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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sooner or later, it all comes down to power

There are a couple interesting posts out there today about gadgets that can help power your phone or tablet when you're traveling or your home Internet during a power outage. I can't vouch for either of them personally, but I'm definitely intrigued.

The Wirecutter picked Cobra's CPP 300 SP as its best solar battery pack: "It gives you more power, faster charging, and a better-designed chassis than anything else currently available. Thanks to its dual-folding panels that you can angle towards the sun, it charges quickly in bright light and continues to charge late in the day, even under partly cloudy conditions and when obstructed from direct light. It also conveniently has built-in cords for input and output and the ability to charge two devices at once. What’s more, it was the only model equipped with a 2.1-amp port capable of charging high-draw devices like a tablet at full speed. Basically, it had the best design and the most complete feature set."

The APC Back-UPS Connect got noticed by iLounge. You might be familiar with APC's big, bulky, expensive uninterruptible power supplies designed to keep desktop computers or servers up and running when the power goes out. The Back-UPS Connect isn't any of those things — it isn't designed to power your computer, but it isn't big, bulky or expensive, either. The idea here is a $50 accessory that will power your cable (or whatever) modem and wifi router during an outage. After all, your phone, tablet, laptop, etc., already have their own battery power supplies. APC says the Back-UPS Connect will let you keep those on the Internet for 3½ hours during a power outage. "If you want, you could even charge those devices from the UPS," iLounge notes, "although that will definitely drain it faster."

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 2:59pm]


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