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Posts tagged ‘Accessories’

18
Apr
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UNU Enerpak Maximum Review: 17,000mAh of power in a mean-looking Package


UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewIs there such a thing as having too much power? Probably not, which is why we’ll be taking a look at a high capacity portable battery charger from uNu. The battery pack we’re looking at today is called the uNu Enerpak Maximum which carries a massive 17,000mAh of battery charge ready to be dispensed.

What’s in the box?

UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewMuch like its smaller brother, the uNu Enerpak Plus (read the review here), the Enerpak Maximum comes with the bare minimum of gear in the box: the battery itself, a micro-USB cable and a user manual. I have to say that the Enerpak Maximum is quite the looker; that piano black finish is very good looking and the edges on it make it appear quite beefy; that might just be me though. The included micro-USB cable is about 40cm long but unfortunately there is no AC adapter for the cable despite the massive amount of charging required before the battery is full.

How does it perform?

UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewDuring my tests on the Enerpak Maximum (done using Battery Monitor Widget), I found that overall the battery pack has a pretty standard charge rate, around 45% per hour. This puts it right around the same performance as the cheero Power Plus battery packs we checked out yesterday. While it’s nothing to write home about, you can definitely be sure that the Enerpak Maximum is going to give you the performance you need from your portable charger.

What do I like about the UNU Enerpak Maximum

UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewI’m a big fan of the styling of the uNu Enerpak series and the Enerpak Maximum doesn’t disappoint; its piano black finish is very sleek and you could be forgiven for not realizing it was actually a portable battery charger.

UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewCompared to the Enerpak Plus which had a 1A input, I’m glad that the Enerpak Maximum has adopted a 1.5A input to charge the internal battery which will stop this process taking longer than it needs to. Also, with a 17,000mAh, you’ll be able to charge most devices more than 4-5 times before needing to charge it up again.UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewWhile the Enerpak Maximum does seem quite large at first, it’s actually barely wider than my Moto G which means it could comfortably fit in a shirt or pants pocket. Obviously this isn’t always an option as it is quite heavy, however it is quite a slimline battery pack for its capacity compared to other large capacity battery packs which can only be transported in a carry bag.

What don’t I like about the UNU Enerpak Maximum

UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewWhile I am a fan of how the Enerpak Maximum is styled, I’m not a fan of how it is designed; it’s a bit confusing to me that the outputs to the battery pack are located on opposite ends of the body. I also found it a bit weird that the included flashlight is on a different face to either of the outputs meaning that it’s actually quite hard to utilize the flashlight to help you get your charging set up in the dark.

UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewI’m also slightly disappointed that the Enerpak Maximum only has two outputs; with 17,000mAh on tap, it’s entirely feasibly to charge a whole host of devices, even if it’s only at 1A for each port, but it seems like a bit of a waste not to have the option. That said, 17,000mAh is obviously a prime option if you are backpacking and don’t know when your next charge up is going to come from.UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewOne of my past concerns with the Enerpak Plus arose again while reviewing the Enerpak Maximum; the battery charge level LED on the top of the unit is a great tool for seeing how much charge there is left in the unit, however once plugged in, the LED turns off, giving no indication of whether it is charging your device or how much charge is left. I realise this is probably done to conserve power, however with devices that don’t have LED indicators for charging, it can be a bit frustrating to need to do this.

Overall Thoughts

UNU Enerpak Maximum ReviewThere’s a lot to like about the uNu Enerpak Maximum, particularly for the perennial traveller that requires a lot of battery power on the go. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot about the Enerpak Maximum that is relatively pedestrian; only two outputs, average charge rate, and a few other niggling issues keep it from really standing out from the crowd. Which brings us to the price: MSRP $129.95 USD. That’s a pretty steep price for a portable battery charger that really has no stand-out features besides its sleek looks. That said, if you’re happy to shell out the extra few dollars because you like the look of the Enerpak Maximum, you likely won’t be disappointed as it does exactly everything you would expect it to do.

If you’re interested in taking a closer look at the uNu Enerpak Maximum, you can visit the Amazon page (links are down below) or you can visit the uNu website here to see what else they have in their product range.

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17
Apr
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Cheero Power Plus Danboard Version Battery Pack Review: Danbo goes Mobile!


