I don’t know why ordinary electronics accessories have to be plain ugly. It’s obvious that an iPad car charger will charge my iPad regardless of its looks, but why can’t I enjoy both functionality and design at the same time?
Well iFrogz seem to have read my mind and have gone ahead and created the Luxe Voltz car charger for iPad and other gadgets that can be charged via USB. This charger is so cute that I can’t take my eyes of it. I hope I won’t cause a car accident! The two-tone finish is awesome. One side is dark gray. The other side comes in a range of colors, all with a metallic look and velvety touch that make this car charger a real charm. Be it blue, green, hot pink, orange, red or silver, the Luxe Voltz looks playful yet stylish. It also features a small LED nearby the USB port, which signals whether or not your plugged in device is charging.
Luxe Voltz Car Charger - color range
Priced at just $12.99, the Luxe Voltz USB car charger can also make a great gift for your friends or family. Just be sure they have an iPad, iPod, iPhone or some other media device to use it with.
I love my mobile gadgets because I can enjoy them wherever I go. Be it on the beach or on the top of the mountains, it feels good to know that I can connect with my friends on Twitter or Facebook, or that I can read and answer my emails. Well, I can enjoy all these as long as the batteries last, which sometimes is not quite as long as I’d wish. I know carrying a replacement battery is one solution, but that’s far from ideal. Spare batteries are usually expensive and besides, I don’t want to carry a bag full of heavy batteries with me all the time.
When I bought my iPad screen protector, the InvisibleSHIELD from ZAGG, I discovered another interesting item on their website: the ZAGGsparq 2.0, a portable battery and a charger that appeared to be the perfect answer to my portable power concerns.
Delivering 6000 mAh battery power, the ZAGGsparq 2.0 is not only fully compatible with the iPad, but also charges it at the same rate as the standard wall charger. Charging is done via a USB cable and the ZAGGsparq features two USB ports, so you can charge two devices at the same time. This portable battery is suitable for any personal gadget that can be powered via USB, provided it supports being charged by an external battery backup.
Here’s the complete technical specifications list:
Battery power: 6000 mAh Lithium Polymer (this is enough to charge an iPhone up to four times)
Maximum output: 2000 mA @ 5V
Power source: 100-240 V AC @ 50/60 Hz
Dual USB outlets
LED display with four lights, indicating the charging level
Size: 3.5” x 3.5” x 1”
Weight: 0.54 lbs
ZAGGsparq 2.0 - Portable iPad Charger
Thanks to its compact size, to its foldable prongs and to its nicely rounded edges, ZAGGsparq 2.0 is excellent for travelers because it easily fits in a bag or even your pocket (individual experiences may vary depending on pocket size). Its surface is glossy, therefore it won’t damage the fabric in any way, as friction is very low.
The charger plugs into a standard power outlet, but it can be easily turned into an international device by using appropriate adapters. The European plug standard adapter is included in the pack. For other regions you’ll have to buy it separately, but that’s not a problem, they are easy to find and fairly cheap.
Why is it called 2.0? That’s because it’s ZAGG’s latest model of their portable battery charger, which has just replaced the original ZAGGsparq. The original modal did seem to have a few issues as far as we can work out – a few people reported charging malfunction. However ZAGG investigated the issue, discovered where the problem was and came up with this improved version of the charger. Moreover, they offered a free replacement of the original ZAGGsparq units for all customers who had issues with the Sparq 1. It’s good to hear Zagg cares about and stands by their customers.
If you need a portable battery charger, ZAGGsparq 2.0 is our favorite option right now. And at $99 it’s cheaper than a couple of spare batteries for just one of my gadgets, and a lot lighter!
UPDATE: this item is currently sold out. We are going to let you know when it will become available again.
We never seem to have enough gadgets. There’s always room for the new iPad from Apple, a better iPod or a mobile phone from a newer generation. Conversely, we soon find ourselves overwhelmed with chargers for all those cool devices: an iPad car charger, iPad wall charger, mobile phone car charger, mobile phone wall charger, USB charger, the “you name it, I’ve got it” charger, and so on. We sure do need a lot of drawers to keep all these organized.
The car and home 2 in 1 combo iPad charger helps to save a lot of space because it combines one rapid car charger and one rapid wall charger together into a compact design based on the Gomadics TipExchange technology. This means with Gomadic’s interchangeable tips you can potentially use this charger with all your devices.
The charger supports AC voltages between 100V and 240V, at frequencies ranging 50-60 HZ, thus matching most countries’ power supply standards. This is great boon for international travelers.
Gomadic Charger Plug Heads
The supported DC voltage range is 12V – 24V, therefore the charger can be used with any standard car cigarette lighter outlet. The output current of 1000 mAh allows for a very rapid charge, which is excellent, as one doesn’t have to wait ages to have their iPad ready to go.
Some may fear rapid charging may harm their device, but with this combo iPad charger you don’t have to worry, because it incorporates an advanced internal circuitry especially dsigned to protect against power surges, short-circuits or overcharging.
The cable length is only 41 inches, which is rather short in our opinion. However, extension cords are easy to find and inexpensive, so we don’t see this as a major inconvenience. Besides, when using it as a car charger, it could even be better to have a shorter cable, so it doesn’t interfere with your driving.
The conversion from car charger to wall charger is easily done by unfolding the two AC outlet power pins located on the compact base of the device. Thanks to the Gomadic TipExchange, this combo charger can be used for virtually any electric device that needs to be charged. All you need is a suitable tip for each device. The standard charger comes with the iPad tip, so you’ll have to order other tips separately if you intend to use it with your other gadgets.
The Gomadic Car and Home Combo iPad charger is available on Amazon for the price of $27.95.
USB chargers are cool because they allow you to charge your electronic devices by simply connecting then to your computer. What if your computer is not around and you need to charge your iPad or your iPhone, or worse, you have to charge them both? Or what if your computer doesn’t have a USB plug you can spare for a few hours to charge your iPad? It’s no big deal, you can always use the wall charging cables, provided that you have them with you at the time.
I thought how nice it would have been to find a way to use the USB charging cables for both computer and wall charging. I found this solution which is as cool as one can get, because it’s simple, small and effective: the Macally Dual USB Charger for iPad and iPhone. If you get this, all you need is a power outlet and the two USB cables for your devices. The dual USB charger supplies 10 Watts of power. It has a slim, compact design and it’s easy to store when not in use, thanks to a swivel power plug which folds into a special opening on the charger’s body.
The Macally Dual USB iPhone and iPad Charger is available on Amazon for about $20. We consider it to be a good addition to the iPad accessories collection for people who enjoy traveling but hate carrying lots of cables with them.