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Most Versatile Emergency Charger Available, BUT . . .
on August 31, 2009
OK, here's the real deal. The IGO device does what it says it will do. It will provide a charge to your exhausted battery operated devices when you don't otherwise have access to an electric power source. How much of a charge you get will get will depend on your individual device and the type of batteries you use in the IGO itself.
Using the provided set of batteries, 2 AA Duracell standard Alkalines, I was able to get a 50% charge into my nearly depleted Kindle 2 battery. Using a fresh set of copper tops from my local drug store, again standard Alkalines, I pushed a 50% charge into my Blackberry phone. A set of Energizer Advanced Lithium batteries took my Blackberry from totally dead to 75% charged. Total transfer time in each case was about 3 hours. A longer lasting battery in the IGO would presumably provide more power, but do not look for 6 to 10 charges from a single set of batteries as one reviewer suggested, 'cause it ain't 'gonna happen.
One thing that most reviewers here have mentioned is the poorly designed battery access on the IGO. Those reviewers are right. It is difficult to open at first, and is easy to break afterwards. The engineer who dreamed this up was nuts. He needs to be hung up by his wrists for a week, while the manufacturer redesigns this part of the product to be something more conventional.
To compensate for this, the IGO is designed to be used with interchangable power tips that will accomodate practically every MP3 player, cellphone, ebook reader, and other portable gadget out there, making it the most versatile charger on the market. You will need to buy the tips you need separately, however; after all, the manufacturer can not know in advance which tips you require, and it would be unreasonable to expect the manufacturer to provide you with several hundred power tips for equipment that you don't even own. It would, of course, be best to determine which power tips you need prior to purchasing the IGO charger. Buy them together; get them together.
The down side is that it is not easy to determine which power tips you will need, short of going to the vendor's web site ([...]). They don't even provide a list of available power tips when you buy the IGO charger. I can tell you that the A32 tip will charge a Blackberry 8330 phone, and several other (but not all) Blackberry phones. I can also tell you that the A97 tip will charge a Kindle 2.
The charger and an appropriate tip is all you will need to boost your play/talk/listen/read time; however, I recommend that you buy the optional splitter cable to keep the weight of the charger off of the USB port on your device. The charger will work without it, but you run the risk of damaging your equipment. The manufacturer probably should have included this extension device with the product, but the price would then not have been competitive with other devices; and integrating it directly into the charger itself would not help with the marketing. Afterall, who wants to look at a pigtail hanging off of a charger when no one else's picture has it.
So we come to it at last. If you use your devices a lot, whether at the office or on some means of public transportation, and find yourself discharging your devices when power outlets are not handly, or your charging cables are at home, I think you will find this charger to be just what the doctor ordered. This one device will work with all your toys.