Cheero Power Plus Danboard Version Battery Pack ReviewDanbo, or Danboard, is a relatively well-known character around the world; if you don’t think you’ve ever specifically heard of Danbo, you’ll probably recognize him in one of these photos from the well known photo project called 365 Days of Danboard by Arielle Nadel (check out the whole Flickr album here). The Danboard character actually originated from a manga called Yotsuba&! who unsurprisingly plays the role of a robot made from cardboard boxes. I think Danboard is absolutely adorable, so when I saw Danboard featured on the cheero Power Plus battery packs, I had to take a look.

The three products we’re going to be looking at today include:

If you want to take a closer look at all the products in detail, I’ve put together a unboxing/review video to give you a better idea of how all these products look in person:

As you can see, some really great, well-made products to be seen, especially if you’re a fan of Danboard. As I mentioned in the video, I did do some more scientific testing of the battery pack charging performance which I’ve detailed below.

cheero Power Plus 10,400mAh Danboard Version

Cheero Power Plus Danboard Version Battery Pack ReviewUsing Battery Monitor Widget to keep an eye on the charge rate, the 10,400mAh Power Plus managed to charge my Moto G from 20% to 50% in a pretty spritely 40 mins despite starting off quite slowly. According to the recorded results, this would result in about 45% charged in an hour, though we can see from the history tab that at its peak charge rate the Power Plus was pushing almost 53% per hour. Compared then to the uNu battery pack I reviewed a few weeks ago which could only achieve about 37.5% per hour, the cheero Power Plus has shown some pretty impressive charging performance.

cheero Power Plus 6,000mAh Danboard Version

Cheero Power Plus Danboard Version Battery Pack ReviewLikewise, like its 10,400mAh counterpart, the 6,000mAh starts off slowly, however does end up achieving quite a quick charge rate. Over the course of the brief test, the 6,000mAh Power Plus managed a very respectable 42% per hour which is likely more than enough for most people in need of emergency charging.

What I like about the cheero Power Plus battery packs

  • As I mentioned at the start, I’m extremely fond of Danboard, so the styling of both the battery packs is a big win in my books, and will be in yours too if you’re a fan or looking for something a bit different.
  • The charging performance from the battery packs is very impressive and is more than suited to your required uses
  • Both Power Plus battery packs are quite small and very portable, especially with the addition of the pouches that each battery pack comes with.

What I don’t like about the cheero Power Plus battery packs

  • While I’m sure it does require a bit more battery power, I’m a big fan of lights staying on or blinking while charging is occuring which the cheero battery packs don’t do; particularly with the Moto G where there isn’t a light to signify the device charging, it’s difficult to tell if the battery pack  is charging or not.
  • On the 10,400mAh Power Plus, I’m a bit disappointed that they opted to add lights and a button on the face instead of making the eyes lights like on the 6,000mAh version, but that’s probably just personal preferences

Closing Thoughts

Cheero Power Plus Danboard Version Battery Pack ReviewI really like both these cheero Power Plus battery packs; they perform the job they said they would and they look extremely unique. The fact that they’re themed and so well-made, you’ll definitely be the envy of every Danboard fan around.

If you’re interested in picking up any of the products featured in the review, we’ve provided Amazon links below. In addition to that, all the products are currently on sale on Amazon reduced by up to 43% so make sure to take a look. As an additional note, if you are hoping to purchase from outside the U.S., cheero has very kindly provided details on how to do so which we have included below as well.

Ordering on Amazon outside of the U.S.

  • Search “cheero” on Amazon.com
  • Click “~new from”

Cheero Power Plus Danboard Version Battery Pack Review

  • Choose the seller’s condition “cheero offical seller for outside US market. As for shipping date and rates, please check “International & domestic shipping rates”.”

Cheero Power Plus Danboard Version Battery Pack Review

  • Proceed to checkout as you normally would

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17
Apr
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Lumsing 11000 mAh 5-Port Power Bank Review; Yes, Lots of Power


With summer right around the corner I think it is time for many of us to start thinking about how we are going to keep our devices charged up on these longer than normal days. If you are anything like me, then you venture out of the house during the colder, and shorter, winter months for work or food. Beyond that, you stay home quite often. With the weather warming up and the days getting longer, you are going to inevitably be spending more time away from the safety of a power outlet and your chargers. That means it is time to start thinking about how to keep all your gadgets and gizmos charged while camping, riding the trail, boating or just sitting somewhere in the great outdoors. External power banks, (battery banks, power packs) are one solution that a person can use to stay powered up and we have one here from Lumsing for you guys to take a look at.

