Summer is the time for getting outdoors and wearing out the batteries in your mobile gear. I've been messing around with two Energizer-branded chargers for the home and car on a recent road trip.
Made by Bright Manufacturing, the cup inverter is billed as the smallest of its kind in the world. It has a compact form that fits easily into a cup holder in your car or boat.
The size of a small mug, it can power up to five devices such as your smartphone, laptop, or camera with four USB ports and one AC outlet, with output at 120V/60Hz. It's also got a silent thermal fan.
It's handy if you need to charge a bunch of gear at a time, for instance on a family road trip. But with the large cigarette lighter cable, it seems rather bulky compared to small dual-USB devices that jack into the socket directly.
I also found the inverter's bright blue LED was a distraction while driving at night.
It comes with battery cables in case you want to pop the hood and draw juice directly from your battery. It's available for $32 on Amazon.
Seen below, the Everything Charging Station, aka Smartphone Charging Station, from Premier Accessory is also convenient enough to consider picking up. It plugs into a wall socket and offers a number of benefits: three surge-protected AC outlets, a smartphone charging port, and two USB ports.
It also has a useful holder for your phone and a nightlight with an on/off switch, perfect for a kitchen or bathroom setting.
I like the holder quite a bit, but the included phone charging cable didn't fit into the jack securely, so that moving the phone on the holder even slightly would interrupt the current.
The charging station is available on Amazon for $39.