Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 08:25
By Robert Kaneko
Today’s mobile community is in desperate need of portable power. As our iPods and iPhones gain functionality, they also eat through their built-in batteries. My 8GB first-generation iPod touch will last for a full day if I’m just using it to listen to music. However, if I start playing games, surfing the Internet, checking email, watching video and doing all the other things I bought the Touch for, my battery life plummets. It’s not a big stretch for me to use up the internal battery within two or three hours. Enter the Ted Baker Six Pack.
Contrary to what the name might imply, the Ted Baker Six Pack is not a strange new beverage. It is a portable external battery that will power and charge just about any small mobile device you can think of. In fact, if you are familiar with the Proporta Mobile Device Charger, the Ted Baker Six Pack is the same product in prettier packaging.
The battery is a 3400 mAH lithium-ion device that will charge from an AC outlet, car adapter or the USB port on your computer. The AC and car adapters are included as is the USB cable (I neglected to put the AC and car adapters in the picture.) 3400 mAH is enough power to recharge an iPod Touch almost four times and an iPhone two-and-a-half. In addition, the charger outputs 5v 700 mA of power, meaning it can charge your device as you use it. Several of the other external power devices on the market today don’t output enough power to actually charge while your device is in use. They can keep your device running, but they won’t charge it at the same time.
The Six Pack comes with a retractable USB adaptor with a universal end that accepts a wide variety of device “tips.” It ships with tips for current Nokia phones, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, iPod/iPhone, miniUSB and microUSB. Extra tips cost about US$1.00 a piece. I ordered tips for the Nintendo Gameboy Advance SP and the Nintendo DS. The Six Pack also ships with a nice drawstring bag to keep all the pieces together.
I like the Ted Baker Six Pack. I like it a lot. On a recent family trip, it kept my phone (a Nokia N95), my wife’s phone and all of our kids gadgets happily powered. I think it is superior to most of the other external power solutions on the market today because of its device support and its power ratings. A charger that uses AA batteries may be cheaper in the short term, but the cost of the batteries will quickly even things out. Using a rechargeable solution also helps to keep those AA batteries out of the landfills. Sure, you could use rechargeable AA’s, but then you need to carry the charger with you. That’s just one more thing to keep track of while you’re traveling. I’ve found that I usually leave the AC adaptor and the car adapter at home and just use the USB cable to charge the battery at night from my MacBook. The next day, I’m ready-to-go with all the portable power I need. If you are like me, and a portable power solution is something you are looking for, the Ted Baker Six Pack is highly recommended. At just about US$40, if you are looking for a way to extend your available mobile power, I think it’s a device that’s hard to beat. You can find out more or order one at proporta.com.
If you have a charge accessory of choice, let us know in the comments or forums.