Lumsing 11000 mAh ReviewWhat’s in the box

  • Lumsing 5-port 11000 mAh power bank
  • 2 USB cables
  • 5- Charging tips
  • Carrying bag

The Lumsing 11,000 mAh power bank measures in at 3.7 x 3.15 x 1.10 -inches ( 93.98 x 80.01 x 27.94 mm) and weighs in at 0.63 lbs ( 290g).

The outer casing is a hard plastic that feels durable. I squeezed it pretty hard to see if it flexed and it didn’t. On the front you find 5 USB ports stacked on top of each other. Each port offers a different amp rating aimed at charging specific devices. The ports are 0.5A, 1A, 1A 2.1A and 1.3A. In that order too.

Lumsing 11000 mAh ReviewOn the front of the unit you find your charging port to power up the 11,000 mAh battery. You will also find your power/battery check button and 4 blue LED lights. In typical fashion, each light represents a 25% increment of the 11,000 mAh battery. The maths come down to 2750 mAh per light.

Lumsing 11000 mAh ReviewThe contents in the box offer up 2 micro USB cables. One that is 2 feet long and one that is a foot. You also get 5 micro USB converter tips that can be placed on the end of the cables to charge other devices. I recognize the older 30-pin Apple charger and the mini USB, but the other 3 eluded me, and the documentation and website fail to mention what they are for.

Lumsing 11000 mAh Review

How does it perform?

Performance is always a good question when it comes to external battery banks. Each user, device, and situation is different. In my case I keep things set to a fairly consistent base. I use Battery Monitor Widget on 15 minute charge intervals on my Sony Xperia Z. The Xperia Z has a 2330 mAh battery built-in. That is important because with smaller batteries you will charge quicker, where as larger batteries will appear to charge slower. In this case I ran through the 2.1A port, the 1.3A port and the 1.0A ports. The results are as expected.

Lumsing Lumsing LumsingYou can see where each charge was started and switched over. The 2.1a started at 2:06 and I pulled it at 2:20, almost 15 minutes. It charged up the Xperia Z 12%. The 1.3a went from 2:20 to 2:35 and pulled in 11% and the 1a charged from 2:35 to 2:47 and charged 9%. Yes, the last one was cut short by a couple minutes, however the charging rates are still valid.

What I liked about the Lumsing 11,000 mAh Power Bank

having 5 ports is pretty nice, especially with a family of devices that tend to travel often. Many of the more popular battery banks offer 1 or 2 ports, but if you have a couple things that need charged up on the go, you usually end up carrying two or more battery banks. Being able to charge my phone, my wife’s phone, tablet, headphones and a Bluetooth speaker in one location is pretty nice. Particularly if we are camping and need to keep things organized and together.

What I didn’t like about the Lumsing 11,000 mAh Power Bank

It isn’t so much a dislike really, as it is just not needed in my life. I am referring to the various amps per port. If you have, and plan to need, to charge various devices, Nintendo DS, MP3 players or a PSP, then it is invaluable that you can charge each one with its intended amps to not ruin anything.

Overall thoughts

11,000 mAh should quite easily charge up my Xperia Z from dead to full a minimum of 4 times. Actual math comes out to 4.72, but one needs to take into account the drain and strain your device puts on it while it charges, if you are using it while it is charging and if you have other devices plugged in also.

The battery bank size, 11,000 mAh vs cost ratio is pretty good too. The Lumsing 11,000 will only set you back $25.99 and comes in white or black with free Prime shipping.

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14
Apr
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MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review: the perfect companion for the EDM-Oriented


MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewElectronic Dance Music, or EDM, has really taken off in recent years with multiple large-scale music events every year in cities all over the world to share and celebrate this movement of music. As you can imagine, the average EDM listener is going to prefer a very specific sound when looking for personal audio equipment, something that MEElectronics is trying to provide with its EDM Universe line of products. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewLet me first off say that I am not a practiser of EDM culture, so my perspective may be a bit more conservative. However, I still think the EDM Universe earphones are fantastic looking. As well as the Peace/Blue that we’re taking a look at today, the earphones are also available in PLUR/Black, PLUR/White, Love/Pink, Unity/Gree, and Respect/Purple; EDM fans will know why those names are important.

