While utterly generic, I have a soft spot for 'gadget bags', as I call them. My go-everywhere briefcase has been filled in recent times with a myriad of cables and adapters - and this £17 UGREEN organiser bag arrived for review at exactly the right time. See the photos below - my wires have never been so easy to find and hard to lose!
Recent Reviews - General
Following my look at a folding 120W solar panel and a 12V 65W adapter, it's time for the pièce de résistance - a way of 'caching' charge and dispensing it as needed. Traditionally in the mobile world we'd be looking at a high capacity power bank, and in effect this is the case - except that here we're talking 137,000 mAh (at phone voltages), compare that to the 10,000 mAh of the familiar pocket bank. This is a serious, serious bit of kit and includes a 500W inverter.
You may have gathered from previous reviews that I'm experimenting with a whole new approach to mobile power - and very capable, though with obvious bulk. What I'm trying out spans the worlds of mobile tech, campervans, and emergency home supply. Appropriately, given the current world situation. In this first review part, I'm reviewing at the solar panel system that I chose, in part 2, I'll cover the portable power station.
No, the second appearance of Baseus in these pages has nothing to do with sponsored products or freebies - I bought each with my own money and am renovating my entire home tech power system - more in a feature if Rafe can get (new) Features working again on the server. Here we have full 65W Power Delivery output from a car 12V socket - subject to power caps within your vehicle, of course!
It's that time of the year, perhaps. Roughly once each annum I declare myself to have discovered the 'perfect' power bank. And the thing is that I always have justification for the new rating because the technology keeps moving on - here we have a metal bodied, high current, multi-output power bank, with no less than three digital display modes.
New features are still broken on the All About sites - but Reviews seem fine, so here goes. Sent over for me to test is the UGREEN 100W GaN Fast Charger, designed to charge just about any mobile tech you may have - and then some. It's not cheap, at £80(!) - but it might be a genuine space and complexity saver in your office or kitbag.
Features may be on hold, but I can still post reviews. Now, now... If you resent paying £120 for a Microsoft Slim Pen 2, and then either another £30 for a charger for it, or another £60 for the Surface Duo 2 Slim Pen Cover, there's another way. Go third party and save a fortune, plus you get standard USB Type C charging into the bargain. This Renaisser 'Digital pen for compatible Windows 10 devices' is perfectly good enough for most stylus activity on the Duo 2 or indeed any other Surface Pro or Go tablet...
Features may be on hold, but it seems that I can post reviews. Not there's a huge amount to tackle at 'All About Towers' right now, but for the sake of completeness, here's a look at two of my favourite new skins for the Microsoft/Android flagship, the Surface Duo 2, quite transforming its look...
OpenStreetMap has been a 'thing' for a decade, free-to-all mapping data for the world, and now with an open source application available for iOS and Android (and Windows 10 Mobile*). We highlighted it recently in a Flow story, but I did promise a deep dive into what it could do (and what it can't). In summary, it's fast, configurable, and (almost) always free (though admittedly so are Google Maps, Apple Maps and HERE Maps), with real time data being the only major omission. But still worth consideration, especially if you like to go off-piste, as it were.
That Microsoft went with glossy oleophobic Gorilla Glass for the back and front of the Surface Duo 2 is a contentious issue. When clean and new, it feels and looks tremendous. But as time goes on the glass does acquire fingerprints and dust, plus it's always slippery. And slippery isn't good for a relatively fragile folding smartphone. With physical 'in situ' cases almost impossible because of the Duo 2's 'fold back' mechanics, the next best thing is a 'skin', a grippy adhesive panel on front and back to take the brunt of daily wear and tear and to help ensure the phone doesn't get dropped. Enter XtremeSkins, also available for just about every other phone in existence if you want to make a naked phone 'grippier', and bringing 'wood' to my phone for the first time since a Mozo back graced my Lumia 950 XL!