Powering your devices while on the go — Morphie Powerstation review

Earlier this year, I attended SXSWi (South by SouthWest interactive) and immersed myself in social media, gamification, and technology. Oh yeah, there was the odd party or two 😉

Being that this was my first time in Austin, I relied heavily on my technology to keep me on schedule and help me navigate this unfamiliar city. Using 4G was a treat, the best I get back home in Edmonton is 3G. But boy, does navigation really suck up the bandwidth. And power!

Yet, in order to be effective at that crazy SXSWi you have to be at all the events all over the convention core. And the tech is on *all the time*.

Which meant that while I was mobile, I was using up my iPhone’s battery faster than I normally do.

Luckily for me, I’d taken the excellent advice of Liz Strauss and picked up a Morphie Juice box — basically just a very smart, fast charging battery box that’s pretty much the same size and shape as an iPhone 4.

And it works, as advertised. Kept me mobile and my devices in use — I wasn’t tethered to a wall outlet for significant periods of time — as many other seemed to be.

Initially charging the 400mAh battery pack took around four hours, using my iPhone charger adapter and an included mini-USB cord. The Powerstation doesn’t come with it’s own wall adapter; use your own.

Then, it’s basically pack and forget it, until you need to juice up your iOS device (yep, it’ll power an iPad too, but it won’t give you a full charge).

I didn’t test it on other devices, but anything with a USB charging system could likely be powered. PCMag.com offers the following detail on that:

With its 4000mAh battery, the Powerstation helped a Droid RAZR get 5 hours, 13 minutes more of solid LTE streaming, and let an iPad 1 watch video for 4 hours, 16 minutes more than before.

Overall I like it. Small, does what it advertises, and (as long as I remember to charge it) is ready to power and charge my iOS devices when I’m out and about, and running low. A good $70 investment.

Indoor or out, the Soulra shines!

Over the last few weeks I’ve been listening to my iPod Touch tunes with a ruggedized solar-powered sound system — the Soulra. And this could be one solution to a problem I’ve had for a while now; how to take my music outside with me  and not have to wear ear-buds or headphones to enjoy it.

We like to camp, so portability and rugged construction are important in the things we bring with us. This, and one key feature of the Soulra really caught my attention — the large solar panel on the device.

Essentially, the Soulra looks and acts like any portable sound system docking station. You plug your iPod/iPod Touch/iPhone into the dock and it plays music. But there’s much more to it than that:

Solar Energy
Solar powered charging dock, compatible with iPod and iPhone. This is cool, especially when you’re camping or away from an AC outlet. The solar cell will keep the Soulra’s batteries charged as well as your iDevice.
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