What’s in the box?

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewAs usual, MEElectronics does not disappoint with the included equipment with added bonuses.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewApart from the headphones themselves, you’ll be getting 3 additional, different sized sets of ear buds as well as a very stylish carry pouch for your earphones.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewAs an additional extra, for those of you who feel inclined, there is also a rubber wristband which has the four tenets of EDM culture engraved on it: Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect.

How does it sound?

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewI have been advised that the EDM Universe earphones have basically the same features as the MEElectronics M9P earphones but with slightly tweaked audio (see our review of the M9P here). That is definitely true of the EDM Universe earphones, however the tweaked audio makes them a completely different beast.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewHaving its roots in EDM, you would expect the bass to quite heavy, and heavy it is. That’s not to say that the rest of the audio is neglected; the treble range appears to be well represented and still remains very sharp, though the bass does take centre stage here. Turning it up did not appear to affect them at all, with no hint of peaking and the earphones were still able to deliver excellent, clear, and bassy music. Listening to EDM is obviously where these earphones shine and while they lack the obvious depth that you might get from headphones, they still provide a great atmosphere and sound.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewAs you might expect, this makes the EDM Universe earphones a very formidable EDM companion as the bass will be thumping your eardrums at very close proximity. So close that I had to take a break every so often while reviewing them, though I trust that those of you who do frequent raves will probably not have such feeble tendencies. The take home message: the EDM Universe earphones have thumping bass and are thumping loud. With that in mind, I definitely wouldn’t recommend them for anyone who doesn’t want a bass-heavy set of earphones as the bass can be a little overpowering.

What do I like about the MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewI love that MEElectronics has tried to fully embrace the EDM culture by adopting a familiar scheme for the colour choices and adding extras to help assert the ideals behind EDM. Whether or not you like EDM, the EDM Universe earphones are definitely an eye-catching accessory which looks the part.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewNormally, I’m not a huge fan of in-ear headphones for one main reason; they always seem to fall out. I’ve heard that you can ram them into your ear, but that just makes your ear canal sore. With the EDM Universe earphones however, the earphones seem to stay firmly in my ear no matter what I’m doing. It seems to be a combination of the earbud itself as well as the elongated earpiece which rests inside your ear as well, which works out well if you’re the type of listener who likes to apply yourself to overzealous dancing.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewPeople who have read my reviews before will know that I’m a huge sucker for included bags and pouches. Naturally then, I love that the EDM Universe earphones come with a stylish, colour-matched pouch that you can carry all your gear inside. It seems durable enough as well, so you’ll be able to toss it into your bag without any concern about your earphones getting damaged.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewAs with the price of all of MEElectronics’ other products, I like that the EDM Universe earphones aren’t extortionately priced. At MSRP $49.95, it’s a very fair price for a pair of in-ear headphones with great sound and a unique appearance. It’s not quite as cheap as the M9P that they are based on, but there’s enough extra oomph and inclusions to make you feel like it’s worth your cash.

What don’t I like about the MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewAs with my complaints with the M9P, some of those carry over to the EDM Universe earphones. While the overall appearance of the earphones is visually impressive, there are parts of it that just look cheap or a bit lazy.

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewThe lack of themed text on the cabling looks a bit unusual and the re-used in-line controls which feature on so many of MEElectronics’ headphones look more than little out of place with such a stylishly designed earphone. I won’t say that these are deal breakers as I am sure these design choices keep costs down and in the overall scheme are very minor features, however they do somewhat affect the sense of quality around the earphones.

Overall Thoughts

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones ReviewThe EDM Universe earphones, like many of MEElectronics’ products, are great bang-for-your-buck; you won’t be disappointed by what you get in the box and you definitely won’t be disappointed by the performance of the earphones themselves. While there are a few niggling points that I could see being improved in the overall design, the price tag of $49.95 is a pretty good deal, particularly if you’re looking for some way to really show your true EDM colours and enjoy your music too.

If you’re interested in checking out the MEElectronics EDM Universe in-ear headphones, you can visit the product page for them here, or if you would like to check out any of MEElectronics’ other products, you can visit their main website here.

