simply by removing the battery out of the equation, leaving the user the freedom to select their own batteries and thus the freedom to get a larger capacity of battery for a longer charge time,

Built into a metal casing with a plastic inside, Silverstone’s PB03 barging pack features a small LED light and also doubles up as an AA battery charger. With the cost of portable battery packs spread out across a fairly wide range of budgets, the real question to ask is whether you are better off in getting the PB03 and your own set of batteries, or should we stick to the plug and play units that require no user interaction apart from charging?

It goes without saying that we don’t expect there to be much included in the box alongside the battery and this is just the case with a short USB cable included for charging the battery pack (when rechargeable batteries are used) or connecting a mobile device that has a microUSB port.

ADATA Launches Wireless CE700 Inductive Charging Stand For Smartphones

ADATA Technology are well known for their high-performance memory products, ranging from DRAM modules to NAND flash. As a little change of pace, ADATA are entering the world of mobile device charging, which comes as little surprise to us given that every company from here to the Moon is entering the mobile market with at least one product. The ADATA Elite Series CE700 is a wireless charging stand, and so long as you have a mobile device that is compatible with inductive charging technology you can quickly eliminate any need for extra cables and bulky transformers. Simply placing your phone onto the charging pad, which also double as an adjustable phone stand, and power will be automatically and wirelessly transferred to the device.

Housed in an elegant folding stand with a stylish aluminium back cover, the CE700 features a texturized rubber base that prevents the phone from slipping. The flexible design allows for use with a variety of mobile phones that support inductive charging, with wireless charging possible in both flat and upright modes. The unique bracket design allows users to adjust the angle of the charging pad in accordance with individual needs, and the CE700 can also be placed on a table with the phone upright, becoming an easy-to-use phone stand for better phone access and visibility. To minimize wasted electricity, the CE700 will automatically enter power-saving mode when not in use.

The CE700 has been professionally certified to meet the Qi wireless charging standard, ensuring maximum compatibility and safety. FOD (Foreign Object Detection) capability and display protects users and ensures stable operation. Without the need for electrical contact points, the risk of electric shock is eliminated. Furthermore, inductive charging reduces mechanical wear from repeatedly connecting a cell phone to power cables.

  • Wireless inductive charging stand
  • Can charge smartphones laying flat or upright
  • Stylish aluminium back cover
  • Meets Qi wireless charging standard
  • FOD (Foreign Object Detection) feature for safety
  • The product will be available in the coming months
  • MSRP: £31.50

It doesn’t sound terribly exciting to charge your devices and in many ways, it really isn’t. However, once you have a way of quickly docking your phone  without the need for a cable, and having it charged with ease, you’ll never look back.

Thank you ADATA for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of ADATA.

Bill Gates Foundation Funding Urine Battery Research

Next time your phone needs charging, spare a thought for the fact that not every part of the world is equipped with a USB socket, wall charger or similar device. The Bill Gates Foundation is now funding the research by Bristol Robotic Laboratory who have discovered a new power source, pee.

The pee powered batteries use a microbial fuel cell, in which micro-organisms take the urine, and break it down into an electrical output. It passes through several tubed that break down the urine to create electricity and the end product is actually a cleaner waste which is easier to dispose of. The cells are powerful enough to charge a smartphone or similar device.

There are short sides to the technology, one being that you need to pour pee into the battery, not exactly the sort of thing that would go down well at your local bus stop, office work place or supermarket for example, especially since it’s not the most compact of devices. Yet in parts of the world where power isn’t abundant, these special batteries could be a truly ground breaking invention and one that finds a carbon friendly solution to something that would otherwise just be a waste product.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/4LTprRQTKAw[/youtube]

Thank you Pocket Lint for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Pocket Lint.

New EU Law Calls For Mobile Phone Chargers To Be Standardised

An agreement between MEPs and the Council of the European Union have agreed that mobile phone manufacturers will be obliged to provide a common battery charger across Europe in a new ruling that covers radio equipment, that includes anything from phones, car keys with a remote, modems/routers and more. The law aims to ensure that the devices do not interfere with one another and to reduce unnecessary waste and cost for consumers.

“With this agreement we will find more safety under the Christmas tree. I am especially pleased that we agreed on the introduction of a common charger — although the Council and the Commission were hesitant at first. This will benefit the consumers”, said rapporteur Barbara Weiler following the negotiations with the Council.

There has already been a lot of standardisation in regards to phone chargers, with many now accepting Micro-USB, but there are still many exceptions and we imagine Apple are not going to be best pleased that you will be able to use a cable from another handset on their prized iPhones, instead of the stupidly over priced ones they like to sell, boo-hoo.

One the rules have been finalised, member states will have two years to transpose the rules into national law and manufacturers will then have another year to comply, so it could be 3-4 years before the transition is complete, but it certainly sounds like a great idea and our best bet would be that it will be the first major push for the new USB 3.1 format, although nothing has been detailed officially on what standard of cable and connection will actually be chosen.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wired.

Patriot Fuel+ 9000mAh Mobile Rechargeable Battery Review

Introduction


We find ourselves busy every moment of our lives. There’s not enough time to do all the things we want or even need to do and charging our portable devices is one of those things as that leaves us with the inconvenience of being tethered by a cable and a power source. With smartphones getting faster and coming with bigger screens, the need for a larger battery is ever growing and while some manufacturers have started putting high capacity batteries in their devices, others have not in order to keep costs down. Either way, most of us are left reaching the end of the day with a phone or tablet that will not turn on.

Whatever the reason though, we have all no doubt found ourselves in need of just that extra bit of juice, and left without a power outlet near by to charge with. In comes the Patriot Fuel+ Rechargeable Battery, a battery pack with a USB port on it that can run and charge your devices on the go!

