Friday, May 25, 2007
Power to Go!! -- the iGo powerXtender review
Posted by Don Tolson in "HARDWARE" @ 08:00 AM
As noted above, and noticeably marked on the package, the Power Tips for attaching to the actual devices are packaged separately. In my case, I ordered two – a mini-USB for the Eten X500 and RAZR 3V, and the connector for a Motorola HS820 Bluetooth headset -- which came attached to a marketing brochure with some extra information, but I suspect they would normally be shipped in the same box as the powerXtender.
Figure 3: Two of the power tips available – the mini-USB for my Eten X500 and the dual-pin for my Motorola HS820, respectively.
So now let's get the powerXtender powered up and ready for work. The main power unit consists of two pieces of relatively rigid plastic which are held together with basically a friction fit, with very small nibs on the ends to click into the socket body. To take them apart, you grasp the top and bottom in one hand and the sides in the other and pull. Careful!, the batteries will fall out when the clear cover is removed. Fortunately, there are embossed diagrams of the battery placement / polarity inside, so you can get them in correctly. I tried putting the batteries in backwards just to see what would happened, but it didn't cause any problems – the unit simply wouldn't turn on.
The advantage of having this kind of emergency power source is that you can use any type of battery in them – from cheap dime-store knockoffs to the 'second generation' batteries being touted by manufacturers at premium prices. As noted on their website though, iGo recommends using premium batteries to provide the greatest capacity and endurance. (I'm assuming the batteries provided with the unit are examples of 'premium' batteries :-)
There is a small power switch on the left side of the unit, as you face the logo.
Figure 4: Side view of the powerXtender showing the position of the power switch. It's pretty small and recessed, so you'll need a fingernail to turn it on.
Figure 5: The Blue Power LED on the bottom to show when the unit is on. Unfortunately, it's on the underside when plugged into most devices.