Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Charger’

Christmas Gift Guide

It’s been several years since I’ve published a gift guide on Initial Charge. But I thought it was a great time to bring it back. I’ve maintained a private wishlist site where my family and I post links to things that we want and we can all view each others’ lists. The site isn’t just for gift giving, though — I also use it throughout the year to keep a running list of things I want to purchase for myself.

I happen to have a number of items that I’m pretty excited about acquiring, though. So you can think of this as a gift guide for people who happen to share my interests.

Retroid Pocket 3+ — an excellent retro emulation handheld. I already own the Retroid Pocket 2+ and the 3, but the 3+ includes a pretty decent performance boost over the 3. It’s far from perfect, but the more powerful internals allow it to better emulate PlayStation 2, GameCube, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS games.

8bitdo Pro 2 — I love 8bitdo’s controllers and this seems like the one to get right now. I’d mostly pair it with my Retroid handheld for playing on a television, but I’d also use it with my Apple TV, MacBook Air, and Nintendo Switch.

Apple TV 4K, Wi-Fi + Ethernet — I’ve purchased every Apple TV iteration since the first generation. This one would go in the living room and the old one would be moved to the bedroom. The old bedroom one would likely get handed down to my in-laws.

20TB WD Red Pro — These are priced at $330 at the time of this writing, which is an unbelievable deal. The 8TB drives I’m currently using for media storage are nearing their capacity, if I’m going to upgrade, I’d want to go a lot bigger and this capacity offers the best price per terabyte from my preferred hard drive manufacturer.

CyberPower 1500VA UPS — My current uninterruptible power supply is maxed out in terms of power outlets. This model only adds two, but that should give me enough room for the new hardware I’m planning to add.

ThunderBay Flex 8 — This is a bit expensive, but the ThunderBay 6 I’m currently using will eventually reach capacity and I’ll have to move to something with more bays. The ThunderBay 8 only offers two more, but it also has a PCIe slot, which can be used for additional storage or accessories.

2012 Mac Mini, Quad Core — You can pick these up from OWC or eBay for under $200 at this point. I would install Ubuntu and run it as an Umbrel. And for the price, they offer pretty decent performance in a chassis that matches the rest of my server hardware.

Anker 40W, 521, Nano Pro — This is the charger I have in my laptop bag and I love it. I’d like another one to keep in the living room for more flexibility in our charging setup — we’re just using Apple’s 18W USB-C power adapter at the moment.

Ledger Nano X — I still dabble in cryptocurrencies and would like a hardware wallet for more secure storage, rather than keeping everything on an exchange. From what I’ve researched, this is the best option on the market.

Satechi Launches Dual-Sided 2-in-1 USB-C Charger for Apple Watch and AirPods ➝

I have their Apple Watch-only model already, but this seems like a strict upgrade. I don’t have much use for it now, but when I start traveling for work again or if I do some traveling with my wife and son sometime this year, I might just pick one of these up.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Apple MagSafe Duo Charger Is Useful, but Expensive and Underwhelming ➝

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

But I’m sorry to say that I find the whole thing a bit underwhelming after the hype of AirPower and its eventual demise. Apple may very well have had this thing planned the whole time that it was trying to make AirPower happen, but the arc of that story landing on this device is sad trombone indeed.

The MagSafe Duo does work, and there are a couple of engineering bright spots. But you will not feel that it’s worth the money by the time you purchase the $129 charger and the $19 20W power brick to go with it, and there are many third-party accessories on the market that do this job just fine.

I don’t understand who this is for. It’s not actually great for travel because two cables plus a power adapter is more compact than the MagSafe Duo plus a cable and power adapter. And if you’re looking for a charger for home, there are plenty of great alternatives. I’m a big fan of the Nomad Base Station, but there are countless options that are less costly and at least as attractive as the MagSafe Duo.

➝ Source: techcrunch.com

Twelve South PowerPic ➝

Chris Gonzales, writing for Tools and Toys:

The New Zealand pine frame holds any 5″ x 7″ photo and looks totally natural on your desk, bedside table, or fireplace mantle, unlike many chargers that stick out like sore thumbs. But it’s just as handy as the rest when you need it — just set your Qi-enabled phone against the photo and it immediately starts getting 10 watts of juice.

I have two of these, one in our living room and one in my office. I absolutely love it. It gives myself, my wife, or our guests the ability to top-off their phone without having to fiddle with cables or have any unsightly charging accessories out in the open.

➝ Source: toolsandtoys.net

Anker PowerPort Atom III Slim ➝

This has become the default charger for my 2018 MacBook Air, replacing the PowerPort Atom PD 1 I was using previously. The Atom III Slim is incredibly compact, matches the power output if the Air’s included charger, and looks quite slick. I wish that the USB-C port was pointed away from the wall when plugged in, instead of being adjacent to it, but the foldable plugs more than make up for that.

➝ Source: anker.com

Base Station Apple Watch Edition Wireless Charger by Nomad ➝

If I was buying a wireless charger for my bedside table, this is the one I would get. I have the standard Base Station, which is essentially this one minus the Apple Watch charging pad, and I absolutely love it.

This new model builds on Nomad’s previous Apple Watch Edition by adding a USB-A and USB-C charging port to the back. For the Apple product enthusiast, this single charger could be used to power an iPhone, AirPods, and Apple Watch wirelessly and still have two ports on the back that could be used to charge an iPad and whatever other random device that needs charging.

➝ Source: nomadgoods.com

Anker’s Atom PD 1 Charger Ships This Month for $29.99 ➝

Nick Statt, reporting for The Verge:

Anker, once known as a leading accessory maker and now a multi-faceted consumer electronics company, hasn’t abandoned its roots as a supplier of some of the fastest and highest-quality chargers around. The company’s newest line of ultrafast chargers, the PowerPort Atom series, is set to start shipping its first device later this month, the company announced today during CES. The Atom PD 1, as it’s called, was originally announced back in October, but the product was ultimately delayed a few months. The company now says it should be available for the same price of $29.99 later in January, though a concrete ship date has not yet been set.

This looks like it’s going to be a killer product. And I couldn’t be more excited that it’s capable of powering my MacBook Air.

But I suspect the model coming out later — the PowerPort Atom PD 2 — is going to become my go-to charger while traveling. The PD 2 is a 60W charger with two USB-C ports, which will feel right at home inside of my tech bag that’s slowly transitioning to USB-C everything.

Anker PowerPort 4 ➝

I decided to purchase this four-port USB charger after spending a few nights in a hotel room for my wedding. With my purchases of an iPad Air 2 last year and an Apple Watch last fall, I now travel with three devices which charge over USB. But the hotel room didn’t have enough power outlets where I needed them to accommodate all of my single-port USB chargers.

I’ve been using this unit by Anker for a couple of days and it does the trick. I can charge my iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch at the same time with only a single power outlet. And when we travel on our honeymoon this summer we can also use it to charge her iPhone, if need be.

I’m not too keen on the LED that remains illuminated while plugged in. But it’s not bright enough to disturb me while sleeping and the positives vastly outweigh this one little annoyance. If you’re in the market for a multi-port USB charger, I highly suggest putting this one under consideration.