BoostBloc 2000 portable travel charger

When you need a burst of power to revive your phone or crank up the music again, this little Eton Boostbloc 2000 will get you going without taking up much room.

We’ve reviewed quite a few portable chargers suitable for travel on this gear blog because there’s just one problem with using your smart phone so much. The battery—especially in an iPhone—isn’t nearly as good as the rest of the device. On a good day you might make it through the daylight hours without recharging. Often you’ll run out before happy hour. (My family’s Motorola and Samsung phones are both good until bedtime, but my thin iPod Touch has seldom been able to make it through one plane ride if I’m playing a game.)

Enter the Eton Boostbloc 2000, a little cube that recharges by USB in an hour and a half. With it fully charged, you can get one good charge to fully restore your smartphone’s battery, maybe with a tad to spare. There are other larger chargers on the market that will do more than this, plus Etón has its own 4000 and 6600 models. If you’re just moving around on vacation or business from airports to hotels, however, this small cube is enough to get you through the trans-ocean flight or to bedtime when you can plug into an outlet.

This BoostBloc is elegant and simple, with no buttons and just two inputs/outputs: USB and micro USB. The included cord has the corresponding male connectors, so you can use this alone if you’re lucky enough to have a micro USB connector like many Android and Windows phones have. (Not mini USB as you see in some photos of this device.) Otherwise you’ll need to use your own charger cord or get an adapter. So this is not quite as handy as the more expensive Innergie charger with 3-in-1 cord I use a lot, but close.

One cool feature with this charger: you can shake it to see how much power is remaining. There are four tiny blue LED lights on the bottom. These will tell you how much juice you have left or, if you’re charging it, when it’s full.

In my tests this 2000 mAh lithium ion polymer battery did what it said: charged up one smartphone that was close to dead. It doesn’t have the capacity of larger chargers that can store 5,000 mAh (milliamps), but this Etón BoostBloc is small enough to toss into any bag and it only weighs 2.2 ounces (63.5 grams).

The price is right too: it retails for $40. It’s available in white, red, or black. See more at the Eton website and order it from Amazon or J&R Computer/Music World.

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