I’m a sucker for great charger designs, and Ventev’s Utilitycharger 2100 is clearly a smart design. So clever is it that I’m even willing to overlook my hatred of cards for a few minutes as I write this post.
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Christmas is a filthy time of year. First, it’s in the middle of the winter, when coughs, sneezes and dirty old diseases are most common. And second, extra germs, bacteria and viruses hitch a ride on us meatbag humans as we jet around the globe to see our families, swirling the air into a slurry of septicity.
It’s no wonder Santa spends the rest of the year in bed.
What you need to counteract this insurgence of influenza is the PhoneSoap charger, a kind of Howard Hughes-style tissue box for your iPhone, only with a UV lamp inside.
It used to be OK to ask a stranger in a bar “do you have a Nokia charger?” and borrow said charger for a while to juice your phone. These days, though, you’ll mark yourself out as a Low-Charge Loser, the kind of person who goes to bed without plugging in his iPhone. Worse, you’re probably carrying more than just a phone. Are you really going to ask a stranger for adapters to charge your iPad and Kindle too?
You are not. What you need is a beefy backup battery. And at this time of year, it should be waterproof, too.
I haven’t spent time on a construction site for some time, so I don’t know if it’s still true that every builder has a transistor radio. I do know that we had our kitchen remodeled a few months back and the guy our landlord sent to do it had the same kind of plaster and dirt-caked mains-powered radio you have been able to see for decades the world over.
He also seemed to spend a lot of time texting instead of working, so maybe he could have done with one of these iPhone chargers that uses a DeWalt battery pack for power.
Ever find yourself stuck without a cable when you need to charge your iPhone? No, me either. I’m a nerd and a professional gadget tester, so at pretty much all times I have some kind of Lightning cable, dock or adapter either on my person or close to hand.
But if I got out more, and was more stylish in general, then I’d be sporting a Kyte & Key Cabelet, or cable bracelet.
I don’t know what it is with wireless chargers and the letters Q and I, but what I do know is that the iQi is the first one I have actually considered using. You see, instead of a fat case to hold the induction circuits, or the flux capacitor, or whatever it is that makes wireless charging possible, the iQi is a tiny slim sheet that slips inside your existing case.
The Satechi Smart Travel Router might just be the most useful travel adapter ever made. Not only can it plug into a wall socket pretty much anywhere in the world, it can also charge your iPhone and create a wireless network.
It’s not just you: iOS 7 has seemingly killed off support for some unlicensed, third-party Lightning cables.
If iPhone 5 chargers keep getting smaller at the same rate, soon the whole thing will fit inside the Lightning hole like some kind of USB-powered suppository. For now, though, you’ll have to settle for the still impressively small ChargeKey, a teeny tiny USB-to-Lightning adapter that – yes – hooks onto a keyring.
Goal Zero’s new Lighthouse 250 Lantern and USB Power Hub is a camper’s best friend. By day, it’s a USB charger with a backup battery, ready for juicing your waning iPhone. By night, it’s a lamp which will run for up to 48 hours.