Gallery of Photos

MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review
MEElectronics EDM Universe In-Ear Headphones Review

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12
Apr
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New Urban Armor Gear cases are now available for Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8


New Urban Armor Gear casesWe’re huge fans of Urban Armor Gear here at AndroidSPIN; quite a few of us have rocked a case from the accessory manufacturer at some point and been completely satisfied with the case’s quality and protective credentials. Well, there are now new Urban Armor Gear cases available now for the two newest smartphones to the Android family, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8, which adopt Urban Armor Gear’s trademark military look and protective protrusions. The cases will be available in 5 colours for both the Galaxy S5 and One M8 versions and will cost you $34.95 USD a pop. Oh, and by the way, there is free worldwide shipping.

As a previous owner of an Urban Armor Gear case, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 version (which we reviewed here) to be precise, my favourite thing about the case is that it doesn’t compromise on protection but still looks good and doesn’t obstruct the device’s functionality. Case in point for the HTC One M8 version is the way the dual cameras are housed; some cases on the market make the dual cameras look like a dog’s breakfast, and don’t look to provide too much protection. That could just be subjective preference, but there’s no doubting Urban Armor Gear’s commitment to making sure all their cases meet military drop-test standards.

Either way, if you’re interested in picking up an Urban Armor Gear case for your brand-new Galaxy S5 or One M8, make sure you hit the links below:

Urban Armor Gear case for Samsung Galaxy S5

Urban Armor Gear case for HTC One M8

Let us know if you pick one up or want to share your experiences with an Urban Armor Gear case in the comments.

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11
Apr
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TYLT Announces New ENERGI Sliding Power Case for Galaxy S5


TYLT CES 2014Today, and probably the rest of the month, is going to be filled with new cases and various accessory announcements for the Samsung Galaxy S5. TYLT has just announced their new ENERGI Sliding Power case.

The slide on case packs in a 2,800 mAh battery to help keep your new GS5 up and running longer. Internally it is lined with a TPE sleeve that adds an added layer of protection against drops.

Kannyn MacRae commented, “The new waterproof feature on the S5 created a challenge for our design team. In the end, we created a case that fully protects and also holds the port cover securely while you slide on the power sleeve.”

The new ENERGI case will set you back $79.99 and will be available with a blue or gray inner case color offering. Pink and purple protective cases available separately.

Samsung Galaxy S5 TYLT ENERGI ALIN 

Along with the ENERGI case, TYLT has also announced the ALIN screen protector. It is the their latest screen portector package that comes with an install kit to help insure perfect applications every time. The ALIN screen protectors will run $24.99.

Both the ENERGI and ALIN products will become available for purchase in the coming weeks.

Press Release

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11
Apr
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Moshi Announces SenseCover: A Touch-Sensitive Galaxy S5 Flip Case and Two Screen protectors


Another leading manufacturer of various accessories has announced their Samsung galaxy S5 accessory line up. In the mix is a pair of screen protectors, the AirFoil Glass and iVisor XT.

The AirFoil Glass is up to 40% thinner than generic glass screen protectors and features the Oleophobic surface coating to cut down smudges and finger prints. The AirFoil Glass is available for purchase today for $35.00.

Moshi AirFoil Glass Galaxy S5 The iVisor XT is a washable and reusable screen protector that has absolutely zero bubbles. The iVisor XT is available in black or white and will set you back $25.00 each.

Moshi iVisor Galaxy S5While screen protectors are nice, the real win for Moshi is the SenseCover flip case. It features polycarbonate hardshell back and lethertte front cover. It offers you the preview window that you are used to having and also allows for you to answer/reject calls and turn off alarms with a simple swipe on the front cover. Basically you don’t have to open the letherette flap for those basic operations.

SenseCover iPhoneThe SenseCover will come in a Steel Black or Brushed Titanium look and is expected in May and we don’t have a price tag just yet. I imagine that it will be priced similar to the iPhone counterpart seen above which is $45.

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10
Apr
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Anker 36W 4-Port VS. 40W 5-Port USB Wall Chargers


I am constantly on the look out for ways to keep my devices charged. Between a phone, two tablets, a set of Bluetooth headphones, Bluetooth speakers and a mired of other device that all charge from a USB cable, it is imperative that I don’t have to stash devices in other parts of my office, or other parts of the house, to charge up. The last multi-port charger that I reviewed was one from Mpow. It offered 4 USB ports, two at 5V2A and two at 5V1A. It worked well enough and for $19.99 it is bargain. If you happen to have more than two power hungry devices that need to be charged in a hurry though, you will find yourself a little disappointed. This sparked me to reach out to one of my personal favorite external battery bank manufacturers, Anker, to check in on the latest product offerings in the multi-port wall charging line. They were kind enough to send over one of their 36w 4-port units and their newer 40w 5-port units.

