When packing for a trip three things usually go into my bag first, cell phone, tablet/laptop and camera.
Most of us use at least 2 of these devices every day and most of us will know that battery life is at best limited and when you need them most they tend to let you down. Charging from a car charger is also not ideal unless you’re in the car for long periods of time.
Powermonkey have developed some mobile charge devices and I have had two of these units in the last few months to field test. First I took a Powermonkey Explorer 2 to Kimberley for the Diamond Cup and used it to recharge my Samsung Galaxy Tablet between editing and sharing images for our Instagram feed. This compact little device carries enough charge to completely recharge the power hungry tablet.
Maybe I didn’t appreciate the device to it’s full extent because a socket was always within reach at the hi-tech skating venue purpose built to be media friendly. Nevertheless the unit easily charged the tablet while I had lunch in the canteen.
Next we went to Taipei and took the Extreme with us. The main difference between the two units, the Extreme has a solar recharge panel to charge its own battery while the Powermonkey relies on a socket recharge from the mains. I used the Extreme while we commuted on the subway site-seeing to fuel the cell phone which was doing more work than normal snapping #Heathcliffe shots and editing, sharing all on the go between temples, monuments and other famous landmarks. The Extreme performed admirably although I never had to recharge it with the solar panels.
The third trip I took a Powermonkey device on is the Forest Run in Belfast, basically we’re out in the forest for 10 hours snapping pics of the runners, the forest and whatever interesting fauna and flora we can find and then editing and sharing to social media. Signal isn’t always the best and it drains the battery fast while looking for the 3g constantly. It was the perfect time to use the Solar panels to recharge the battery so we set up the unit while we parked in a remote location and waited for some runners to approach.
Overall the device works really well, it comes with a plethora of attachments and plugs for most countries but best of all you can get enough juice into your hardware to make that all important call or edit and post an image via one of the devices while out in the field when you really need your tools to perform.
Powermonkey devices are available from all reputable camera stores as well as your Sporting Goods stores, Due South, Cape Union, Drifters etc. At time of writing the Explorer retails at R 1200 and the extreme at R2300, respectively.
Follow @SolargorillaSA on Twitter for more information on new devices and adventurers who use them.