Plenty of mobile chargers can juice your gear with no outlet in sight, but most of them require that you plug them in first. The Medis 24/7 Xtreme Portable Power Solution, the first fuel cell charger on the market, generates its own energy. It will bring your phone (or other mobile gadget) back to life in no time, and it's a good investment for business travelers, field workers, and outdoor adventurers. Too bad the refills are so pricey.
At 4.1 x 1.4 x 1.2 inches in size, the 24/7 Xtreme Portable Power Solution is about the size of a fat bar of soap, and weighs 2.6 ounces. Unlike other chargers, this device doesn't require a charge itself. Instead, you simply need to squeeze the one-time-use gadget together after removing a small tab. When compressed, a chemical reaction occurs inside the unit that injects fuel into the chamber, where an electrochemical reaction starts. Next, you have to plug the flat connector of the Xtreme power cable into the PowerPack.
This plug comes with five tips (including micro- and mini-USB), which work with a wide variety of phones, including those made by Nokia and Palm. It also comes with a USB adapter, in case your phone doesn't use one of the provided tips. The 24/7 Xtreme Portable Power Solution also supports MP3 players, GPS devices, Bluetooth headsets, and portable gaming systems. You can also purchase extra tips separately ($4 each) through Medis distributors such asSavenna.com.
During our tests, we were able to charge aBlackBerry Pearlfully in 3 hours and 32 minutes. While that's a little on the long side, we appreciated that the 24/7 Xtreme Portable Power Solution began charging immediately, so that we could place a call quickly. During a second test with aNokia N82, we charged the device fully in just over an hour. We charged the Nokia N82 a second time--using the Power Pack a total of three times--before the pack ran out of power.
Refill fuel cells cost $24.99, and you can mail in your used cells for recycling. The refill units are available fromAmazon.com,FuelCellStore.com, and select Best Buy stores. The refills provide you with a new cartridge, but don't come with additional tips or the connector plug that comes with the starter kit, so you'll want to make sure you hang on to those.
This accessory is a good choice for when your phone or other gadget dies suddenly, far from an outlet. While it's far too expensive to use regularly, the Medis 24/7 Xtreme Portable Power Solution is well worth it for emergencies.