PlugBug is a simple, slick-looking solution for those who are loaded with Apple gizmos but short on wall outlets. That’s probably a pretty niche audience, so sticking with standard iOS device power adapters and saving $35 will be the better choice for most folks. But for travelers who regularly find difficulty in charging their iPhones or iPads alongside their MacBooks, this diminutive device could be a godsend.
Few things are as handy as an iPhone battery case—binder clips, Swiss Army knives, and the iPhone itself. But most iPhone battery cases add bulk, and don’t always have juice when you need it most. Third Rail takes a novel approach by keeping the case and battery separate. Your iPhone stays in a sleek, attractive Slim Case that adds practically no bulk at all, just a centimeter or so at the bottom. Flip it over and you’ll see a contact strip of three gold rails—that’s where you’ll snap on the 1.4-ounce, 1250mAh Smart Battery. Micro-USB in and out ports let you charge the battery from a computer or USB power adapter and juice up other gadgets that charge via USB. If you want extra power, you can buy additional Smart Batteries for $59.99 each, and when they all run dry you can stack them on the Slim Case to charge everything up at once.
You may recall that a few months back, Apple brought its legal guns to bear on Sanho: a company much loved by road warriors for their excellent line up of MacBook charging solutions. Apple's beef with the company was that Sanho's Hypermac external batteries utilized Apple's patented MagSafe technology without their permission. As Sanho also offers a number of other Apple-sanctioned peripherals that they feared they could lose the license to manufacture, the company immiediately bowed to Cupertino's order to cease and desist the production of Hypermac external batteries featuring the MagSafe connector that made the product so useful. Fortunately, it appears that Sanho has come through with a solution.
With all of the gadgets invading our homes and workspaces, it’s no surprise that one product category that’s exploding these days are charging systems -- particularly multi-gadget chargers like the ones Idapt is showing off at this year’s CES.
When Apple released a battery charger, it was something of a head-scratcher. After all, we’re used to Apple releasing interesting and innovative products that break new technological ground. But honestly, how much room for innovation is there in the field of rechargeable batteries? While the Battery Charger is hardly the game-changer that the iPad is, if you’ve got a desk full of the latest Apple gear, it actually makes quite a bit of sense to pick up a Battery Charger to support it.