I just love technology.

Posts tagged ‘USB’

PowerPackXL backup battery.


I should start by saying a huge thank you to Powerpackxl for sending out these review units to have a play with.

Starting with build and aesthetics I would have to say that the PowerPackXL Mini comes up trumps due to it’s small and compact size. No bigger than a credit card and only as thick as maybe three or four credit cards it fits easily and discreetly into a wallet or shirt pocket. Made from plastic and very lightweight you never know it’s there. Build quality is nice and only shows a small seam around the back.

I was sent one black and one pink, so a choice for the ladies purse is available too. Their website claims the ability to charge a flat phone to 70%, though there is no mention of the phone itself.

The built in cables are short and fit very snugly into the end of the body of the 1020 mAh battery hiding there until required, one is a standard Micro USB and the other is a MFi certified lightning connector. I was able to test this battery on an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus giving very consistent results with a completely flat iPhone 6 taken to 37% and from 50% to 88% before needing a recharge and the 6 Plus gaining 21% and 22% which is more than enough for those end of day calls, texts and Facebook notifications that you were desperate to look at while the boss was around. Charging is easily facilitated via a supplied USB to Micro USB lead and takes approximately 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes from your USB port on any laptop or desktop or a standard USB wall charger. Charge level is also indicated by four green LED’s giving you an idea of battery percentage, a huge plus point on such a surprisingly cheap product.

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Definitely worth having in your arsenal of weapons against that dreaded flat battery and the sulky face your other half will ask about when you arrive home.

They offer corporate branding for those of you looking to get your name out there (a damn fine way to get seen in my opinion) and the price is very fair indeed. You can pick one up from the company website using the link at the top of this post or pop over to Amazon UK and try your luck on a deal.

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@Newtrent 4.2A Max Dual USB car charger NT81T


It has been a whole week now since I received this package so I immediately filmed the in car footage from the above video and after the initial shock of the iPad Air 64GB not charging when first plugged in it turns out, after a lot of trying out and cable checking, it was down to the fact that port B on each charger is not able to push enough power to feed the iPad Air’s requirements (unless I got a faulty batch). I didn’t after more research it would appear that the wattage to charge the iPad is not available at port B.

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This aside I have to say these chargers are amazingly quick at charging your devices and I found after just a half hour journey there was a battery percentage increase on the iPad Air of around 20% using port A. and on the iPhone 5 an increase of 25% whilst under use from a Bluetooth headset.

This now makes sense as to why it points out on the packaging that port A is for Apple devices, though port B worked with the iPhone 5 perfectly well, as well as charging a Newtrent IMP120D battery backup, a Bluetooth headset and although not seen on video there was my sons old Galaxy S1 which cheered him up no end when he needed to make a call.

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These two, yes TWO, (one black one white) in one box for this money is extremely good value for a very visually appealing and sleek device that does all that is offered from the manufacturer Newtrent it would be more common to see one device for not much less than the current asking price for such a premium product let alone two in one box.

Basically to round up this post I would highly recommend these for a family who travel with the children, a couple who need one each or even a power hungry techaholic like myself who likes to have full power wherever he go’s. A five star rating from me. Hit the Amazon affiliate links below for current pricing in your country.

 

UK http://amzn.to/RBvhK8

US http://amzn.to/1jpsWJt

NEWTRENT Airbender 2.0 for iPadAir


After nearly a week now of using the Airbender 2.0 I can now say that a keyboard of this size is definitely a little too cramped for every day use, for my hands at least.
As an inbetweener, and by that I mean in between a touch screen and a laptop, there is an area of usefulness for these sort of devices for people from many walks and jobs. I could see a business man or maybe even a reporter who wants to travel fast and light could definitely make use of one with plenty of practice with the narrow set of the keyboard. The chiclet keys were a pleasure to work with.

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I have found a very slight lag in the use of function keys occasionally but when purely typing like this it is quick, smooth and faultless.
The case fitted the back of my iPad Air 64Gb model with a sound secure snap and grips it securely but I get the feeling the polycarbonate used for this part will not take a heavy impact. The ability to detach this part is a big plus but needs a little practice to detach it quickly.

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The hinge part to this device is my main area of concern. It just seems so. . .well, fiddly.
I think the addition of some kind of clip/clamp to fasten the bottom or side depending on orientation to the hinge as this would aid opening the shell without having to touch the screen of your beloved iPad Air and affecting any app which may be open.

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A pleasant surprise that I didn’t expect to see with this was the support for the sleep wake function, a small thing I know but nevertheless nice. My only other minor niggle is the rubberised clasp, as I can see it either wearing relatively quickly or snapping all together.

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My unboxing and first thoughts
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In closing as a final point I can recomend this item as a useful aide to writing your emails or any typing process on an iPad as it is most definitely faster and easier. On a scale of 1-5 despite the minor points I have mentioned, I would rate it a 5, and if I were in the market for such a device these things would not put me off buying one for the price as it stands on Amazon right now.

