Friday, May 25, 2007
Power to Go!! -- the iGo powerXtender review
Posted by Don Tolson in "HARDWARE" @ 08:00 AM
I don't know about you guys, but my Pocket PC is my only hope for keeping some semblance of order to my chaos. And now that I've added cellular phone capability to it (with an associated Bluetooth headset), it's also become my communications lifeline. Suffice it to say, I need both of them working full-time during my waking hours and I tend to keep power 'sources' close at hand – whether they be cables to USB ports, cigarette lighters or wall sockets. But carrying those cables and adapters around can get a bit cumbersome and sometimes there just isn't a socket to plug in anywhere. (Like when I'm using the GPS on a hike with my Cub Pack). Well, Mobility Electronics has a provided a solution for me. It's the iGo powerXtender which is a battery-powered supply with removable tips for connecting to each of my mobile electronics devices. Its small size is perfect for a pocket or gear bag and the replaceable batteries make it an easily replenishable source of power.
Ordering Your powerXtender
Unfortunately, ordering the powerXtender is not a one-click affair, since the unit is not usable without the Power Tips and these must be ordered separately from the main power unit. There are lots of Power Tips to choose from, but Mobility Electronics makes the process of deciding which ones you need simple and straightforward on their website. The website provides a Power Tip Finder function, in which you tell them which device you want to power, then it tells you which tip you need to order.
Although the tips are a little pricey at $9.99USD each (especially if you have a large number of mobile devices), the advantage is that the same power tips can be used by any of Mobility Electronics' power adapters – from the battery-powered powerXtender to the iGo Wall Power Adapter.
What Comes in the Package
The powerXtender is shipped in the typical shrink wrap package as shown below.
Figure 1: The PowerXtender as it is sold/shipped.
Figure 2: Contents of the powerXtender package.
Inside the package you get:
It's nice to see the trend now of vendors supplying batteries with their products, rather than making you go out and purchase them separately.
The User Guide is a single, folded piece of paper which provides basic instruction on how to install the batteries and turn on the unit. For some reason, it mentions that the powerXtender may shut off prematurely when used with some devices? (More on this later.)