gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Proporta Universal Emergency Travel Charger

I’ve been using the Proporta Universal Emergency Travel Charger on the odd occasion for a while now. It was a difficult device to actually test in the short run, because you don’t really know if it fits the bill until you have an emergency I-really-need-to-charge-this situation.

I didn’t quite get there, but managed to try this handy little device with a range of gadgets to test its charging abilities.

The Proporta Emergency Travel Charger is a nifty little device which is comfortably pocket sized, charges via USB and comes with a plethora of attachments which allow it to charge a variety of feature-phones, any iPod you an throw at it, and any device which charges via a mini-USB port (most smart-phones and nifty little gadgets like the Dingoo A320 fit this bill).

The adaptors include the horrible little Nokia Slim (the tiny one) connector, a Sony Erricson connector, a Samsung connector, a PSP connector and the aforementioned iPod and mini USB.

The battery itself is a relatively simple affair with a not-too-shabby 2500mAh capacity, it has its own input connector for recharging and outputs via a standard USB port. This means that if your phone or gadget isn’t covered by the included adaptors and you’ve got a USB-to-your-obscure-device charging cable then you’re good to go anyway!

The build quality is top notch, sturdy and free of sharp edges making it pocketable. The included extension cable has a spring loaded cable tidy built in which rolls up excess cable and keeps it from getting tangled. The cable itself isn’t quite on a quality par with the battery, I find myself using generic USB or iPod cables in its place mainly because the tidy mechanism is a bit touchy.

Alongside the expected input/output is a button which you can depress to get a very rough readout of the batteries charge level.

That 2500mAh of juice is output at 800mA, 5v which is enough for the most power-hungry devices, as long as they haven’t run out of battery first. One of my initial tests of the Proporta Emergency Travel Charger involved a stone-cold-dead iPhone 3g and the battery simply couldn’t bring it back to life. I think the same applies when connecting a dead iPhone to a computer USB port, also, with only the mains->USB adaptor being powerful enough to revive it.

Another niggling issue I discovered when using the charger with my iPhone 3g is that it didn’t seem to actually charge the phone whilst it was turned on, however there was no noticeable loss of charge either. When I turned the iPhone off, the charger successfully charged it up enough for slightly prolonged use but certainly not to full capacity, most probably because it had already been drained from running the powered-up iPhone.

iPhone troubles aside, the charger successfully managed to replenish a Nokia slide phone and does an admirable job prolonging the life of anything it can’t fully recharge (I’m not sure many such devices actually exist). Devices such as the 1700mAh Dingoo A320, for example, should gain just over one full recharge from the battery of the Proporta charger.

Where I really found the charger come in handy is during spontaneous trips where, moments before having to pop out of the door, I’ve realised that my iPhone has nothing but a slither of battery life remaining.

Overall the Proporta Universal Emergency Travel Charger is a product that no self-respecting, gadget-endowed geek should be without. The only downside is that you can only rescue one of your devices from certain doom, so on extended trips you might find yourself keeping it handy for your phone.

Monday, June 15th, 2009, Gadgets, Personal Audio.