PlugBug (1 Viewer)

rockymtnhigh

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I posted about this little gadget in the iPad Owner thread, but the product arrived today, so I thought I'd share some photos of it, and my initial impressions.

Plug Bug is a 10w power charger for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod (any of them). Its in a bright plastic case. What makes it interesting is that if you pull off the cover, (it just slides off), it can slide onto a Macbook Pro/Air power charger and enables you to use the Macbook charger to charge your macbook AND your iPhone/iPad at the same time all from one power outlet.

Anyone who has been at a hotel lately in this age where we need to charge way too many devices at night - but where hotel rooms seem to be generally short on outlets will appreciate the benefits of this device.

Of course this is only of value for macbook owners, but to the best of my knowledge pretty much everyone is buying this type of laptop these days :) (I jest, I jest).

The only limitation is that to use it with the mbp charger, you can't take advantage of the power cable extension, and are limited to distance of the primary adapter.

It seems to be a very fast charger. In 15 minutes, my iPhone has charged 12%. I'll test it with the iPad later.

Now some photos...

First the adapter with the cover off...
IMG_0071.jpg

Second the plug bug connected to the 60w adapter

IMG_0074.jpg

Finally, the stand-alone 10w usb charger

IMG_0072.jpg
 

Ilya

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So, how heavy is this thing? Is it much lighter than the iPad charger?
In other words, does it really save any travel weight?
 

Frank Jr.

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When a quick charge is needed that may be really nice, but will constant quick charging shorten battery life?

Just checked the charger for my iPad, it is a 10w charger as well. I guess there would be no ill effects.;)
 
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meStevo

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I cant be the only person that thinks ButPlug when I see the name of the device.

Not that I have a fixation or problem I need to share with the group or anything.

...
 
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TheForce

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Frank- fast charging for gel packs and Nicads can shorten the life of batteries but not Lithium Ion technology. The LI charging currents are highly regulated and controlled to prevent cell damage. The main difference in fast or slow charge is the size of the charger. In most cases the regulating circuitry is in the battery or device but the charger brick has to be able to handle the current. That's the case for LI that has 2 wire connections. In LI batteries where there are more than one connection, the the charger has the regulating circuitry. These chargers can work in a number of ways to monitor temperature and internal resistance during the charging cycle. Older LiION chargers that had a "boost fast charge" but only two wire connections used a timer to keep the boost level of charge on for a predetermined time to prevent cell damage. This didn't work well on old batteries and brought them down faster when used. Most of these chargers aren't made anymore.

Battery charging, all batteries is more about chemistry than electricity. The best charge is one that has a high quality chemical surface change of the electrode plates. Poor charge is like a bad paint job and good charge is like a smooth even paint job. How long the paint lasts or electrode plate surface lasts, is based not on how quickly the job was done but rather how skilled the charger is in controlling the quality during the charge.
 

rockymtnhigh

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Ilya said:
So, how heavy is this thing? Is it much lighter than the iPad charger?
In other words, does it really save any travel weight?

It's about the same weight as the iPad charger, but I'll pull out a scale and compare, but it's less about weight for me than the saving of an outlet.

Sent from my iPad using SatelliteGuys
 

Ilya

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It's about the same weight as the iPad charger, but I'll pull out a scale and compare, but it's less about weight for me than the saving of an outlet.
For me, this would not be a big benefit. I can imagine a situation when this adapter would be helpful, but I think it would be a very rare case, that I would need to charge both devices at the same time, and would run out of outlets. Besides, in most cases, I would want a longer power cord for the computer, as I usually work on it while it is charging.
 

rockymtnhigh

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For me, this would not be a big benefit. I can imagine a situation when this adapter would be helpful, but I think it would be a very rare case, that I would need to charge both devices at the same time, and would run out of outlets. Besides, in most cases, I would want a longer power cord for the computer, as I usually work on it while it is charging.

Well, if outlets are at a premium, this is a sweet device. EVERYTIME I get on a train to Chicago, this will be beneficial.
 

TheForce

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One needs to build his mobile office as he needs. I carry two 3x outlet adapters as they are light weight and efficient. Also, I carry an 8 ft extension cord light weight for those hotel rooms that always have the 2duplex outlet packed out with desk lamp and other stuff.
 

rockymtnhigh

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For the record.... the Plug Bug, with cover on it, comes in at 2 oz. The iPad charger comes in at 2 oz. Exactly the same, within fractions of an ounce (I was using an analog kitchen scale).

The Plug Bug takes more space (its physically bigger to fit on the mbp charger), but it is really a minimal difference in terms of storage in a travel carry-on or briefcase. So, when I go to DC, I'll bring the mbp charger, the plug bug, and the really small iPhone charger.
 

TheForce

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I knew I spoke too soon on these cell phone chargers. Today my wife complained that her LG phone won't take a charge anymore and the battery doesn't last through the morning after on the charger all night. So I take a look and discover the battery was at 3.4 volts and would not fire up the phone. I put it on her charger and I get a message popup on the screen- You are using an incompatible charger! So, I look closely and she began using the Blackberry charger which uses a micro USB plug too. I asked her what she did with her LG charger. She said it's the same one as the LG ( Translated from wifespeak--meaning that the BB and LG have the same connector) I put the LG one in the drawer to clean up the clutter. So, I pull out the LG charger and connect the phone and it began to charge without the warning. I then checked her LG on my universal charger and it charged properly with no warning message. I don't know if the universal charger or the LG charger will work on the BB but I now know the BB charger with a microUSB plug will not charge the LG phone and also, it will not charge my Thunderbolt.
So here's the technical scoop. The microUSB plug is capable of using additional wiring for circuit function switching besides power and data. Standard USB does not have this additional connection. I know Sony Camcorders make use of this in their miniUSB to detect connection to a media device as opposed to a computer in their camcorders. Most people are aware of the data and power on USB but not the circuit detection. Obviously, Blackberry is using this and makes their chargers incompatible with the LG. I do know that her BB phone came with two chargers, one for the 120VAC and the other for the car.
 

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