{09.27.11} Gear

  • A leading electronics accessory maker, Elecom was founded in Japan in 1986.

$49, at
Audio Cube

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USB Charger

We might be considered Apple fanboys. Name any product with an "i-" or "Mac-" prefix and you'll find it around the Valet. offices. But nothing gets more use than my iPhone. I use it constantly—taking notes, recording interviews, email/Twitter/texts and because I'm navigationally challenged,  the maps are a Godsend when I'm on unfamiliar turf. But sadly, it usually ends up running out of juice right when I need it the most. Like when I'm lost, late for an appointment and I can't even call to say I'm running behind. I've nearly come to fisticuffs with people Bogarting the precious few outlets at Starbucks. Sure, there were battery-extending cases, but those were bulky and ugly. There were battery-boosting chargers, but those were slow to charge and only provided a few minutes or power—good in a pinch, but hardly restorative. Elecom's compact, but rugged charger promises to recharge an iPhone to 100% with just four AA batteries. And because it has a USB A Female connector, there's no reason why this couldn't power up my iPad or any other USB charging device.

- Cory Ohlendorf












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