Review: Energizer ‘energi to go’ USB charging kits

If you travel much at all you know the sick feeling of dread, panic and ennui that swallows your will to live – you’re in the middle of you don’t know where, and your GPS on your phone is rapidly sucking down the last minutes of your battery life. And you still don’t know where you are. But inside your phone, it’s just a battery, right? So it makes sense a battery company comes to the rescue: Energizer’s ‘energi to go’ Portable Charger. Or the Portable Power Travel Kit.

Energizer’s certainly not wasting money with fancy packaging – this is all about low cost and point of sale razzmatazz. The Portable Charger (also called the EnergiStick AP750) comes in a basic blister-pack on cardboard. On the back of this are what Energizer laughingly calls instructions. Basically the charger is a small block 27mmx58mm with a micro-USB (type B) standing off a ‘wraparound’ connector. This gets the unit nicely out the way when you’re charging – or, in the case of my HTC Desire, places it squarely across the display. So check which way around your devices plug is before acquiring this.

It works as expected – plug a USB plug into it to charge the charger (not supplied), and plug into a USB-powered unit to charge the chargee (it has a red/green LED, but the package does not tell you what the lights mean – it appears red for charging the unit, green when charging a device).

Really not a bad idea to keep this little guy in your laptop bag for those flat-battery emergencies.

If you want something more substantial, the Portable Power Travel kit is not only a great Xmas gift idea, but also fairly practical (although the enormous box it comes in makes polar bears cry, and the ‘travel case’ could be a hell of a lot more compact.

But whinging aside, it has an AC adapter that can take 110V to 240V, feeding your device through the supplied USB cable that plugs into a variety of tips for mciro-USB (A and B) and the skinny Nokia tip. If you dig in the documentation, Energizer even promises ‘free tips for life” if you register the product. – replace tips, or get one for an obscure plug type.

The Travel kit also has a portable rechargeable battery (XP2000) to keep for late night flat-phone emergencies.

The mini unit can store up to 750mAh (about 80% of most phones nowadays), the bigger kit’s documentation doesn’t say, but by the heft of it it’s probably an 1Ah or more.

Expect to pay US$49 for the Travel Pack, about US$20 for the EnergiStick.

Who it’s for:
People out on the road a lot who run out of battery frequently

What we like:

  • Very practical, does what it says on the box

What we don’t like:

  • The Portable Charger plug design is great … if your phone’s USB socket is the right way around.

Gear it or Burn it?
Gear it, it’s cheap ‘n’ cheerful, and does what it should.

Roger Hislop


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