Gadgets :: March 1, 2017

By Gregg Ellman
(@Greggellman)

Just a few years ago portable chargers were a novelty, but these days they are essential when you need immediate power on-the-go.

The Renogy Phoenix takes portable power to whole new levels with a unit capable of charging just about everything needing it, even a TV, lamp or coffee maker.

The key to this compact unit is the solar panels making the 16.24-by-11.95-by-3.94-inch waterproof brief case (12.8-pounds) design a go-to device anytime power is needed. Usages can be vacations, work, relaxing in your own backyard or in an emergency.

A pair of 10-watt solar panels power the 16,000 mAh Li-ion internal battery, which powers a 110-volt AC, 12-volt (cigarette lighter style), a pair of 12-volt DC and 4 USB ports. The internal battery is good for up to 1500 cycles and is replaceable.

Besides getting power from the panels, the Phoenix can be charged with AC or car charging power.

Additional panels can be purchased bring the total to 120-watts for more power and faster charging. Charging can be done from zero up to 113-degrees Fahrenheit (0~45 Celsius).

www.renogy.com $688.99

My first impression of Henge Dock’s Gravitas iPhone/iPad docking station was the weight. So much so, my curiosity had me weigh it before the package was opened; 3.25 pounds.

Out of the box it weighs just 2.5-pounds (3.5-inch diameter) and has really a nice looking design and matching Apple aesthetics with a zinc alloy finish. Using it is pretty simple; put in your iOS device with the right swappable insert.

You get an insert for iPhones (6/6s, 6 Plus/6s Plus, 7/7 Plus) and one for iPads (iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini, iPad Mini with Retina Display and iPad 4th gen).

The “Life After Device” program ensures future Apple lightning devices will be compatible with new inserts made for the Gravitas.

There is a USB port for charging and syncing along with a 3.5mm aux audio port for connecting speakers. The front of the dock has a cleaver groove to access the devices home button while docked.

I had thin cases on both my iPhone 7 and iPad 4th gen, and they fit in the dock. I’m sure there are some that won’t fit but it’s nice so see that many will.

With a sold feel, I know one thing: when my device is docked it will take a lot to knock it over.

www.hengedocks.com $69

So you just got a new laptop and it has a different connection, which you have no idea what it is or what it’s for.

Hopefully you figured out it’s USB-C, which has a ton of potential when connected to the right accessory.

One of those right accessories is the Scosche USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter. The front end has a USB-C connection, while the other (connected with a flexible cord) has three ports. One for HDMI, a standard USB type A port and the third port is a USB-C pass through charging.

The third port is critical since your computer probably charges with the USB-C, so if you hook up other adapters they will work while your computer’s battery runs down. Now you can still keep your computer powered up, charge your smartphone and mirror your computer to an HDMI-enabled TV.

The standard USB type A port can be used for charging, syncing or connecting storage devices such has hard drivers or flash drives.

Data transfer speeds with the adapter have 8GB in 3 minutes 25 seconds.

www.Scosche.com $59.99

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