Patriot are famous for their memory and flash based products, but they also have a strong line of accessories like the Fuel+ and today we are going to be taking a look at the 9000mAh model. The Fuel+ is intended to be a simple and easy to use product, it’s designed to do one thing and one thing well and that’s to charge up to 2 devices at will.

So let’s take a closer look and see if the Fuel+ can live up to the Patriot reputation.

Specs on the back of the box tell us that the Fuel+ contains a 9000mAh battery which is capable of charging a smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 twice over with some capacity left for top up or another device, providing a 5v 2.5A port and a 5V 1A port, the first would be more suitable for tablets, the 1A more suitable for most smartphones.

Model 2000 PS Vita To Lose Proprietary Charging Cable

Since its release back in late 2011, Sony’s PS Vita has like many other Sony built devices stuck with having to use their own proprietary charging cables. This has left many user a bit disheartened however when they’re in the need to charge their devices and there are only ‘common’ charging cables to hand.

Thankfully though it seems like Sony have come to their senses with using common charging methods and when revealed at this years Tokyo Game Show, the new Vita, also known as the model 2000, was seen to use the more commonly found micro-USB port on its lower edge for both power and data handling.

With so many devices, from smartphones to cameras using this type of charger these days, it’s a logical move for Sony to make, enabling the new consoles users to use third-party chargers to keep their units running whilst on the go. Through a translated twitter message, Shuhei Yoshida – the President of Sony Worldwide Studios wrote “You’ll be happy to know PS Vita 2000 can charge with a smartphone charger with micro USB”. This message was accompanied by the image as seen above with the new slimmer and lighter hand-held device.

For now there is no word as to when the new Vita will make its way over to Europe but as sales are expected to have started late last week in Japan, we may be looking around the latter part of the year, just after the launch of the PS4 for the new system to hit our shelves locally.

Source: joystiq.com

Kingston MobileLite Wireless Reader & Charger Review

Since the first wireless storage device came into my hands a few months ago (at a time when I couldn’t see the point in having such a device when mobile internet speeds were becoming greater and cloud storage becoming more popular), I’ve seen a better side and more applications for such units and since the market potential that these have.

The MobileLite Wireless that I’m having a look at today is not the first wireless storage device that Kingston have brought market and their ever popular Wi-Drive as shown that such products are sought after due to their ease of sharing files across multiple devices at once, making them ideal for say storing extra movies on for the kids to watch on their tablets on long journeys or for working on documents between multiple devices for businessmen on the go.

Over the Wi-Drive, the MobileLite Wireless has one or two more features to offer, including a built in battery for charging a mobile device such as a phone, and an SD card reader and USB instead of built in flash, giving greater flexibility in the capacity of storage that is accessible whilst on the go.

Inside the box, the unit itself comes snugly wrapped in bubble wrap on top of the accessories the lie underneath. As far as accessories go, there is not much required with a short USB cable for charging the device up and a microSD to SD card adaptor alongside a brief instruction manual to get you started. As noted on the bottom of the box, the MobileLite works with both Andriod and iOS devices and their respective apps can be downloaded from Google Play – MobileLite for Andriod and from the App Store – MobileLite for iOS.

Antec Mobile Product Bundle Winners Announced

Not too long ago, we hosted a competition in partnership with Antec to give away five a.m.p bundles of their latest products from the range, and we had a lot of interest from people all over the world wanting to win one of these amazing bundles, but sadly there can only be one winner per bundle and we have randomly chosen 5 lucky readers as our winners.

The prizes were as follows:

  • 1st Prize: SP1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker + PowerUp 3000 Portable Charger
  • 2nd Prize: SP1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
  • 3rd Prize: SP1 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
  • 4th Prize: Gain Bluetooth Receiver + dBs In-Ear Headphones
  • 5th Prize: iso Active Noise Canceling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

The winners have been chosen as:

All winner(s) have been notified requesting address details for your prize(s) to be shipped out directly.

Antec Mobile Products A.M.P. Mobile Power Roundup Review

It wasn’t all that long ago that we took our first look at some of the products on offer from the new division at Antec, known as Antec Mobile Products, or A.M.P., if you missed that article the first time around you can check it our here. Today I will be continuing our look at their new product range and seeing just what else they have to offer to the world of mobile components.

Today I’ll be taking a closer look at two of their mobile power products, the PowerUp 6000 and the PowerUp Slim 2200, both of which are USB rechargeable recharges for mobile products such as tablets and smartphones. I’ll be taking a look at their USB car power adaptor and finally their USB recharging hub, which should be everything you need to keep your devices powered on the move.

“Antec Mobile Products (a.m.p.) is a global consumer electronics company committed to putting state of the art mobile and audio technology into the hands of every user. As a division of Antec, the world-renown market leader in PC hardware, a.m.p. is committed to bringing Antec’s winning VIP principles of Value, Innovation and Perfection to the mobile world.” – www.antecmobileproducts.com

“Technology is taking on an increasingly greater role in our lives and changing the relationship between user and device. People are not only demanding products that make their lives easier, but are also seeking devices that let them use, share and interact in new ways. By harnessing new technologies, Antec is changing the way people experience life through their mobile devices. a.m.p. understands that mobile products are more than just devices, they are extensions of ourselves: our tastes, habits and curiosity. a.m.p. is committed to the concept of fashion technology by providing you with devices that are not only attractive, but reflect your own unique personality.” www.antecmobileproducts.com

Antec is absolutely right with their statements, the mobile market is too big to ignore, and the demands of mobile consumers are just as demanding as any other industry. Even the biggest computer component manufacturers can’t ignore the scale of the mobile market and Antec are right to make a move into this sector.

So let’s get started and take a closer look at what these devices have to offer, starting with the PowerUp batteries.