A few months ago, I reviewed the Powerbag Business Class backpack, which featured an integrated battery with cords that can charge nearly all of my portable electronics. The bag is great for travel, when I know I will have all of my necessary toys with me and the backpack will be will me as well. But what about those times when you don’t want to lug the backpack around? Bringing a backpack to an all-day business meeting doesn’t convey the same image as a nice briefcase with my suit. Luckily, the creators of the Powerbag have a solution: the myCharge device.
The myCharge is a small battery with several integrated cords that functions the same as the Powerbag but is able to slip into anything from the nice leather briefcase to a purse. The unit can be plugged into a wall outlet for fast recharge (about four hours) or connected to a laptop USB port for a slower charge.
When connected to the computer, any iPhone or iPod device is allowed access to the computer to sync iTunes through the included Apple connector. The unit also features a microUSB connector for compatibility with most phones and a USB socket for those devices with a custom USB cable. Up to three devices can be charged at the same time (Apple, microUSB, USB). The myCharge will give priority to the Apple connector first, then the microUSB, so be careful if you are charging both an iPod and a phone at the same time – you may not have enough battery charge to get your phone fully charged.
When the unit is plugged into a wall outlet, the default setting is for the unit to verbally speak the system status. This is a cool feature for about 10 seconds, then it gets to be annoying to hear, “Power disconnected, unit shutting down” each time you remove it from the wall. It also talks when a phone is plugged in or removed. The noise is especially irritating at night when you want to discreetly unplug something and it wakes up the whole house.
Thankfully, the verbal commands can be easily turned off with a touch of a recessed button. To check on the battery level, a button at the bottom is provided that shows a range of LEDs to indicate the charge level when pressed. If sound is enabled, the voice will approximate the charge level.
After using the myCharge for two weeks, I don’t think I can live without it. It has enough charge to completely recharge my phone from “battery fumes” level to full charge, and has plenty of charge left over just in case I need to use it again. The ability to slip it into a briefcase or purse for on-the-go use is great. I highly recommend the myCharge, especially since it is compatible with so many devices.