Chargepod lets you be very powerful on the road

[This Review was edited with new device information on 10/20/09. Edits in Italic below]

How often have you sat at a conference table struggling for control of a power strip designed to juice up devices for everyone around you?

There are always too few outlets, too many people and too much embarrassment in monopolizing one of the outlets to charge up your pink iPod Shuffle or first gen iPhone.

Now, callpodĀ® comes to the rescue with a six-sided gadget that lets you play the role of mobile-device charging station.

The budget bundle they sell gives you one adapter, the base station (about the size of a large SLR lens cover), the cord and a carrying pouch. It also includes a voucher for another adapter – pretty genius from a business point of view because you must contact them again to get the free adapter. Stupid from a consumer standpoint because it’s another hurdle.

chargepoddisk

What did I think? A few things…

Way too much plastic was used in the packaging of this device. When I was done snipping the cases of the charge pod and six adapters it looked like my living room was the set of Edward Scissorhands in a plastics factory.

Does it work? Superbly. As long as you choose the right adapters – and this is made easy by their comprehensive site – you can have your iPod, iPhone, cell, Blackberry and two other gadgets juicing up from one outlet.

chargepodscharging

The carrying pouch is a nice touch. Too frequently, I find myself putting cables and accessories into my laptop bag where they sink to the bottom. In this instance, all the pieces are kept together. Nice.

The plug/charger is too bulky. It’s like a clunky videogame plug and the prongs are prone to stick out and eventually rip through the aforementioned carrying case.

When I originally reviewed the Chargepod, the bulky plug made me wonder what the designers were thinking. I heard just yesterday from the manufacturer (10/19/09) that the plug that shipped with my unit was correct in all specs EXCEPT size. Below is a photo of the proper charger that ships with the Chargepod. The smaller plug makes this device even more versatile and useful.

CallPodPlug2

In the photo below is the plug that came with my review unit.

ChargePodPieces

What’s my verdict?

This thing definitely makes the cut. Short of bringing along multiple powerstrips, this is the best way to make everyone around you happy and still allow others to plug their laptops into the provided plugs at conferences and tweetups.

chargepod Value Pack – $39.95 (chargepod base, one adapter and a coupon for another, carrying case and plug)

chargepod Bundle Pack – $79.95 (chargepod base, six adapters, car lighter adapter, carrying case and plug)


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