You don’t always realise you need portable power, but as I use various bits of technology on extended visits it becomes quite cumbersome to take power supplies and there isn’t always somewhere handy to charge your device anyway. I had a small Pebble charger for my mobile, but its connectivity options were limited so I couldn’t charge my iPad with it.
As I said in my previous blog post, I’m starting to use my iPad and iPhone more when geotagging, editing and sharing photos. I’m off on a short holiday in a caravan soon, so I probably won’t have a plug socket to charge my devices with. Hence my latest investment: The Anker Astro E4 Portable USB Charger.
This device came from Amazon for £29.99. I’d seen a 10000mAh one in Maplin Electronics for about £35 and this thing was massive. What sold me on this one was the bigger battery capacity and the smaller size.
The charger arrived this morning so this review will cover the basics. I’ll return in a few weeks to see how it got on. In terms of size, it’s a bit larger and thicker than the iPhone and heavier too, but not as big as other chargers of similar capacity. It’ll be like carrying around an external hard drive.
The charger comes with attachments for the 30-pin iPhone/iPad connection, micro and mini USB connectors. You don’t have to use these however – you can plug any USB cable into it which is what I’ve done in the picture above.
The charger has 1A and 2A USB ports, which means that one socket will charge faster than the other. Not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just something to bear in mind.
The construction of the device is sturdy and aesthetically pleasing. The outer case is a gloss black plastic which can be protected with the accompanying case. The charger certainly feels like it will last a long time.
There are blue lights on the top of the device which will give you an indication of how much battery power there is left in it; something I didn’t have on my previous device.
One thing to bear in mind if you decide to buy this. It has a larger energy capacity which means it will take a long time to charge. It doesn’t come with a power supply, but can be charged from a computer or USB plug that came with your phone or tablet. It’s worth noting that different USB power supplies charge at different speeds so you may want to invest in a high speed (5A) plug if that will be an issue for you.
I went from a half charge to a full charge in about 4 or 5 hours when charging from a computer USB port.
Overall, I think this device will come in handy and I would recommend it based on first impressions. I’ll do a follow-up review after my short holiday in a few weeks time.
You can currently buy the Anker Astro E4 Portable USB Charger for £29.99 from Amazon.