Power on the move

Energizer Cup Inverter

For motorists these days, recharging ports are a must in the car. You never know when your mobilephone or your iPod will start to run low on ‘juice’, or you need to recharge your tablet or laptop urgently on the way to a meeting.

While the cigarette lighter socket was originally provided for smokers to light their cigarettes, it is now more often used to provide electricity for the GPS navigation unit or to recharge mobilephones. Over the past 10 years, most new vehicle have had an extra socket dedicated to providing electricity for such purposes and the circuitry is such that it doesn’t stop flowing when the engine is switched off. The cigarette lighter socket is usually inoperative when the engine isn’t running.

Some vehicles also come with USB sockets that can be used for recharging but if your vehicle is one of the older ones without an additional power socket or you need more sockets – including one that can be used for your laptop – then these two products will be just the thing to get.

Targus 200W inverter

Energizer offers what it claims to be the world’s smallest cup inverter that can slot into a cupholder and remain in place securely. The compact unit has 4 USB ports (2.1 amps each) and 1 3-pin socket which is for laptop power blocks. Devices can be connected to all 5 ports and be recharged simultaneously, with up to 180W of power being supplied (360W peak power). To ensure that the unit doesn’t overheat, a fan is installed inside and is claimed to be ultra-silent.

Targus, which is well known for its IT accessories, also has a similar type of product that also sits in the cupholder. It’s taller though but delivers up to 200W of continuous power and up to 400W of peak power.

The AC Automotive 200W power inverter, as it is known, has only one USB port which can provide fast-charging so your device can be fully charged in a short time. There’s also a 3-point socket for laptop power blocks that delivers 230V current. A fan inside the unit draws heat downwards and vents it continuously.

While both products are available in Malaysia, they might not be in every shop so check out the bigger IT stores or order online from the respective companies.

[Chips Yap]