The TopoCharger is an odd little device, but it could be useful for some. It’s an iPhone GPS case. What? Yes. A GPS-less GPS that comes with on-board storage for maps, and a big fat battery pack so you can use your iPhone in GPS mode without killing its own battery dead. If you’re wondering why you’d bother with this instead of just using a regular battery case, then keep wondering, because I have no idea. Yet. Let’s check it out.
The battery packs 1460mAh (not quite enough to fully charge an iPhone 5S), and the case accepts plug-in cards containing topographical maps, one for each state.
This is intended to free up your iPhone’s internal storage, but to me it sounds like nickel and dime-ing the customer by charging for extra maps. Also: removable storage cards? What next? A Minidisk player for the iPad? Also also: won’t you just lose the cards in the wilderness?
The case will cost $150 at launch, sometime in March. I’ll hold out for a ruggedized iPhone case with a big battery booster.