Thursday, September 11, 2008
Quick and Easy Charging with the ECOSOL Powerstick
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Accessories" @ 07:00 AM
Virtually no electronic device I own has battery life that impresses me, so the hunt for new ways to keep them powered is never-ending. The ECOSOL Powerstick, with it's small size and simple operation, intrigued me so I requested one for review. I wanted to test the Powerstick in a worst-case scenario, so I completely drained the battery on my HTC Touch Diamond. I then charged the Powerstick fully, and connected the Touch Diamond using the included miniUSB cable. About two hours later, I noticed that the charging circle on the Touch Diamond wasn't pulsing any more - sure enough, the Powerstick was completely drained. The Diamond showed 60% power - which is about right given that the Powerstick battery is 750 mAh and the Touch Diamond has a 900 mAh battery. There's always a bit of efficiency lost when one battery charges another, so I'd guess that the Powerstick would only fully charge a battery that's 700 mAh or less in size.
Figure 1: The Powerstick includes ten different adaptors. Their Web site says nine, but I counted ten in the package they sent me.
I started re-charging it at 5:25 PM and by 7:00 PM or so it was finished charging, so you can figure it takes around 90 minutes to recharge the Powerstick. You connect your device to the Powerstick using one of the ten included adaptors. It's handy that they provide so many, but many are for mobile phones. There's an iPod adaptor, and a miniUSB adaptor that can be used in a variety of devices, but there's no connector for my Zune for instance, nor my Samsung Blackjack II smartphone. There's a compatibility chart on their Web site that helps you narrow down if your device is supported by one of the bundled tips, but it throws errors in Firefox to view it using Internet Explorer.
The Powerstick is available from Best Buy Canada (hopefully in other places soon) for $69.99 CAD, and herein lies the biggest problem with this product: it's quite expensive for something having such a small battery. It's handy that it comes with so many adaptors, but that seems to add greatly to the price, and if you have devices that aren't supported like I do, they don't sell additional tips so the usefulness of this product is diminished. Compare the Powerstick and its 750 mAh battery with proprietary cables for $69.99 to the PPC Techs Lil Sync Mobile USB Power Pack and its 4400 mAh battery with a USB charging port for $59.99 USD, and you realize that if you want to have more power and more flexibility, albeit at the price of more size and weight, the Powerstick might not be for you. On the other hand, if you have devices that the included cables support, the Powerstick might be exactly what you're looking for: it's small, light, and is very easy to use.
Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog.