Versatile; high capacity; well-priced
$49.95 (free shipping)
If you tend to feel a little flat late in the day, the Droidax PortaCharge could be just the pick-me-up you’re looking for. It’s a portable battery designed for recharging your devices while you’re on the go. You simply plug the PortaCharge into the wall or a USB port to charge its internal battery, then throw it in your carry bag. If your smartphone, tablet or other mobile gadget starts to run low on juice you can plug it into the PortaCharge to recharge it.
Don’t be fooled by the Droidax name, the PortaCharge is designed to charge a wide range of devices including the iPhone and iPad. Admittedly the Droidax branding is targeted at Android users, but you’ll also find the PortaCharge on the shelves rebadged as the PADACS UltraCharge Mini. Exactly the same gadget, just with a different name.
So why would a loyal iGadget user consider this portable charger rather than something designed specifically for Apple gear? Because it’s powerful, versatile and comes at an attractive price.
For starters the PortaCharge has a generous 5400mAh battery, which is one of the highest capacity batteries you’ll find in a portable charger of this size. This means you’ll get more charges out of the PortaCharge before it needs recharging – at least three full iPhone charges. An LED readout on the front tells you how much charge you’ve got left.
The PortaCharge slips in your bag easily. It weighs in at 168g and comes with a travel pouch that holds the PortaCharge, USB cable, AC adaptor and 10-in-1 recharge USB adaptor. Along with a 30-pin connector for Apple devices, that adaptor also features mini-USB, micro- USB and three other custom connectors supporting devices such as the Sony PSP. To complete the set you’ve got four round power jacks.
The versatility of the PortaCharge means it should be able to charge your smartphone, tablet, e-book reader, handheld games console, MP3 player, portable Wi-Fi hotspot and digital camera. That’s enough to support a household full of devices and it even offers a little future-proofing as your collection of gadgets expands.
If you’re smirking at this point because everyone in your house uses an iPhone for all those jobs, then you’ll probably appreciate the PortaCharge’s generous 5400mAh battery compared to most iGadget- specific chargers. Keep in mind the USB port means you can even charge a tiny iPod shuffle using its own charge cradle.
Not impressed yet? What if the PortaCharge threw in a second USB port? Yep, the PortaCharge includes a 1-amp, 5-volt USB port for charging your iPhone as well as a 2-amp, 5-volt USB port for charging more power-hungry gadgets such as your iPad. You can even charge two devices at once, but there’s only one 10-in-1 adaptor in the box so you’ll need to bring your own charge cradle for the second device.
The fact that the second USB port offers 2 amps is important if you’re charging devices such as an iPad. Using a portable charger with a lower amp rating than your gadget, such as a 1-amp USB port with your 2-amp iPad, means it takes longer to charge your gadget and puts extra strain on your portable charger.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
To be honest the PortaCharge isn’t the most elegant looking charger we’ve seen. The 10-in-1 adaptor is also a little cumbersome and ugly compared to an elegant iGadget-only charger.
But when you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and your gadgets are running on fumes, design aesthetics probably aren’t your biggest concern. If you don’t want to be left in the lurch, there could be room for a Droidax PortaCharge in your travel bag.