Review: Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger

Power up or charge most devices with USB Charger (January 25th, 2007)

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Product Manufacturer: Proporta.com Ltd

Price: $44.95 or $74.95 Bundle

The Good

  • Elegant stylized design. Smaller than iPod photo. Simple and convenient to use. Capacity to charge 2 devices before recharging. Car and AC adapters available in Travel Bundle. Compatible with most mobile devices.

The Bad

  • No carrying case. Tips not marked. No strength indicator.

It is impossible to find convenient power while on the go; on vacation, at work, the gym, in class, or wherever our busy lives take us. The Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger solves this problem with a small, elegant, convenient charger for our iPods and MP3 players, cell phones, PDAs, and other mobile devices (excluding the Microsoft Zune). It even has enough capacity to charge 2-3 devices before it needs a charge.

Small and Adaptable

The Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger is a little smaller than the latest video iPod (100 x 62 x 15mm or 3.9 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches), weighs about as much as a 2nd generation iPod Nano (120g or 4.2 oz), and resembles a white iPod. Any standard powered USB port on your computer can charge the Mobile Device Charger. An optional car and world AC power adapters, charge it from any car cigarette lighter and most common power outlets, too.

The USB Mobile Device Charger charges and powers devices through a standard USB port, so any USB-powered or charged device can be powered or charged directly from the Charger. This means that this Charger recharges handheld devices, but it also powers them up to three times longer than the original battery, depending on device. This is convenient when you need long stretches of uninterrupted power.

Tips for Most Devices

The Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger comes bundled with a retractable cable and five connector heads to charge Sony-Ericsson and Nokia cell phones, mini-USB devices, and iPods. These five tips cover a large portion of the mobile device market. For mobile devices not compatible with one of the bundled tips, the appropriate tip may be purchased from the Proporta web site. Check the site for an updated list of supported devices.

Missing Pieces

Unfortunately, the Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger is not as portable as it is mobile. Though small and lightweight, there are seven parts to this package, charger, retractable cable, and five tips, which are hard to keep together. Add a few more tips and the cigarette lighter/world AC adapter kit, and it is more than a handful. A case or pouch to keep these items together in a single place should have been included. Also, the tips are not marked in any way, which makes it difficult to select from among similar tips. One tip for Nokia phones has connections on either end that are similar in size but only work when plugged into the Charger correctly. It was also a mystery when we charged several devices as to how much charge remained in the Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger, so a strength indicator on the Charger would be helpful, too.

Problems Addressed

While testing this product, I discovered that it would not charge the 2nd generation iPod nano with the provided iPod tip. It indicated charging for a second, then stop charging. I brought this to Proporta's attention, and they promptly sent an updated tip that carries a stronger current to charge the new Nano. Proporta also assured us that this updated tip will be provided with the USB Mobile Device Charger in the future. Older iPods, including the Mini and 1st generation Nano, charged perfectly with the original tip.

Keeps you mobile

Despite its shortcomings, the Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger is very useful for our increasingly mobile lives. Everyone has a cell phone and iPod or other MP3 player, and many play handheld games. If your mobile devices run down when they cannot be conveniently recharged, consider the Proporta USB Mobile Device Charger. It will keep you mobile longer.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Mike Swope


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