I just came back from a two-week vacation in Europe. I took loads of gadgets. How did I keep them charged? Why, an unwieldy gadget cornucopia consisting of two AC splitters, a USB wall wart, and an external battery for topping up on the go. If only I’d had the Belkin TravelRockstar, I could have lightened my load.
The Travel Rockstar is a little pricey at $US60, but I’ve never seen a more complete charging solution. It’s a power strip, surge suppressor, USB charger, and external battery all in one device.
You just flip out the integrated AC prongs, plug it into the wall, and turn one outlet into three: one (1) 2-amp USB port for charging your tablet or phone, and two (2) surge-protected AC outlets for anything else you care to name.
The entire time it’s plugged into the wall, it’s also charging up an internal 3000mAh battery. So you can unplug it, throw it in your bag, and always have extra USB juice handy.
Caveats? Well, again, it’s $US60, and it’s not a particularly potent external battery, considering it’s only got 3000mAh worth of lithium ion inside. That’s probably no bigger than the battery that’s already inside your phone, and since charging isn’t a loss-free process, you’ll likely get less than a full charge out of the device. (The external battery I carried to Europe held 16000mAh, nearly enough to fill up both a Moto X and an iPad.)
If you’ve got a phone with quick charging built in, this one also won’t charge your phone as quickly as the charger you’ve got at home, and it won’t be able to charge the wave of USB-C powered laptops and tablets that are coming down the road. But if you’ve got a trip coming and you don’t want to carry all this…
Also pictured: travel adaptor, which isn’t something the Belkin includes
…it could be a winner. I definitely would have bought one. No word on an Australian release yet, but in the meantime there’s this $68 version without the battery.