As someone who’s had plenty of experience with domestic and international travel, one of my biggest concerns for every trip is to find a way to keep all my portable electronics devices charged up. In fact, I always have to dedicate a good amount of space to the many portable batteries, chargers and cable adapters I usually take with me during my trips. Now, besides actual portable batteries, part of the whole travel charging phenomenon involves good, old electric outlet hunting when you get to a hotel or even a relative’s living room. If you've had that experience, Energizer likely had you in mind when designing its iSurge Travel Charging Station. To see if this gadget’s got the chops to help keep your portables going and going and going, read on for my iSurge Travel Charging Station review.
Dock for Apple devices: The Energizer iSurge comes with a 30-pin charging dock that works with Apple’s iPod and iPhone. It even comes with adapter slots to accommodate various iterations of the iPod and and iPhone line. Although older versions of the aforemtioned “i” devices aren’t included in the list of supported devices, the iSurge can still actually charge some older Apple devices just fine.
Includes USB slot: As somebody with a buttload of devices that can be charged via USB, having a USB slot is a big deal for your truly so I was happy to see that the iSurge came with one. I’ve tested it on everything from an iPad and my Android phone to even a PSP and the device worked. Just keep in mind that certain devices still charge faster when plugged to a traditional outlet compared to USB.
Three outlets: The iSurge comes with three outlets, all of which support three-prong devices. This is good news for folks who, say, travel with a laptop since those usually use three-pronged plugs. All three outlets also are surge-protected
Rotating plug: Like a misguided teenager who got busted by mommy and daddy, the main plug of the iSurge is grounded (snicker). That’s actually a good thing in case you didn’t, um, get that last pun. The prong also rotates 180 degrees which helps with positioning, especially given the iSurge’s chunkiness.
Works as night light: The iSurge actually comes with a little toggle on the right that you can use to switch on one of its nifty functions. Forget those little sissy indicator lights you see in most charging stations. This sucker comes with a freaking night light. I found that quite amusing for some reason.
Could’ve used more USB slots: While I appreciate the inclusion of a USB slot, I honestly wish that it came with at least one more. That’s obviously coming from a guy who’s got a lot of gadgets that charge via USB.
Three-prong plug doesn’t fold in: It’s neat that Energizer made the iSurge’s plug rotate. Unfortunately, it didn’t go the extra mile by designing the plug to also fold in so you can stow it easier. That means the iSurge’s plug basically sticks out like a sore thumb in your bag, pouch or wherever you store it when traveling.
High price: I don’t know about you but $60 sounds a tad high for something that essentially gives you extra outlets. For that price, you’d expect it to come with other features, like maybe a rechargeable battery or more compatibility for international travel.
Surge protection combined with three outlets, a night light, and compatibility with Apple and USB devices make the Energizer iSurge a nifty travel companion. It’s a bit pricey and could’ve used a few more USB slots. It also would’ve been nice if its main plug could be folded for easier storage. Overall, though, road warriors who travel with a bunch of gadgets and devices should give it a look if they need an all-in-one solutions that helps keep their devices in one spot.
Final verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5