Anker 5 port USB charger Review Anker 36w 4-port USB wall charger

What’s in the box:

Anker 36w 4-port

  • Wall charging unit
  • Instruction manual
  • Related documentation

Anker 36w 4-port USB wall charger Anker 40w 5-port

  • 5-port charging unit
  • 5 foot detachable power cord
  • Instruction manual

Anker 5 port USB charger Review 

Anker has been making a lot of strides in product design, functionality and ease of use over the years and it’s pretty apparent in the initial looks of both devices. Since this is dual-review / comparison I am going to start off with the 36w 4-port, then move to the 40w 5-port. I will then follow it up with thoughts and recommendations, like I usually do.

Anker 36w 4-Port Wall Charger Overview

Tech Specs:

  • Input – AC 100 – 240v
  • Apple Ports – 5v /2.1A max
  • Android Ports – 5V/1.5A max
  • Total output – 5v/7.2A max
  • Power – 36w
  • Size – 3.3 x 2.5 x 1 inches ( 83 x 63 x 26 mm)
  • Weight – 3.5oz / 100g

Anker 36w 4-port USB wall charger 

The 36w 4-port unit offers two Android and two Apple specific ports. Each is rated for charging your devices accordingly. The outer casing is hardened plastic, with the bulk of the unit being white with the main plug area off white grey-ish color. I didn’t notice any gaps or lack of build quality between the white outer casing and the fitted housing that the plug sits in. It is very solidly built.

How does it perform?

It performs as expected. If you use a Note 2, Note 3 or other larger phablet style device you will want to use the Apple 2.1A out USB port. Yes, you can use the two Apple ports to achieve the speedy charge that you require, but it defeats the purpose of offering up the two varying ports in the first place.

As always, I hooked my T-Mobile Xperia Z to the charger in two 15 minute intervals. Once on the Android side and once to the Apple side. To track the charge rates and speed of charge I used the Battery Monitor Widget and set the readings to pull at every 1% increment. Here are the visual results and corresponding numbers for each,

Android Ports

Anker 4-port Android USB PortApple Ports

Anker 4-port Apple portThe results are pretty similar with approximately 11% gain in 15 minutes on the 2330 mAh battery in the Xperia Z. I then reran the same tests with multiple devices plugged in, two Lenovo tables, my wife’s HTC One S and the Xperia Z to see if the charge changed at all. It fluctuated, but not enough to think that there was any sort of issues charging multiple devices at full speeds. Factors such as emails, texts, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi being connected could play a role in the fluctuation. I would hardly say that coming from  4100 mV to 4060 mV constitutes an issue charging multiple devices.

What I like about the 36w 4-port wall charger

The white housing with and grey Anker logo makes it look very clean. Having 4-ports on one wall socket keeps multiple gadgets easily at hand. The price is right and can easily accommodate a multi device home with ease.

What I don’t like about the 36w 4-port wall charger

The charger plugs into the way straight off the back. That means it sticks out 3.3 inches from the wall. This creates quite the over hang. It certainly keeps the second socket plug available, but that could have also been achieved with a flip down plug on the bottom of the unit.

Anker 36w 4-port wallcharger plugged inThe only reason I feel that this is a negative design element is because of its weight and orientation of the USB ports. Depending on your wall outlets, it has the potential to fall out. On the flip side though, if you are going to be plugging it in straight down on, say a powerstrip, then this whole thing is negated.

Anker 40w 5-port USB Wall Charger Overview

Tech Specs: 

  • Input AC 100 – 240V
  • Total Max Output – 5V/8A
  • Size – 3.6 x 2.3 x 1 Inches ( 91 x 58 x 26mm)
  • Weight – 4.580z / 130g
  • 5 foot power cable

Anker 5 port USB charger ReviewThe 40w 5-port wall charger is a completely different kind of beast all together. Unlike its predecessor, this one doesn’t have specific USB ports rated for specific devices. Rather all 5 ports use Anker’s PowerIQ universal port technology. This allows max charge speeds on any port for any device that is plugged in. This means that your power hungry Samsung Tablet, your moms iPad, your Nexus 5, your Nexus 7 and your Bluetooth Headphones can all charge as fast as possible in one location.

