By Legacy | December 15, 2006 12:00 AM
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Let’s check out what is in the box.
1: Inside the box you will
battery itself, a retractable cable with a USB plug on one end and a
proprietary adapter on the other, 5 adapters for various mobile devices
and a mini-USB to USB charging cable to recharge the battery itself.
Among the included device adapters you will find one for
the iPOD, Sony Ericsson mobile phones, 2 for Nokia mobile phones and a mini-USB adapter.
The inclusion of the mini-USB adapter seems a bit
redundant, though as the package also includes a regular
USB to mini-USB cable for recharging the internal battery of
the Mobile Device Charger. Either that or the inclusion
of the regular cable is redundant as I was able to
charge the Proporta’s internal battery using the
retractable cable and the mini-USB tip.
Although there are only 5 device
adapters bundled in the package, it is pretty easy to find a USB charging cable for most mobile devices. I
have acquired a collection of them over the past year
including ones for my iPOD, Treo 700w, Nintendo DS Lite
and various Bluetooth headsets. I would
like to see Proporta begin selling additional
adapter tips on their website for other mobile devices.
This would prevent the purchaser from having to carry
around additional cables.
I feel compelled to mention that the box’s contents
are sort of just dumped into the package. When I
received the unit I first thought that it was used or
returned. Nothing was damaged, but a little bit more of
a professional presentation of the contents would be
SO EASY EVEN A CAVEMAN CAN USE IT
This is one of the simplest devices I have ever used…
and I mean that in a good way. There is only one button
and 2 ports. That’s it. You begin by charging
the internal battery. This is accomplished by plugging
the mini-USB end of the included cable into the port
labeled "in" and the fill-size USB end of the cable into
any powered USB port. Powered USB ports are available on
computers and laptops as well as in other versions
such as AC adapters and car adapters. Take note that
many USB hubs are NOT powered and will not charge this
device correctly. I plugged it into
a powered USB port on my desktop computer.
Also note the on/off round button located
towards the bottom.
3: The 2 ports include a mini-USB port labeled "in" and a full-size
USB port labeled "out".
It needs to be said that USB charging takes longer than
regular AC charging. As such, charging the internal
battery took a little longer than I thought it would
(around 3 hours). The reason I thought this was
long was that Proporta says the internal battery ships
with between a 50-75% charge. I would anticipate that a
full charge would take well over 4 hours. This is not
unreasonable considering the size of the internal
battery (more on that later).
Speaking of charging, in Figure 2 above you can see the
small round on/off button. In the middle of the button
is an LED which can be either red or green. It is solid
red while charging and flashing red when the battery is
low. To use the device, simply press the power button
and it will turn green. Then you can plug in whatever
mobile device you want to charge using the full-size USB
port labeled "out".
FIGHT THE POWER
this is an awesome product. The internal battery is rated at 3400mAH. To
put this in perspective, my Treo 700w came with an 1800mAH battery. Do
the math and you will find that I could almost get 2 additional full
charges of my Treo battery from the Proporta. Furthermore, the output is
5v 700mA which means it is enough for even very
power-hungry devices such as a Sony PSP or an Apple 5G iPOD. In fact,
your mobile device will treat being plugged into the Proporta as being
plugged into a regular outlet. This means you can continue to use your
mobile device while it is plugged into the Proporta instead of having to wait
for the mobile device to recharge.
It is pretty obvious that the iPOD influenced the design
of the Proporta. Clad in all white with rounded edges,
it looks like it belongs with an iPOD. It is even about
the same size as an iPOD. What this adds up to is a
good-looking device that is not too big. You could even
stick it in a cargo pants pocket and it would not be
unwieldy. Proporta also includes a lanyard loop at the
very top of the device, although I am not sure why you
would want to wear it around your neck.
You can purchase the Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger
directly from the Proporta
website for $44.95. In my opinion this is a very
good value as many batteries for mobile devices that
offer less than half of this much power cost nearly as
much. Furthermore, this device can be used with any
mobile device for which you can get a USB charging
cable. This makes it much more flexible and
useful than an extended or extra battery that only works
with one mobile device.
Sharp-looking and reasonably compact
Excellent 3400mAH capacity with high-power output
Simple to use
Extra adapters for the included retractable cable
are not available on the Proporta website
Packaging needs work
As a frequent traveler, this device is a god-send. I
will be traveling to London and Italy in January and
it is unlikely that my DS Lite or iPOD batteries
will endure the long trip. With the Proporta USB
Mobile Device Charger in my carry-on bag, I can feel
confident that I can use my mobile devices just
about as much as I want on the long trip and have
power to spare. As I mentioned in the review, the
only dings on this product are the unavailability of
extra adapters and the rough packaging. These are
pretty minor issues overall. The Proporta USB Mobile
Device Charger looks good, is simple to use and has
enough power to satisfy… what more could you ask