When I travel I end up taking several devices with me since battery life may not last the entire trip. It poses a few problems such as having to take multiple bulky cables and sometimes multiple chargers. Also I end up having to sync multiple devices with the same media. The multiple device solution works well, but not everyone has the luxury of owning multiple MP3 players or PMPs.
Perhaps the easier solution would be to use an external battery. Enter the Callpod FuleTank. This on the go battery solution will allow you to charge two devices simultaneously and is good for 5-10 charges depending on the device.
Inside the box
The FuleTank comes with the base unit, AC wall adapter (standard mini USB), mini USB adapter, carrying pouch, and a voucher for and additional free adapter.
Charging up the FuleTank from the wall is pretty fast, around 2.5 hours. One of the nice features of the base unit is that you can check on how much power is left with the press of a button. LED lights in the center of the unit will indicate the remaining capacity.
As far as performance it works just as advertised. One of the devices I was using this on was the Sansa Clip. I ended up recharging it 5 times and more than half the juice was left on the FuleTank as per the LED indicators. The battery inside the FuleTank is rated at 4300 mA/hr so if you want to get an estimate on how many times you can charge you particular player divide the rating of the player by 4300. So for instance if the player has a battery rating of 800 mA/hr you will be able to charge it roughly 5 times.
I am definitely happy with the FuleTank and have found it to be very useful; however, there are a few issues to be aware of. The one minor annoyance is that if you leave the adapters plugged into the unit the blue LED will remain on and eventually drain the battery.
The other thing is that they used odd/proprietary (?) plugs for the adapters so you are required to purchase their adapters for $10 a pop. It would have been much more consumer friendly if they would have simply added two standard USB ports for you to plug in the cable that came with your player or device. Spending $10 on a 3” adapter that only works in the FuleTank (and their other charging solution, the ChargePod) kind of hurts. I would however be happy to give CallPod my $10 for a 3” device specific standard USB adapter I could use for the FuleTank and as a transfer cable. Heck I would buy these from them even if I didn’t have a FuleTank. Though the work around I used was to simply get two standard FuleTank USB adapters so that I could plug in any device.