One thing I learned during my recent travels is that you can never have enough juice for your mobile gadgets. For example, if you're relying on your smartphone for GPS navigation in an unfamiliar city, you don't need the added stress of a low or dead battery.
Solution: pack a power pack. Like this one: Tumbletrade.com has a 12,000mAh mobile battery pack for $19.99, shipped. It includes everything you need to charge virtually any mobile device -- tablets included.
Update: Sorry, folks, this sold out almost immediately after I posted. When I ordered, five colors were available. Then, suddenly, everything was gone. Not sure what to make of that, but I'll have to wait and see what happens before sharing another Tumbletrade deal.
Before I go any further, a caveat: This is my first encounter with Tumbletrade, a deal site that admirably contributes 20 percent of all revenue to various nonprofit organizations. Over at ResellerRatings, the outfit has just six user reviews -- all of them at least a year old, but all of them very positive.
The other flag (not necessarily a red one) is that there's no brand listed for this product. Judging from the photo, it's an Anker Astro2, but with a higher-capacity battery. That would be a good thing, because the 8,400mAh version sells for $35.99 at Amazon and has 400-plus glowing user reviews.
Update No. 2: According to an Anker rep, this is not an Anker product -- at least based on the reported specs (i.e. they have no model with a 12,000mAh battery). If and when my order arrives, I'll try to verify further just what it is.
The unit features two USB outputs -- 1A and 2A, the latter sufficient to charge an iPad or other tablet -- and various charging cables/tips: Apple 30-pin, miniUSB, microUSB, etc. And with that massive battery, it should be able to fully charge a phone multiple times before needing recharging itself.
Also of interest, the unit is available in your choice of six colors (not including black, which is sold out). All other Anker products appear to be black only -- and I haven't found a single one with a 12,000mAh battery. My guess is that this was a special production run that never made it to traditional retail channels.
In any case, I'm in for one. Twenty bucks is a small gamble for such a big mobile battery, something I definitely could have used on my trip. Do note that Tumbletrade says to "allow 7-10 days for product to ship," meaning it might take two to three weeks to actually arrive -- same as with many other daily-deal sites.
Bonus deal: Game time! If you're too cheap to pay 99 cents for Angry Birds Space, now you don't have to: It's currently free for iPhone and iPod Touch. Even better, the iPad HD version is free as well, and it normally costs $2.99. If by some chance you've never tried it, it's a surprisingly good twist on the old Angry Birds format.
Bonus deal No. 2: The latest Apple iPod Nano seems like it occupies a weird place in the world -- it's more than a Shuffle, less than a Touch -- but it's still a pretty cool activity-oriented music player. And right now, Walmart has refurbished 7th-generation iPod Nanos (16GB) for $89.99, plus sales tax and $3.97 for shipping. They come in your choice of colors (though a couple are already sold out) and sell new for $149. The only wrinkle: What's the warranty? Walmart's site doesn't say. Most likely it's 90 days.
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