I picked up a lot of useless press only items at the Digital! Experience event prior to CES 2011 in Las Vegas ranging from too small THX hats to stuffed Tivo guys. But one item I picked up actually helped me more than any other in getting through CES. It helped keep me sane. It helped me function. It helped me find In-N-Out Burger. Enter the Case-Mate Fuel Cell.
Being my normal dopey self, I of course forgot to bring an iPod cable to Las Vegas with me and had no way of charging my iPod Touch. I couldn't use google voice or check google maps or even go on Facebook (gasp!). I felt like I was completely disconnected from the outside world. Sure I was surrounded by the definition of civilization in the middle of the desert, but I had no connection back to the east coast anymore without my iPod. But then I attended the Digital! Experience event.
Despite seeing Kevin Pereira and Morgan Webb (looks like a zombie) in person there, it just seemed like my entire experience would be completely useless. Sure iPhone 4 cases and plush Mario robots are awesome but still ultimately not at all useful to me practically. Then I stumbled upon the Case-Mate booth in my last go around and to my surprise they were giving away Fuel Cells, that retail for $39.99 for free…if you could land on it on their prize wheel or risk winning another iPhone case or mints. Yes mints.
Luckily after a tension building spin and buildup, I landed on the Fuel Cell and finally had my answer to my iPod charging problems. This is the most versatile iPod charger I've ever had. It can do even more than would seem.
You can disconnect the Apple IPod/iPhone cable that comes with the device and plug in any kind of USB device ranging from PS3 controllers to cameras to speakers. It may seem to be just an iPod charger at first but actually allows you to plug any of your USB devices directly into the wall after you disconnect the Apple cable. This was especially helpful since my iPod Touch can't use my Firewire wall charger that came with my iPod Mini so it'll even help once I get home from CES.
The other great feature of the gadget is that you can just plug it into the wall with the power off, not charging anything, and then carry it around with you to power up your devices as they're fading on the go. My iPod was dying many a day in the middle of CES but the Fuel Cell helped me keep communicating and going online despite the iPod battery's limitations. Right when it seemed like I was at the end of my rope, I'd just plug in the Fuel Cell and be back to full power. It saved me more than once.
The only problem is that it takes an inordinate and inconvenient amount of time to get to this point where you can carry it around. You have to leave it plugged in the wall for a very long time to get it to maximum power and it can't be charging anything or that will further impede its progress. I charged it in McCarran Airport before flying out for half an hour and still it had hardly any life in it. Essentially you have to leave it plugged in all night for it to give you that power the next day. As long as you're responsible and remember it'll be okay, but if you forget and try to plug it into an outlet or computer during your outing, be prepared to stand there for a loooong time waiting for it.
However, besides the long waiting time to charge, this devide due to its versatility and power once it is charged, make it the most complete charger I own and I fully recommend it to everyone out there. This charger will save you and make your life that much more convenient.