The 40w unit also has a 5 foot power cord with it. This frees you up to have it plugged in under your desk, behind the bed at the hotel or in that wall socket that is just a little to far away from your favorite chair.

How does it perform

Anker 5-port 40w wall charger review

I used the same Battery Monitor Widget app with 1% increment reporting and let it charge for 15 minutes on each port. As you can see in one set of results, the Xperia Z gained 12% during that 15 minute charge. It would have been closer to 13%, but you can see the first few minutes of the charge I had some messages and things pop through and I read and responded. Still, 12% in 15 minutes for the 2330 mAh battery found in the Xperia Z translates to a full charge from 0% in about 1 and a half hours. Your results will vary depending on device, battery size, if it is turned on/off, if you are using it ect. I again hooked up as many device to it as I had available and the results still came in at 12 to 13% gain in 15 minutes.

What I like about the 40w 5-Port USB Wall Charger

It is a little bigger than the 4-port version I talked about earlier, but dramatically smaller than the MPOW 4-port that I reviewed previously.

Anker 5 port USB charger ReviewIf I tried really hard, I could probably fit it inside an empty pack of cigarettes. So, the size is a really winning factor for me. The simple fact that they provide a 5-foot power cord gives you plenty of options and placement, both temporary or more permanent. With all 5 ports utilizing Anker‘s PowerIQ technology I don’t have to worry about what port I “should’ use for what devices. Simply plug it in and get to charging. It also doesn’t have an annoying LED light anywhere on it.

What I didn’t like about the 40w 5-port wall charger

I wasn’t able to find anything that I didn’t like about it.

36w vs. 40w Results

While the 36w wall charger pulled down similar charge rates as compared to the 5-port, the winner between the two in my book is the 40w 5-port unit. All five ports charge at max speeds for any device, alleviating the need to think about what to plug in to what port. It also boosted 1 to 2% charging over the 4-port variant, while not a huge difference, it is enough to be happier with another 5% – 10% battery in an hours time. The 5-foot power cord offers flexibility, portability and usability. You gain one more port for one more device. Let’s be honest, you probably had a tablet and a phone and bought a dual-port charger only to end up with 3 other things that need to be powered up often. The price tag also makes it a no brainer. The 36w 4-port is $19.99, where as you can get the 40w 5-port for $25.99. Only $6 more offers you quite a bit more bang for your buck.

Which one is right for you? That is a question you have to ask yourself and one I can not answer. Take the test results, the looks and think about what you need. Which ever one you choose, you will be certain to be happy with the quality of the products and the charge times you experience. So go ahead, spoil yourself and pick one, or more, up through the amazon links below.

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2
Apr
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Amazon Announces the Fire TV Set-Top Box for $99


The rumors and speculation surrounding Amazon and their set-top box are finally coming true today as Amazon announces the Fire TV. I am certainly glad it didn’t turn out to be called the FireTube as a patent file suggested.

Amazon Fire TV BoxThe $99 black box offers a bang for the buck it sounds like. It measures in at 4.5 x 4.5 x 0.7 inches and weighs 9.9 ounces. On the rear you find a power port, HDMI out, Optical Audio, Ethernet and USB. Internally you get a Qualcomm Krait 300 quad-core processor at 1.7Ghz paired with a Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU. You also have 2GB of LPDDR2 RAM and 8GB of internal storage.

On the connection side of things it offers up Dual-Band, Dual- Antenna Wi-Fi and supports 802.11a/b/g/n. It also offers up Bluetooth 4.0 connection with HID, HFP 1.6 and SPP profiles.

The homescreen is fairly reminiscent of the Kindle Fire look. The Fire TV comes loaded with a number of apps like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant.

Amazon Fire TV TV and Box homescreenThe included remote is a farily simple looking one with minimal buttons. Something rather interesting about the remote though is there is a ‘Voice Search’ button located right at the top.

“Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price—people are going to love Fire TV,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. On Fire TV you can watch Alpha House and House of Cards.”

To top things off, the Fire TV also plays nicely with your Kindle tablet allowing you mirror/cast content from it to the Fire TV box. Not to mention the added option of a gaming controller. Amazon says there will be over 1,000 free titles to get your hand on to play with the Amazon Fire Game Controller (which is $39.99), but they are also going to give you 1,000 Amazon coins to encourage you to buy some too. All the games have been tweaked specifically to be played with the controller through the Fire TV. I think the biggest struggle that will offer end users is the small 8GB of storage, which I can only assume is smaller due to the OS.

