When the battery on your phone or music player hits empty, a portable charger can deliver a welcome boost.
With high fares, security checks and frequent delays, losing power to your mobile phone can make air travel even worse. When that little battery icon turns red, you're about lose your link to the world. No more phone calls, email or text messages. No music, videos, electronic books or games. Even if you have a wall charger handy, good luck finding an available outlet.
That’s why I always travel with a portable battery booster. They extend the life of your mobile phone at times when it’s most appreciated. Here are some of the devices that can keep you plugged in when you can't plug in.
iGo powerXtender ($9 at Walmart.com)
This inexpensive gadget transfers juice from a pair of AA batteries to most cell phones or other portable devices. Using disposable batteries is an advantage because you can usually find batteries even when you can't find an electrical outlet. iGo says the powerXtender delivers up to eight hours of talk time or 40 hours of music. In addition to the battery pack, you’ll also need a $10 power tip to match your phone or music player.
Tylt Energi2-T ($50 at amazon.com)
The versatile Energi2 doubles as a wall charger and portable booster and it can fuel more than one device. It comes with a retractable cable to connect with devices like many Android phones and ebook readers that use Micro-USB plugs. It also has a full-sized USB port for other devices, including iPods and iPhones.
Enercell Portable Power Bank ($30 at Radio Shack stores)
The Power Bank’s small size makes it more convenient to take along when you head out for extended travel. The device has a pop-out USB plug on one end for charging its own battery and a female USB port on the opposite end to connecting to a portable device. A tiny button lights up a row of four green LED lights to tell you how much power you have on hand. With a full charge, the Power Bank can deliver about four hours of phone power.
Callpod Fueltank Duo ($70 at bestbuy.com)
When your phone and your Bluetooth headset both need a charge, the Fueltank Duo can refuel both gadgets at the same time. It will restore a dead cell phone to full charge in about an hour. The Fueltank uses proprietary cables to connect to phones, music players and other devices. You get a Mini-USB, Micro-USB and Apple connector with the Duo and Callpod sells connectors for hundreds of other devices for about $10 each at its website.
i.Sound Portable Power Max ($76 at bhphotovideo.com)
The Power Max is a backup battery for power users. Weighing 1.5 pounds, it’s is the largest and heaviest charger in this group, but it also works the hardest. It comes with a Y-cable that has tips for Mini-USB and Micro-USB devices plus enough USB ports to charge four more gadgets. Its internal battery is strong enough to power up an iPad and other tablets or refuel an iPhone 4 more than 10