Whenever I travel for business or pleasure, I usually dread packing my chargers and cables because I have so many of them. I've actually considered packing a separate suitcase with nothing but recharging and sync cables, AC adapters, USB hubs, and extension cords. Fortunately, accessory manufacturer AViiQ has just come out with a way for me to keep everything organized and charged up -- the AViiQ Portable Charging Station (US$79.99).
Let's say you're going on a trip and need to keep two iPads and two iPhones fully charged and ready to go. In the past, you'd grab your four AC adapters and four cables, then try to stash them in computer bag. The cables invariably get tangled up, and if you don't use the correct AC adapter with the iPads, they won't get charged.
Enter the AViiQ Portable Charging Station. It's one compact zippered bag with an AC power pack and USB 2.0 hub. Unfold the US power plug on the power adapter and plug it into an AC outlet, and you can send enough power through a thin, wind-up DC cord to four USB 2.0 ports to charge those two iPads and two iPhones. If you decide that you need to do a little bit of syncing to a Mac or PC, there's also a retractable USB cord and one of the USB ports is set up for USB pass-through.
How did the AViiQ Portable Charging Station work in reality? Very nicely.
As you can see in the gallery below, the pack had no problems charging up two iPads, an iPhone (in a Mophie Juice Pack Air battery case), and a set of IPEVO Bluetooth speakers all at the same time. When charging was finished, I rolled up the power cable, put the AC adapter back into the little black bag, and tucked the assorted USB cables into the spots that AViiQ thoughtfully provided for them. There's room for even more cables in the case, as well as a handy hint card for any questions you might have about the Charging Station.
Updated: Somehow I left the power info out of the initial post. The product information notes that the Charging Station delivers 15 W maximum power. (5 Volts DC at a maximum of 3 Amps current). If an iPad is turned on and being charged, it can draw 1.5 Amps of current, so you would theoretically be able to use two and charge iPads simultaneously -- but nothing else. I was able to charge both iPads, the iPhone, and speakers, which makes me wonder if the devices were all being charged at a slower pace.
The hub also worked as advertised. I plugged the included USB cord into my MacBook Air and a USB - Dock Connector cable between the Data Port and my iPad, and life was good. Not that I plan on syncing my iPad to anything while I'm on vacation, but business travelers definitely have a need for that capability.
If you do any traveling or just happen to be a person who likes to be organized, grab an AViiQ Portable Charging Station now. Just by keeping all of your charging cables and a powerful AC adapter in one place, it can keep you from going into a cable and AC adapter frenzy while packing. It's another well-designed product from AViiQ.
For views of the Portable Charging Station in action, be sure to check out the video below.