Ultimate-Netbook, a big accessory retailer based in Europe, has just announced a 10% discount code (Psst Use the offer code WEBultra mobile PC to get the discount) for our readers so now would probably be the best time to tell you about two Ultimate-Netbook products that I’ve had for a while. A universal power pack and a universal car mount. For anyone into mobile computing, these two products are well worth considering.
u20 Power bank
The first of the two products i’ve tested is now one of my always-with-me accessories and really, if you’re mobile, you’ve got to get one of these. Similar to the Tekkeon Power Bank that I smoked last year, this is the U2o 13200mah Universal External Battery, a 50wh battery pack with 19v input and multiple, switchable voltages on the output. Also included are a range of adaptors and a USB port which allows you to attach a range of USB-charging devices. I’ve even added a secondary set of adaptors to my kit and it covers almost every device I’ve got that runs on 9v or above. I’ve been testing a sample of the U20 since late last year.
U20 universal power bank. Click to enlarge.
Charging the device is simple. Just use a standard 19v adaptor. (This is not supplied. I use the adaptor that cam with my Medion Akoya / MSI Wind) and leave to charge. The 4-stage indicator lights tell you when it’s charge. To use, select the correct voltage and then connect the device using one (or a combination) of the adaptors. Press the button on the device to turn the unit on. The indicator lamps show you how much charge is left (press the button when you want to see the remaining charge.)
There are a number of reasons I find this a excellent product:
- One battery, multiple device. No messing around buying expensive batteries for every device.
- Charge in serial. If you’ve got extra batteries and you haven’t got an external charger, you’ll know about the problems of preparing both batteries for a day out. It requires two charging sessions and more often than not, it means swapping that batteries at an awkward time of the day. The U20 can be plugged in and be charging, while also acting as the charger for your device.
- Leave multiple DC adaptors at home. The U20 requires one 19v DC adaptor (not supplied)
- Charge devices in your bag. Phones, UMPCs. I’ve tested this out on a number of occasions. Be aware of airflow requirements for some devices.
- Value for money. This is cheaper than many dedicated solutions.
- Tested with Medion Akoya, Gigabyte Touchnote, Fujitsu Loox (additional adaptor) Samsung UMPCs.
Some points to note:
- 5V output limited to 500ma. This won’t run UMPCs or netbooks that require a 5V input but can be used for mobile phones and other devices that can charge over USB.
- No simultaneous USB / DC output. Get round this problem by charging your USB device from the device you are charging. (Only works with some devices in standby where USB power is still available.)
- Additional loss. Running a device from a power-bank is not as efficient as running a device from the internal battery due to the additional DC-DC electronics. You’ll also lose energy if the PC is charging AND running at the same time. (estimated 10-20%)
- The device only turns on when a load is attached. Low-low devices are not detected. My mobile phone, for example, doesn’t charge over the USB on the device I have. (note that I have a sample. Other people have had success with charging mobile phones.)
- No 9V output
- I don’t have the USB adaptor set with this sample. See this 4Win review for images of the retail packaging.
- 50wh will power the average netbook for about 4 hours while in-use but only about half of that if it is also charging the devices battery at the same time.
- The most efficient way to use the power pack is to remove the device battery or to use the power bank when the device battery is already fully charged. Beware, if you remove the battery and accidentally pull the cable out, the device turns off!
- Output voltage:DC 5V/12V/16V/19V
- Product size:180x84x23.5mm
- Product weight:430g
- Price: 89.59 Euro (Don’t forget the 10% offer which brings it down to 80.63 Euro)
Click through to the next page to see the Universal Car Mount.
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