Amazon Fire TV Box ControllerAll-in-all it doesn’t sound half bad. The FireTV box is on sale now for you to purchase for $99. If you pick one up you also get a free 30 day trials to Netflix and Amazon Prime.

click here to order your Amazon Fire TV

Click here to buy the Amazon Fire Game Controller

Via Amazon Press Release

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2
Apr
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Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review: a case with an unsurprisingly snug Fit


Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewIn a world where it’s hard to differentiate one tablet accessory from the next, it’s often hard to make an informed choice about one case in particular. Will it fit properly? Does it provide enough protection? Can I use it as a stand? These are just some of the more standard concerns for shoppers, and hopefully that’s where reviews like this come in handy. Today we’ll be taking a look at the Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand, so let’s dive in and see what’s what.

What’s in the box

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewThere’s not much to the The Snugg‘s packaging: what you see is what you’ll get and you’ll be getting the case, and all the lovely air and packaging on the inside.

The case

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewThe Snugg case adopts the folio form factor and uses a velcro-secured case to harness the tablet much like the one we’ve seen on roocase’s folio cases. As the name of the brand might suggest, the Nexus 7 does fit extremely comfortably into the allotted space and leaves ample space on all sides and access points.
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review

The case is covered on the inside and out with PU leather, also known as bicast leather, which generally uses a combination of leather and polyurethane to give a slightly glossy appearance that is fairly durable and easy to keep clean. The result is a case that looks like leather, feels great to hold and has just enough grip not to be a drop hazard. The case we are reviewing today is also available in several other colours including Baby Blue, Distressed Brown, Electric Blue (which we have here), Orange, Candy Pink, Red, White and Black.

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewYou will notice on the inside of the front cover, there is a lack of card holding space which is a bit of a bummer, however in it’s place is something that looks like a strap; we’ll look at the application of this a bit later.

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewOn the back of the case is the leather stopper that will allow you to turn the Snugg case into a stand. It’s solidly made despite being made from leather, though it is a bit stiff to manipulate at first. Using the stopper, you’ll be able to prop up your tablet in the upright, landscape position, and if you’re so inclined, you would also be able to stand your case in the portrait direction at 90 degrees.

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewTo hold the case closed, the cases uses two simple magnets, one at the top corner and the other at the bottom corner, which makes for a really tight seal. As you might expect from a folio case, it doesn’t provide particularly heavy duty protection, but would be most comfortable in an office/home setting.

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewThe Snugg case also has a sneaky inclusion at the bottom of the case which is a pen slot in case you want to store your stylus or pen for safe keeping.

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review

The practicality

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewLet’s go back to that strap on the inside of the case’s cover. When the case is in the stand position, the strap can be used as a hand strap which is aided by the fact that the stand acts as quite a good handhold. What this results in is quite an ergonomic way to operate and hold your tablet with one hand without fear of dropping it. I’m not 100% if this is what you’re supposed to use the strap for, but this is definitely the best way I’ve found to use it and I found it really neat.

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand ReviewAs a case overall, I have to say that the Snugg case is overall missing a few features that would make it even more useful, including slots for cards and money. The pen holder is obviously a nice touch, but I can’t say that it’s the most practical seeing as most pens don’t have their clips in the middle of the pen; securing a pen in this pen holder would result in a pen that sticks out when stored. That said, it does exactly what the label says and it is a well-made, high quality product.

The verdict

Rating: 4/5

There’s really nothing particularly revolutionary about the Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand; it operates as it’s supposed to and it has a fair list of features. What it does do, however, is does everything it offers extremely well, and for that it should be commended as a very solid product. I would  have no issues using this as my everyday case, and actually have been since I reviewed it; it feels premium and it does the job well. What more can you ask for in a case?

The Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand is normally sold for MSRP $39.99 USD, however The Snugg is currently having a sale where the price of the case has been slashed to just $24.99, an exceptional price for such a solid, quality case. If you want to take advantage of the sale, you can visit its product page at the link below:

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand product page

If you want to check out The Snugg’s other products, you can visit their main site here.

Gallery of Photos

Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review
Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover and Flip Stand Review

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