We live in a mobile society obviously, everywhere you’ll see people with their mobile devices, be them phones, MP3 players or laptops, we’re connected no matter where we are. One problem with these portable devices is power, batteries are lasting longer and longer but they honestly don’t last as long as we need them to. Finding power for our devices can be tricky at times depending where we are, and if we’ve brought the right adapters with us. making sure we have power for all of the devices we have can be expensive and can lead to us carrying several adapters with us, or buying additional ones. I can’t count how many times I’ve forgotten to charge one of my devices, I do it all of the time and I’m sure you’ve done it yourself, luckily I’ve got an adapter that I leave in my car for my phone, so that’s not a big deal, but many times I’ve grabbed my Zune to take with me and found the battery dead because I forgot to charge it. A while back I took a look at the Ecosol Powerstick USB charger, while it wasn’t a bad device, it didn’t offer that much power and wasn’t quite compatible with all of the devices out there.
Today for review I’ve got the Callpod Fueltank, it’s a great portable charging solution that offers a lot of power for your devices while you’re on the go. Using an adapter system it’s compatible with most every device on the market, and it offers dual charging ports as well so you can charge two devices at the same time. In my time with it I’ve found that it works very well, and that it can provide power to many devices on just a single charge of its battery.
Callpod was nice enough to send me the Fueltank along with three additional adapters for my Zune, Jawbone2 and iPod. The adapters for the Fueltank cost $9.95 each, but with the Fueltank comes a coupon for one free adapter as well. Included with the Fueltank though is a standard mini-USB adapter that will be able to fit quite a few devices out there.
The Fueltank comes in a nice package, you can see it right through the front window, and on the back of the box we have specs and features listed as you might expect:
Unpacking everything we find the Fueltank itself along with user manual, voucher for free adapter, AC adapter, mini-USB cable and even a carrying case. The carrying case is nice, it’s made of a thick nylon with a zipper closure and inside you’ll find two sections, a large one for the Fueltank and a smaller one for your adapters.
The Fueltank is solidly made, and it’s lightweight. It’s silver in color, and across the middle is a dark colored band, beneath that band is a series of colored LEDs that let you know the charge status of the battery when the button is pushed.
On the right side you’ll find a single port and a button. The port is for the AC adapter to charge the Fueltank and the button is for checking the status of the battery, just push it in and the LEDs with light up. On the left side you’ll find two more ports, these are the actual charging ports where the adapters fit into.
Fueltank can simultaneously charge two small electronic devices without the use of an outlet. It contains a rechargeable lithium ion battery which has more than 7 times the capacity of a standard mobile phone. The Fueltank utilizes device-specific adapters – the same ones used for Chargepod- so you can customize your Fueltank to meet the exact needs of you and your family. Proprietary voltage regulator technology senses the amount of power required to charge your devices. LED fuel capacity indicators display when charging indicator button is pressed.
* Rechargeable power for two devices simultaneously
* Indicator lights display battery capacity level
* Charge your devices multiple times without refueling
* Weighs less than 8 ounces and is perfect for traveling
* Works with thousands of mobile devices such as iPods, cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, PDAs, digital cameras, navigation units, mp3 players, digital readers and portable gaming systems
* Uses the same device adapters as Chargepod
* Fueltank base unit
* AC/DC Wall Plug
* Mini-USB adapter (MUSB-0001)
* Carrying pouch
* Voucher for 1 FREE adapter redeemable at Callpod.com
Not for use with notebook computers or other large electronic devices
Using the Fueltank is very easy, first of course you’ll need to charge it, this is done by using the AC adapter. It takes a couple hours for the Fueltank to become fully charged. On the charge port is a green LED that indicates it’s being charge and this will go out once the Fueltank is full.
As I mentioned, just tapping the battery button will allow you to see the status of the Fuetank batteries, there are a series of LEDs that will light up, red, yellow and green.
My phone is an AT&T Tilt so no special adapter was needed, just the included mini-USB adapter. I also used it to charge my Zune, iPod nano 4th and my Jawbone2. On the charge ports are also blue LEDs to let you know it’s hooked up and charging your devices.
I have to say that I am truly impressed by the Fueltank and the amount of power it can provide on just a single charge. I’ve charged it once and I’ve charged my phone twice, my Zune once, iPod once and my Jawbone2 once as well, in fact as I write this I’m charging my phone again. After all of that charging, the Fueltank still doesn’t need charged just yet, but it’s close. When fully charged you’ll see several LEDs, one red, one orange, one yellow and three green ones. After all of that charging, right now I’ve got a yellow LED, to be fair though my phone wasn’t fully drained each time I’ve charged it, just one time, and my Jawbone2 wasn’t dead either, but the Zune was and the iPod was. So basically so far I’ve charged three devices that were basically dead, and two other devices that weren’t dead but needed charged.
The time to charge your devices varies of course on the device, but it’s surprisingly fast, almost as fast as using the AC adapter. With the Zune and the Ipod they’re normally charged via my computer’s USB port, so the time to charge them via the Fueltank is essentially the same. I normally charge my phone and Jawbone2 with their AC Adapters, so using the Fueltank was a bit slower to charge them but not much really.
Overall the Fueltank is an excellent choice to provide power to your devices while you’re on the go, but I do have one small complaint, you must charge it with an AC adapter, it cannot be charged with your computer. The Ecosol Powerstick I reviewed earlier could be and that was something that I liked about it, but to be fair, the battery on the Fueltank lasts quite a long time and you won’t really need to be charging it on the go as often as you would the Powerstick. You can buy a car adapter for the Fueltank if you wish, but honestly I don’t see a need for one because the battery last quite a while and you can get several charges from it.
I know some people might also complain about the fact that you’ve got to buy additional adapters for the Fueltank, but it comes with the very popular mini-USB adapter and they give you a voucher for a free adapter, so basically you’re getting two adapters for free for your devices. The mini-USB is compatible with a lot of devices out there today, and depending what you have it’s quite possible you won’t need more than the two free adapters for use with the Fueltank. Of course you may have more devices than that, and you’ll incur additional expense with more adapters, but I think it’s worth it really, and the adapters are compatible with other Callpod devices like their Chargepod.
The Callpod Fueltank won the 2009 CES Innovation Award and I can see why, this thing is great, I honestly really like it, it will be travelling with me wherever I go. You can just toss it and the adapters into the included carrying pouch, then toss that in your purse or laptop bag and you’re set with power enough to keep your devices charged, and charge them several times on a single charge. Again, I am totally surprised by just how much power the Fueltank can provide and how many things I’ve provided power to on a single charge.
The Callpod Fueltank is what a portable charger should be, it’s nicely made and it can provide a lot of power for multiple devices on a single charge of its batteries.
The Fueltank is the best I’ve seen in terms of portable power, and I’ve taken a look at a few of them in my time, the Fueltank is the only one you’ll ever need to keep your devices charged. I am truly and honestly impressed with this little device, it really exceeded my expectations in what it could do.
+Small and portable
+Compatible with most every mobile type device
+Lots of power available on a single charge
+Holds charge for long time
+Charge two devices at once
+Charge time takes close to normal
+Very easy to use
-Limited to AC Adapter charging
-Adapters can add up in price