IOGEAR’s GearJuice is a nifty little product that’s perfectly handy for college students, glove compartments, suitcases and laptop bags.

It supplies emergency power to nearly any small, portable device, but not in that disposable, one use, drug store special kind of way. The rechargeable lithium polymer battery will fill up your cell phone’s gas tank three times before the GearJuice runs dry.

GearJuice will charge your Blackberry, iPod, iPhone, PDA, Bluetooth headset, cell phone and nearly any low-power device that takes a USB or mini-USB source. The device detects how much juice you gear needs and outputs the correct voltage.

The product can charge itself from any USB device — so you can just plug it into your laptop or desktop computer. It comes with six attachments, including iPod touch and iPhone and mini-USB connectors. Some models come with American and European wall plug adapters, but my model didn’t come with an AC adapter — which I didn’t mind because it’s actually much easier to charge the GearJuice right off my computer.

One small complaint: the GearJuice should have come with two full-size USB dongles. If you’re charging the device off USB, you aren’t left with a spare cable to go right ahead and charge up your cell phone or iPod at the same time. To this effect, GearJuice won’t turn your laptop into a power inverter.

The device itself charges up in a few hours from a dead, empty battery and IOGEAR says it will hold a charge for six months.

There are a variety of specialty adapters you can buy for GearJuice including the full-sized AC adapters and Samsung, LG and Motorola phone packs if — somehow — your phone doesn’t fit any of the included connectors. (When are all cell phones just going to charge and sync via mini-USB?)

Do yourself a favor, don’t throw out or lose the spare connectors. Put them somewhere where they won’t get lost or tossed. You’re probably going to break, lose or replace your cell phone within a year, and you’ll be crawling around trying to find the other connectors.

GearJuice is compact, comes in a soft, velvet carrying bag and priced right at under $30 on most websites. I approve.

Quick hits:

Developer: IOGEAR
Genre: Power
Launch Date: August 10, 2007

Overall: [rating:4/5]

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About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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