Newtrent website http://www.newtrent.com

Amazon Affiliate product links : Check the images below for current pricing.
UK     US

A hard drive problem.


Over the term of a couple of weeks I noticed an inherently annoying sound plaguing my external HDD, which is connected to my MacBook pro via USB.

It slowly got louder and louder and I stupidly ignored it thinking it was that cheap case I installed it in allowing the vibrations through to my desk.

That was a mistake. Very soon after all these noises got to an un-ignorable level the partition I was using for Time Machine backups started self ejecting and I was unable to repair it.

So the video below shows its replacement, which I formatted for Mac then cloned the storage partition from the old drive, but to my great dismay was unable to copy the files from Time Machine as it just continually self ejected.

If anyone has a remedy or possible repair solution so that I can reformat the old drive I would love to see it appear in the comments below.

Taking charge.


We’ve all been there at some time or other, you need to send a text/email/make a call and you’re mobile phone / tablet has other idea’s.

Well this may be the answer for you.

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Introducing the NEWTRENT IMP120D iCARRIER. Straight out of the box we find a neat compact device of minimal weight bearing the NEWTRENT logo in white printed on the front panel, an included USB to MICRO USB cable for charging the device, a micro fibre carrying pouch and an instruction booklet.

The box tells you it is not fully charged although the unit they kindly sent me for review was approximately two thirds charged so was able to be used immediately though for the purposes of testing I decided to fully charge it ready to be put through its paces.

Aesthetically the device is very pleasing to the eye coming in a matt black finish (that shouldn’t finger print too badly) with a vibrant blue band around the edge which contains the power switch and two USB ports, both of which will output a maximum of 5v / 3.1 A ,powered by a Li-ion polymer battery with a capacity of 12000mAh / 3.7v so will charge most if not all of the mobile phones and tablets out there on the market today. The power button also doubles as a charge indicator having three blue LED‘s around it which flash while charging showing the state of charge, which is done via a USB port or a USB wall charger which is not included. the amount of charge cycles is 500.

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It is said that this charger will add 10 hours of tablet usage over Wi-Fi and 9 over cellular. And estimates for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 are 45 hours talk time over 3G and 70 over 2G, an additional 50 hours of video play with the speakers on and 30 hours internet browsing over 3G running up to 45 hours over Wi-Fi.

Now as a lover of all tech related gadgets getting my hands on one of these was a little like having an extra birthday, as I am a fairly heavy user of Apple (and other manufacturers) products and quite frequently have to put the brakes on towards the end of the day before my battery dies, especially as on some weekends I may be working out in the sticks somewhere and would rather not say to a customer “Please may I plug my phone into your socket”. A little cheeky in my book.

This chargers case is pretty tough and resilient if a little hollow sounding when you tap it, the power button is positive and gives good feedback, it’s a simple press and hold (approximately 1.5 s) and away you go charging whatever you have plugged into it. A great feature of this charger is it will charge two devices at once which is a big plus if I have to travel away from home on occasions.

All the USB’s and LED’s are clearly marked in white fonts and the print is understandable unlike some devices where it can be too badly printed leaving you wondering what they say. The size and shape make it a little bulky for say, your jeans pocket but for the most in general I don’t find it too big and weight is a little on the heavy side but these are nothing but paltry niggles, as the benefits far outweigh them.

A nice plus point to this charger over some others on the market is the addition of a cloth bag to keep it in when not in use, as this helps keep dust, pocket lint and other such detritus out of the ports.

In daily use I found that when a USB cable is plugged in it automatically wakes the device up, so this piqued my interest so leaving the unused cord attached I turned the device off (long hold on the power), then connected my iPhone 5 which to my surprise did not reawaken the device. This in no way has affected my use I just find that odd.

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Using this device as a daily charger was my way forward in testing, so casting my usual chargers aside, from a full charge it was all I used to see what I could get from it and I have to admit I have not been disappointed.

Upon my first charge that I believed was full but found later it wasn’t I managed to get almost two full charges on my iPhone 5 (which I felt was faster than from the mains) and also a nearly full (from 17%) charge to an iPad 2. Certainly not to be sniffed at.

I recharged the unit over night this time from the mains using one of my iOS device chargers. Charge time is fairly long from empty so make sure you allow plenty of time, I recommend over night. So further along the line subsequent charges have returned awesome results like a full iPad from empty and two and a half iPhone 5’s from empty all on one charge. Charging the iPhone 5 also is much quicker than charging it from the mains so out and about you could just stop for a snack and top your mobile up just enough to see you through to the evening.

So the good points are many, and the only points I could pick at would be that I’d prefer a metal case but then that would offset the extremely good value for money. You can find the link at the bottom of the page to get one from Amazon.

To round up this post I would like to thank Newtrent for sending me this product out for review, and say to all those out there who have considered (but not bought) a power pack then do it. I have no qualms in saying that this is probably one of the most useful add ons you could get for your devices whether a phone, a tablet or a sports cam, if it can charge from a USB then it should charge from one of these.

Check out the video below.

And here's the Amazon link for the product. IMP120D

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