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iGo Green® Products

2 October 2011 Leave a comment

Today’s review will cover three energy-conscious iGo Green™ products by iGo, Inc.  iGo Green technology is used to automatically shut off charging power to a device when it is no longer needed.

IGo Charge Anywhere

 

iGo Green Charge Anywhere ($39.99$49.99)

I first learned about the Charge Anywhere from iGo’s press release about their partnership with Verizon Wireless to supply the Charge Anywhere in Verizon Wireless tores.  I headed over to the nearest Verizon Wireless store and picked up one of these devices with the initial purpose to disassemble it and figure out how it works.  However, I didn’t take it apart, but have been surprised by its usefulness.

The Charge Anywhere doubles as both a wall charger and as a small portable battery.  With two USB ports, it is a great device on a vacation so two devices can be charged from it simultaneously.  With an internal battery (rated at 1800 mAh), the Charge Anywhere is also a great device to keep your mobile phone charged.  I made great use of this on a day trip to be able to keep the family’s mobile phones charged.

Since the Charge Anywhere charges via a standard USB port, it cannot deliver enough power to sufficiently charge up an iPad, which requires 10W of power, versus the 5W of power that USB can deliver.  If the iPad is put to sleep, the Charge Anywhere can slowly charge an iPad, but it probably is not the most recommended method.  One design issue I do not agree with is how the USB ports were placed “backwards”, so if a USB cable is inserted, the USB logo is facing down, instead of up.

Since the Charge Anywhere makes use of iGo Green® technology, it will stop charging a device once it is full — very useful if charging a device overnight.

Power Smart Tower

iGo Green Power Smart Tower ($64.99)

I first saw the Power Smart Tower at the Museum of Science+Industry’s Smart Home on display in the home’s office.  Four of the eight plugs on this surge protector make use of iGo Green® technology which will power down if they are not needed to reduce vampire power by up to 85%.  This is a great thing if one has a laptop plugged in, but it does not need to be on all of the time.  I currently use the Power Smart Tower for my home office to power my laptop, an external monitor, and an external hard drive.

iGo Green Power Smart Wall ($19.99)

The Power Smart Wall is similar to its big brother, the Power Smart Tower.  The Power Smart Wall plugs directly into an outlet and has four outlets, two which make use of iGo Green® technology.  Originally I had a power strip and lamp connected into the iGo Green® ports before I started using a Power Smart Tower.  Now I have a printer plugged in, which works out well, since the printer rarely needs to be turned on, but it can keep draining away power by being plugged in.

One criticism that has been noted by myself and other customers is that once an outlet has been powered down on either the Power Smart Tower or Wall, the Instant On button needs to be pressed on the surge protector to re-enable the outlets.  This can be impractical to “wake up” the outlets if the surge protector has been tucked away in a difficult to reach spot.  However, if this issue can be improved, these surge protectors would be just about perfect, in addition to being a great product for reducing energy waste while protecting your devices from electrical surges.

Categories: iGo

Solar Powered Experiment

20 July 2011 Leave a comment

A week ago, a powerful storm ripped through the area and took out the power (and many trees, as well).  I was fortunate that the power was out for only 12 hours, but some people in the area were without power for up to five days.

During this powerless interval, it put things into perspective how dependent we are upon electricity.  Fortunately, I was not immediately worried about being left with dead cell phones due to having a Solio and an iGo Charge Anywhere on hand.

In light of the past week’s events, I am experimenting if I can go a week by charging my iPhone by using nothing but solar power.  Fortunately, the weather has remained fairly sunny lately, so being able to get a sufficient amount of sunlight to power my mobile phone should work.

Categories: iGo, iPhone, Solar, Solio