Wireless charging is one of those kinda-handy things that's almost been about to go mainstream for five years now. But Duracell is tired of waiting for the wireless charging revolution. Duracell wants you to wirelessly charge by plugging in this dongle instead. Wait, what?
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New gadgets take the spotlight at CES. And though we're occasionally blinded by the bright, shiny things, we know where our loyalties lie. Behind the barrage of posts and sprinting between booths, the real stars of the show are the tried and true bits of gear we're using behind the scenes. Each of us has our own beloved item — tech or otherwise — that we'll swear is the only reason we made it out of Vegas alive. Spoiler: There are a lot of batteries mentioned in this post.
Inductive charging means you'll never have to plug your phone in again, and to avoid clunky add-on solutions if your device doesn't have it built in, Duracell has created this wafer thin adaptor card that slips in alongside its battery.
Once you juice it up wirelessly atop a myGrid inductive charging slab, Duracell's new $US35 myGrid USB charger will power pretty much anything that has USB, including smartphones (about four hours), MP3 players (~30 hours) and ebook readers (~100 hours).
The Gadget: Duracell's Powerpack 450 is a portable power source for AC, DC and USB-powered electronics. It also features a vehicle jump starter, air compressor, flashlight and a voice feature.
Because I rarely drive these days, I still roll around in a car I bought 8 years ago. It runs fine, but sooner or later it is going to quit on me. I'll tell you what though, in my situation, the new addition to Duracell's Powerpack linuep looks like peace of mind in a lunch pail-sized box. In addition to jump starting your car, it can power up AC, DC and USB-powered electronics (340 W continuous / 450 W peak). It even has a voice feature that informs you on the estimated runtime for devices that you plug in as well as instructions on how to use its vehicle jump starter and air compressor (150 psi). All-in-all, the 450 looks one seriously useful device for your $US150.
A knife, some rope and a decent flashlight. When it comes right down to it, these are tools that a guy can really use. As for the latter of the three, a good choice may be these new "Daylite" superbright torches from Duracell. Besides a sturdy all-weather design, the Daylites feature TrueBeam technology that uses "both a lens and a reflector to capture and project up to 100 percent of the light," which they claim significantly enhances brightness. Plus, a 3:1 zoom eliminates the annoying dark spot typical of most flashlights.
It appears that Duracell has developed an more portable and less expensive version of last year's PowerSource charger with the new PowerSource Mini. This device features a lithium-ion battery pack and a mini USB pivot arm that allows you to juice up your MP3 players, mobile phones and other portable devices on the go. It also features a full-sized USB port that allows you to charge two devices at once. All-in-all the Powersource Mini should net an additional 24 hours of music on a Nano and about an hour of talk time on a Blackberry. Available now for around US$50.
Duracell's new PowerSource Mobile 100 could be the new best friend of anyone who tends to carry a lot of gadgets around. It can extend the runtime of just about any portable devic—and even provide up to two hours of additional juice for your laptop. If that wasn't enough, it also has one AC outlet and two USB charge ports so you can charge multiple devices simultaneously. I would completely fall in love with it if not for the $140 price tag. Unfortunately, convenience never comes cheap.
Duracell's Mobile Charger not only has a USB port so you can power your iPods and Zunes, but there's even a slot to put AA/AAA batteries into so you can charge them via wall or car outlet. Those AA batteries work the same way in reverse as well—you use them to charge any USB gadgets you plug in. The charger comes for $US24.99, which could be worth it as an emergency phone/music charger that you can use while you're out or in the car.
Duracell's latest NiMH rechargeable batteries have two neat features. One, they hold power for up to 365 days without use, and two, they come pre-charged, so you won't have to juice them up before plopping them into your camera. The first is great so your batteries are always ready for use even if you haven't touched them for a while, and the second is great so your batteries are ready for use when leaving the store. Too bad these are $12.99 for a four-pack.
AU: I have to note here that Sanyo's Eneloop batteries have been doing the pre-charged / hold power rechargeable thing for over a year now. Good to have some competition in the category, though, because those Eneloops aren't the cheapest batteries in town! -SB
I got very excited when my fabulous colleague Charlie White passed this thing from Duracell and Xantrex* on to me, saying that the write-up would need my touch. "Ah, it's a clunky, chunky boombox for hunky construction-worker types that plays CDs and never breaks, even when you drop something builder-y and heavy on it," I thought. (Yes, my idea of home decoration is painting my nails in front of re-runs of Dallas, although I'm good with the vacuum cleaner and spirit level when my man is drilling holes in walls.)