Mobile professionals know how important a good charge is before leaving on a sales call, meeting, or gasp, a vacation. If you re going somewhere for an extended period of time, pack up the device along with the charging cable. And if you re anything like me it s not just a PDA, but a cell phone and laptop too. Pay attention mobile power just got easier.
iGo Mobility Products has recently released Juice 70 ($119.99). Juice is a product that lets you charge almost any PDA, cell phone and/or laptop with a single package. Out of the box, or bag in this case, Juice is prepared to handle your charging needs for almost any laptop. I d recite the entire list, but that would be insane. This product covers laptops from Sony, Fujitsu, Dell, Toshiba, HP and the other major players.
There’s a connector for almost everyone
But Juice doesn t just plug into a wall and your laptop, you already have a cable that does that. Juice is made of a few parts. First there s the connector to the power source. The main package comes with a standard wall outlet connector as well as an auto and airplane option. That piece connects to the adaptor which connects to another cable. This second cable then plugs into one of the many laptop power adaptors that come with Juice. So, the good news is not only does Juice cover a ton of laptops, you get all the connectors at purchase in case you get a new brand or want to share Juice with friends or co-workers.
Power cables with Juice adaptor
Close up of the car plug that converts for airplane use
This last cable is special though. It has a splitter built in. This splitter lets you plug in another cable for a cell phone or PDA. For $19.99 you may purchase an adaptor, and once again Juice covers almost any cell phone or PDA. Each cable has a voltage regulator built-in, so no risk of frying your valuable electronics. The best part is that you can charge your laptop and second device at the same time, eliminating the need to carry all your charging cables.
So, in a nutshell, Juice 70 will let you charge your laptop and a second device at the same time with almost any power source. Sounds good, but how does it work in practice? I m very pleased with the unit thus far. Unfortunately my Inspiron 8200 requires 90 volts to run at full speed, and this is only a 70 volt power source. The laptop works, but its processor gets throttled down as a result of the less than desired amount of power. iGo is actually working on a 90 volt unit, so power hungry laptops will be happy.
My Juice 70 in action
Really I have very few complaints aside from the low voltage problem. The cables do have a tendency to get messy, but until power is wireless I don t see a clean way around that. Another minor gripe is the velcro wire ties that come with the cables are very poor. If you don t wind up throwing all the cables in the pouch in a heap, I d recommend buying the velcro ties from Belkin. The pouch is not great either, but it does hold all the cables comfortably. You may want to pick up something with a few more internal pockets though if you re one who likes to stay organized. Lastly, the power light is blue, which I find to be a bad selection given the fact a blue light is strongly associated with Bluetooth in the electronics world. The standard green would have been a better selection.
Juice 70 pouch
iGo really has done a good job though, especially with this first effort. I ve used Juice everywhere but the airplane and have lent it to friends traveling with non-Dell laptops and they all come back happy with the product. Price may be a concern for some, but if you think about al the functionality Juice offers and the add-on cables are only $20, the opportunity to consolidate well exceeds any pricing concerns. The other positive side effect is that you get to leave your current cables where they are. For me, that means the original charging cables for the Dell, PDA and t68i get to stay at the office, while Juice takes care of me at home and on the road.
Uses almost any power source
Charges two devices at once
Compatible with almost any laptop, PDA and cell phone
Wire ties and quality of case are weak
Price might be steep for those who don t travel much
Juice is definitely something you should consider if you regularly travel with a laptop and a PDA and/or cell phone. I loan mine out occasionally, but I wouldn t go without it for long.
Juice 70 sells for $119.99 at iGo (http://www.igo.com/mapfiles/juice.asp). Cell phone and PDA add-ons sell for $19.99 each.